Founder of the Northern Ontario Heritage Party in 1977, Ed Deibel, passed away at the age of 88.
A man who fought for decades to separate northern Ontario from the south, with a resume including businessman and city councillor, Diebel collected thousands of signatures from northerners who believed the region should run its own affairs.
That included him camping out on the lawn of Queen’s Park for three days in 1974, which finally got him a meeting with Premier Bill Davis, who refused to allow a plebiscite on whether northern Ontario should be its own province.
Plans were made to make the small northwestern town of Geraldton the new provincial capital. He was specifically focused on keeping revenues from mines and forests in the north and developing more manufacturing industries in the region.
Ed Deibel camped out on the lawn of Queen’s Park for three days in 1974, which got him a meeting with Premier Bill Davis.
One of the only times his name was actually on a ballot was in the 2014 provincial election when he got 129 votes in the riding of Thunder Bay-Atikokan. During this campaign, Deibel told CBC that “If you believe in northern Ontario, if you believe it has a future, because right now we are mismanaged, ignored and neglected and that’s been going on for 100 years, when are you going to stand up for the north?”
Ed Deibel is survived by three sons, 2 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.