The George Brown College (GBC) community extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mark J. Lewis, who passed away on July 24. Lewis was general counsel and chief of staff of the Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario and an esteemed friend, donor and partner of the college.
Throughout his career, Mark demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the trade union movement and the rights of working people. He promoted careers in the trades to young people and supported students by funding GBC scholarships and working with the college to support future professionals in various ways.
“Mark had a vision of outstanding possibilities for others and society and, through his work with the Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario, he lived and took the action to make a difference in the lives of others,” said GBC President Dr. Gervan Fearon.
He advocated for governments to address the critical shortage of skilled trades workers in Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area. And he highlighted the need to attract and support young people, women and new Canadians to this career path.
Mark was a champion of diversity in the trades. Chris Campbell, Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the Carpenters’ Regional Council and George Brown College alum and partner, said Mark carried the union’s flag when the organization first participated in Toronto’s Pride parade. In March 2023, Mark was among those who presented a $100,000 cheque to George Brown College President Dr. Gervan Fearon to launch an endowment fund for the Chris Campbell Perseverance Award. Campbell said Mark personally donated to the fund.
“Mark’s passion for labour rights, the union and its members, and his commitment to increasing diversity in the skilled trades will continue to have a positive influence for many years to come,” Campbell said. “Mark has left an incredible legacy.”