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David Christopherson

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David Christopherson (born October 5, 1954 in Hamilton, Ontario) is a Canadian politician.

He was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1990 to 2003, representing a Hamilton-area riding for Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP). In 2004, he was elected to the Canadian House of Commons for the federal NDP, in the riding of Hamilton Centre.

Christopherson is self-educated, having dropped out of high school in the ninth grade. He worked as an International Harvester, and served as President of the United Auto Workers Union Local 525 in Hamilton before entering politics. Christopherson ran in Hamilton East in the federal election of 1984, and lost to Sheila Copps by just under 3,000 votes. He then served on the Hamilton City Council and the Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Council from 1985 to 1990.

Christopherson was first elected to the Ontario legislature in the 1990 provincial election, defeating Liberal cabinet minister Lily Munro by over 6,000 votes in the provincial riding of Hamilton Centre). The NDP won a majority government in this election.

After serving as a backbencher for two years, Christopherson was appointed Minister of Correctional Services in the government of Bob Rae on September 23, 1992. On February 3, 1993, his portfolio was retitled as "Solicitor-General and Minister of Correctional Services". He was generally regarded as a competent minister, and served until the defeat of the Rae government in 1995.

Christopherson was narrowly re-elected in the 1995 election, defeating Liberal Filomena Tassi by 690 votes. In the late 1990s, he emerged as a prominent supporter of Hamilton's amalgamation with the neighbouring municipalities. This policy was enacted by the Progressive Conservative government of Mike Harris government in 2000.

Christopherson was reportedly offered the leadership of the Ontario Federation of Labour in 1999, but declined the opportunity and remained in political life. After redistribution, he ran in Hamilton West in the 1999 election and scored a convincing victory over incumbent Progressive Conservative Lilian Ross. He served as the NDP's house leader from 1999 to 2001, and was a deputy speaker in the legislature from 2001 to 2003. He did not seek re-election in 2003, but instead ran for mayor of Hamilton in that year's municipal election, losing to Larry DiIanni by 16,000 votes (a narrow total in the city-wide poll, yielding a final margin of about 12% points). Ironically, the amalgamation of Hamilton with the more right-leaning suburbs contributed to Christopherson's loss, as did his opposition to the Red Hill Expressway.

Shortly after this loss, Christopherson won the federal NDP nomination in Hamilton Centre for the 2004 election. His chances of winning were increased by fellow New Democrat Andrea Horwath's provincial by-election victory for Hamilton East in May. Despite running against cabinet minister and Paul Martin loyalist Stan Keyes, Christopherson won election to the Canadian House of Commons by a margin of 5,000 votes.

In the NDP's shadow cabinet, he is critic for cities, community infrastructure, labour and steel policy.

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