John Tory

From Academic Kids

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John Tory (born May 28, 1954) is a Canadian businessman and leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.

Tory has been married to Barbara Hackett since 1978. The couple have four children (John, Christopher, Susan, and George).

Tory holds socially liberal views on a number of issues, including same-sex marriage. He is considered by some to be a Red Tory. His economic policies are less defined. While the Progressive Conservatives supported tax cuts and spending reductions in the Mike Harris year, Tory's reaction to the 2005 Ontario budget called for a tax cut, increased spending in agriculture, health care, infrastructure, education and post-secondary education and an increased emphasis on deficit reduction.

Background

From 1972 to 1979, Tory was hired by family friend Ted Rogers as a journalist for Rogers Broadcasting's Toronto radio stations CFTR and CHFI.

Tory received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Trinity College, University of Toronto in 1975. He continued the family tradition of studying law at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he received his Bachelor of Laws in 1978. He was called to the bar in Ontario in 1980.

From 1980 to 1981, and later from 1986 to 1995, Tory held various positions at the blue chip Toronto law firm Tory, DesLauriers & Binnington, including partner, managing partner, and member of the Executive Committee.

From 1981 to 1985, Tory served in the Office of the Premier of Ontario, Bill Davis as Principal Secretary to the Premier and Associate Secretary of the Cabinet. In 1985, Davis retired as Premier. Tory joined the Office of the Canadian Special Envoy on Acid Rain, as Special Advisor to the Special Envoy. The Special Envoy had been appointed by the federal government of Brian Mulroney to review matters of air quality with a United States counterpart.

Tory later served as Tour Director and Campaign Chairman to then Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, and managed the 1993 federal election campaign of Mulroney's successor, Kim Campbell. Tory was criticized for approving a 1993 election ad that mocked Jean Chrétien's facial deformity.

From 1995 to 1999, he returned to Rogers Media Inc. as president and CEO of what was now one of Canada's largest publishing and broadcasting companies. Rogers Media has interests in radio and television stations, specialty television channels, consumer magazines, trade magazines and, at the time, the Toronto Sun and the Sun newspaper chain. In 1999, he became president and CEO of Rogers Cable Inc., Canada's largest cable television company and a leading video rental chain and cable Internet provider. He led it through a period of transition from a monopoly environment to an open marketplace, overseeing a significant increase in operating income.

Tory also served as chairman of the Canadian Football League from 1992 to 2001.

Toronto mayoral run

After six years as a key backer of retiring Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman, Tory ran in the November 2003 vote for Mayor of Toronto. He finished in second place, behind councillor David Miller and ahead of former mayor Barbara Hall, former councillor and Member of Parliament John Nunziata, and former councillor and budget chief Tom Jakobek.

Tory and Miller both entered the race with limited name recognition and support, but each quickly claimed a core base - Miller among progressives and Tory among more conservative voters. Nunziata and Jakobek were sidelined by controversies, and Hall's initially commanding lead fell under the weight of a lackluster, low-risk campaign.

Tory's campaign came under fire when it was accused by opponent Nunziata of attempting to bribe him into pulling out of the race by offering to pay his campaign debt. Some also questioned Tory's decision to accept an endorsement from the Toronto Police Association, which has been accused of intimidating its opponents on council.

Tory held the tradition suburban conservative vote that had helped to elect Mel Lastman in the 1997 mayor's race, but lost the total vote to Miller.

Tory, along with Miller and Hall, was credited with running a generally respectful campaign. After the election, he helped Miller and Hall raise funds to retire their campaign debts.

Provincial party leadership

In March 2004, Tory hinted that he would be seeking the leadership of the provincial Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, after Ernie Eves announced his intention to resign from that post. The provincial PC leadership election was announced for September 18, 2004, and Tory made his candidacy official on May 6, 2004. John Laschinger was appointed to be Tory's campaign manager. Tory won the support of former provincial cabinet ministers Elizabeth Witmer, David Tsubouchi, Jim Wilson, Janet Ecker, Chris Hodgson, Cam Jackson and Bob Runciman as well as backbench Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) Norm Miller, Ted Arnott and John O'Toole.

Tory's opponents for the leadership post were former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Oak Ridges MPP Frank Klees, both from the right-wing of the party. Tory positioned himself as a centrist candidate, and defeated Flaherty 54% to 46% on the second ballot. Flaherty later announced that he would leave provincial politics to seek a seat in the Canadian House of Commons.

Tory told the media in November 2004 that he would seek election to the legislature in time for the spring 2005 legislative session. On December 7, 2004, the Ontario Liberal Party announced that it would run a candidate against Tory in a by-election. While Canadian political parties often allow major party leaders who do not have a parliamentary seat to enter the legislature unopposed, this is not always followed.

On January 31, 2005, after much public speculation and some delay, Ernie Eves resigned his seat and cleared the way for Tory to run in Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey. As a "parachute candidate", Tory faced some criticism about his commitment to the riding. Nevertheless, he won the March 17, 2005 by-election with 56% of the vote.

In a February 5th, 2005 SES Research poll, John Tory narrowly edged out Premier Dalton McGuinty in a survey that asked which party leader would make the best Premier of Ontario. However, another recent poll by Leger and Leger for the Toronto Sun showed the PCs losing support. This poll put the Liberals at 44% support and the PCs at 33%, with the NDP at 19%.

Tory has said that he plans to run in Toronto in the 2007 provincial election even though the Progressive Conservatives currently hold no seats in that city. Most believe he will contest the Don Valley West constituency, one of the wealthiest ridings in the province, currently held by Liberal Kathleen Wynne. Liberal cabinet minister George Smitherman has challenged Tory to oppose him in the downtown Toronto riding of Toronto Centre—Rosedale, where Tory lives. This riding is considered safe for the Liberals, however, and it is unlikely that Tory will contest it.


Preceded by:
Ernie Eves
Leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party
2004Present
Succeeded by:
Incumbent
Preceded by:
Ernie Eves
Member of Provincial Parliament for Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey
2003Present
Succeeded by:
Incumbent

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