Fonds 1101 - David R. Cameron fonds

Identity area

Reference code

UTA 1101


David R. Cameron fonds


  • 1966-2012 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

10.01 m of textual records (76 boxes)
11 photographs (1 box)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Prof. David R. Cameron is a political scientist who has worked as both an academic and civil servant. His research focuses on federalism, national unity and English-French relations in Canada, domestic and foreign constitutional development, and intergovernmental relations.

Prof. Cameron received his BA from the University of British Columbia (1963), and M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the London School of Economics (1966, 1969). His academic career began at Trent University, where he was a member of the Political Studies Department (1968-1980). There, he worked as a Senior Tutor at Catharine Parr Traill College (1969-1970), Chairman of the Department of Political Studies (1970-1975), and Dean of Arts and Science (1975-1977).

After his time at Trent, Prof. Cameron began working for the federal government, in various capacities. In 1977, Prof. Cameron was appointed Director of Research of the Pepin-Robarts Task Force on Canadian Unity (1977-1979). He was then Advisor in the Federal-Provincial Relations Office (Government of Canada) and member of the Coordination Group working on the Quebec Referendum (1979-1980), and then Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Strategic and Constitutional Planning in the Federal-Provincial Relations Office (1980-1982). From 1982-1985, he worked as Assistant Undersecretary of State, in Education Support, where he oversaw the creation of the federal government’s Canadian Studies support programme (1982-1985).

Prof. Cameron joined the University of Toronto in 1985 as Vice-President of Institutional Relations and Professor of Political Science. He returned to government in 1987, when he was appointed Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Ontario Government. He served in that role until 1989, when he was appointed Deputy Minister and Special Advisor to the Premier on Constitutional Reform and Ontario Representative to the Government of Quebec.

In 1990, Prof. Cameron returned to the University of Toronto as Professor of Political Science and continued to advise the Ontario government in his capacity as Special Constitutional Advisor to the Premier of Ontario (1900-1995) and Advisor to the Ontario Government on intergovernmental relations (1995-2001). Prof. Cameron served as one of the Province’s chief negotiators during the Charlottetown constitutional discussions. In 1995, he and Jill Wherrett completed a research study for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples which examines the relationship between Native people and the Government of Ontario.

Prof. Cameron has also provided research and advice to numerous inquiries and commissions, including the Romanow Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada (2001-2003) and the Walkerton Inquiry (2001-2002). In his capacity as fellow of the Forum of Federations, Prof. Cameron provided technical support to the Sri Lankan Peace Process, which was seeking resolution to the dispute between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers.

Prof. Cameron has served a number of administrative roles at the University of Toronto, including as Acting Vice-Dean of Undergraduate Education and Teaching in the Faculty of Arts and Science (2003-2004), Acting Chair of the Department of Political Science (2002-2003), Associate Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Dept. of Political Science (1997-2001) and Chair of the Department of Political Science from 2006-2012. In January 2014, he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto, after serving as interim Dean since May 2013.

In 2002, Prof. Cameron was became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and was awarded the University of Toronto Ludwick and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of the personal records of Prof. David R. Cameron, political scientist. The majority of the records document Prof. Cameron’s work with the federal and provincial governments, rather than his academic work.

Much of the fonds documents Prof. Cameron’s work with the federal and Ontario governments on constitutional renewal, national unity, and French-English relations in the late 1970s and 1980s. In particular, there is significant documentation of the Pépin-Robarts Task Force on Canadian Unity, and Cameron’s work with the Federal-Provincial Relations Office. Prof. Cameron’s work on post-secondary education with the Secretary of State is also well documented, as is his work on constitutional renewal and Ontario-Quebec relations with the Ontario government in the 1990s.

Records relating to this government service include day planners and steno pads, correspondence and memos, briefings, news clippings, government documents, reports, proposals, research and background files, travel records, contracts, drafts and revisions, and meeting agendas, minutes and briefings.

Fonds also includes records relating to Prof. Cameron’s involvement with the Romanow Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada (2001-2003), the Walkerton Inquiry (2001-2002), and the Sri Lankan peace process (2002-2005).

Academic records include employment records, correspondence, some conference files, and publication files, especially those related to his Patterns of Association project (1997-2006).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Files in series 7 (Secretary of State), 10 (Constitutional Renewal), 12 (Romanow Commission), and 13 (Walkerton Inquiry) are restricted until 20 years after the date of last file activity. All other records are open.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English
  • French

Script of material

Language and script notes

There are some French language records in series 5.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

-Prof. Richard Simeon (B2013-0025) was one of Prof. Cameron’s colleagues who had similar research interests.
-Some of Prof. Cameron’s records are held at the Trent University Archives:

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Dates of creation revision deletion

-Original finding aid by Karen Suurtamm, 2014
-Added to AtoM by Karen Suurtamm, July 2016




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