Brenda Chamberlain

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The Honourable
Brenda Kay Chamberlain
PC
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Guelph
In office
2004 – April 7, 2008
Preceded by new riding
Succeeded by Frank Valeriote
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Guelph—Wellington
In office
1993 – 2004
Preceded by Bill Winegard
Succeeded by riding abolished
Personal details
Born (1952-04-09) April 9, 1952 (age 62)
Toronto, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) David Chamberlain
Residence Elora, Ontario
Profession Education administrator
Religion Roman Catholic

Brenda Kay Chamberlain, PC (born April 9, 1952 in Toronto, Ontario) was a member of the Canadian House of Commons, representing the riding of Guelph for the Liberal Party from 1993 until her resignation as of April, 2008.

Chamberlain was a home daycare owner and operator from 1979 to 1983, and served as the administrative assistant in a family-owned business from 1984 to 1987. She also served as Executive Director of the Wellington County Literacy Council from 1989 to 1993, and of the Guelph-Wellington Career Educational Council from 1992 to 1993. During this time she also served on the Wellington County Board of Education (1985–1993).

Chamberlain sought the federal Liberal nomination in Guelph-Wellington in 1992. Chamberlain's main challenger for the nomination was to be former Liberal Member of Parliament Frank Maine, who represented Guelph in the House of Commons from 1974 to 1979. Maine dropped out of the race after the riding's nomination meeting was scheduled for an early date, arguing that this favoured Chamberlain. Chamberlain went on to win the Liberal nomination by acclamation. Maine later decided to run as an independent candidate against Chamberlain in the 1993 federal election. Chamberlain was elected handily as the Liberals took all but one of Ontario's 101 seats—the closest any party has come to sweeping the country's biggest province at the federal level.

Chamberlain was re-elected by greater margins in the elections of 1997 and 2000. For many years, she was known as a strong supporter of Paul Martin in his bid to succeed Jean Chrétien as leader of the Liberal Party.

Chamberlain won another easy victory in the election of 2004, defeating her Conservative opponent by nearly 10,000 votes in the redistributed riding of Guelph.

Chamberlain was elected a fifth time in the election of 2006, in which the Conservative Party won a national minority government.

She was one of the more socially conservative members of the Liberal caucus, and was a vocal opponent of her own party's plans to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Chamberlain also voted against her party's same-sex marriage bill in 2005. She was also involved in legislation which forced Bell Canada to revise its 411 billing policy.

Chamberlain served as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Labour from 1997 to 1999, and was parliamentary secretary to the president of the Queen's Privy Council, with special emphasis on public service reform and Métis and Non-Status Indians, from December 2003 to July 2004.

Although opposition spread rumours that she was about to retire she stood for re-election in 2006 and won handily. Just over two years later, on March 7, 2008, Chamberlain announced her resignation from the House of Commons effective April 7.[1] She did not provide a reason for her resignation. During that election and thereafter the Guelph Mercury subjected Chamberlain to increasing degrees of criticism. Hansard will show that Chamberlain's last official votes occurred during the finals of weeks of February 2008.

Brenda Chamberlain served locally as a school trustee and federally as a Member of the House of Commons. She was elected for twenty-four consecutive years of public service.

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2006: Guelph
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Brenda Chamberlain 23,662 38.39 -6.22 $56,158
     Conservative Brent Barr 18,342 29.76 +3.65 $80,104
     New Democratic Party Phil Allt 13,561 22.00 +1.97 $30,173
Green Mike Nagy 5,376 8.72 +1.37 $27,621
     Christian Heritage Peter Ellis 538 0.87 -0.33 $4,880
     Communist Scott Gilbert 111 0.18 $280
Marxist–Leninist Manuel Couto 45 0.07 -0.05 none listed
Total valid votes/Expense Limit 61,635 100.00
Total rejected ballots 215 0.35 -0.22
Turnout 61,850 70.76 +6.58
Electors on the lists 87,410
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.


Canadian federal election, 2004: Guelph
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Brenda Chamberlain 23,442 44.61 -3.58 $60,734
     Conservative Jon Dearden 13,721 26.11 -12.57 $61,179
     New Democratic Party Phil Allt 10,527 20.03 +9.67 $27,613
Green Mike Nagy 3,866 7.36 +5.60 $15,304
     Christian Heritage Peter Ellis 634 1.21 +0.71 $5,059
Marijuana Lyne Rivard 291 0.55 none listed
Marxist–Leninist Manuel Couto 66 0.13 none listed
Total valid votes/Expense Limit 52,547 100.00
Total rejected ballots 303 0.57 +0.24
Turnout 52,850 64.18 +3.07
Electors on the lists 82,346
Note: Percentage change figures are factored for redistribution. Conservative Party percentages are contrasted with the combined Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative percentages from 2000.
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.


Canadian federal election, 2000: Guelph–Wellington
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Brenda Chamberlain 26,440 48.19 +0.46 $31,978
     Canadian Alliance Max Layton 11,037 20.12 +2.83 $51,423
     Progressive Conservative Marie Adsett 10,188 18.57 -2.74 $19,049
     New Democratic Party Edward Pickersgill 5,685 10.36 -0.05 $26,212
Green Bill Hulet 966 1.76 +0.64 $201
     N/A (Christian Heritage) Gord Truscott 275 0.50 -1.35 $3,119
     Canadian Action Sharon Tanti 207 0.38 $3,244
     Marxist-Leninist Manuel Couto 68 0.12 -0.15 $8
Total valid votes 54,866 100.00
Total rejected ballots 181 0.33 -0.35
Turnout 55,047 61.11 -5.53
Electors on the lists 90,076
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.


Canadian federal election, 1997: Guelph–Wellington
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Brenda Chamberlain 25,004 47.73 +7.70 $37,750
     Progressive Conservative Dick Stewart 11,160 21.31 +0.72 $56,755
     Reform Lyle McNair 9,054 17.28 -6.39 $30,052
     New Democratic Party Elaine Rogala 5,456 10.42 +5.53 $20,301
     Christian Heritage Peter Ellis 972 1.86 $7,503
Green Frank Marchetti 589 1.12 $5
     Marxist-Leninist Elaine Couto 146 0.28 $0
Total valid votes 52,381 100.00
Total rejected ballots 357 0.68 -0.25
Turnout 52,738 66.64 +0.14
Electors on the lists 79,141
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada. Percentage change figures are factored for redistribution.


Canadian federal election, 1993: Guelph–Wellington
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
Liberal Brenda Chamberlain 24,359 39.24 $42,976
  Reform Gerry Organ 15,483 24.94 $45,760
  Progressive Conservative Bill Scott 12,825 20.66 $57,999
  Non-Affiliated Frank Maine 3,465 5.58 $29,745
  New Democratic Party Alex Michalos 2,904 4.68 $27,092
  National Maggie Laidlaw 2,018 3.25 $6,098
Green Simon C. Francis 318 0.51 $0
  Natural Law David W. Mitchell 255 0.41 $12
  Libertarian Tom Bradburn 247 0.40 $0
Canada Party John H. Long 108 0.17 $600
  N/A (Renewal) Anna Di Carlo 78 0.13 $0
  Abolitionist Andrew Tait 20 0.03 $0
Total valid votes 62,080 100.00
Total rejected ballots 583 0.93
Turnout 62,663 67.20
Electors on the lists 93,250
Source: Thirty-fifth General Election, 1993: Official Voting Results, Published by the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. Financial figures taken from official contributions and expenses provided by Elections Canada.

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