Robert C. Wong Vic 6T3

Paul Haynes Vic 9T9, President of the Alumni of Victoria College Executive, announced that Robert C. Wong Vic 6T3 is the 2012 Victoria College Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. Wong is currently vice chair and senior portfolio manager at Leon Frazer and Associates. His personal history, however, reflects a varied and interesting career path. While completing an MBA in finance, Wong taught high school math, physics and pioneered the teaching of computer science at the high-school level, and wrote textbooks on the subject.

By the early 1970s, Wong’s interest in politics was growing steadily. He had the opportunity to serve as special assistant/advisor to the ministers of national health and welfare/state for multiculturalism, respectively. After his time in Ottawa, he returned to Toronto and co-founded a brokerage firm that eventually grew to 12 offices across the nation. All the while, he remained active in politics and worked to grow Chinese-Canadian political engagement.

He left the investment world for a full-time career in politics in 1987 when he was elected MPP to the Toronto riding of Fort York and, in short order, was appointed Ontario’s Minister of Energy in Premier David Peterson’s government. This appointment made Wong the first cabinet minister in Canada of Chinese descent. Two years later, he took on the citizenship portfolio. His time in parliament was marked by making major changes to the Power Corporation Act and for promoting multiculturalism and equity among Ontario’s diverse population.

Wong has supported many organizations as a volunteer, including the Toronto Board of Trade, Toronto Community Foundation, St. John’s Rehab Foundation, Canadian Automobile Association, St. Stephen’s Community House and CFMT Channel 47 (Canada’s first multilingual television station), where he served as founding director for 10 years. He currently serves on a number of boards and committees including Victoria University’s Board of Regents’ investment committee, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, George Brown College and Schulich School of Business International Advisory Council. His honours include a U of T Arbor Award, Courvoisier Leadership Award and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He continues to remain involved in political activities at both the provincial and federal levels.