Charmaine Borg

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Charmaine Borg
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Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Terrebonne—Blainville
Assumed office
June 2, 2011
Preceded by Diane Bourgeois
Personal details
Born (1990-11-03) November 3, 1990 (age 24)
Oakville, Ontario[1]
Political party New Democratic Party
Residence Montreal
Profession Community activist, labour relations officer, student, volunteer worker

Charmaine Borg is the New Democratic Party Member of Parliament for the riding of Terrebonne—Blainville in Quebec, having been first elected in the 2011 Canadian federal election. She defeated incumbent MP Diane Bourgeois of the Bloc Québécois.

A Montreal resident, Borg was born on 3 November 1990 in Keswick, Ontario as one of seven children.[2] She is a Franco-Ontarian, and is fully bilingual in French and English.[3] However, she prefers to speak French on the floor of the House of Commons. She is of Maltese descent.

Early years[edit]

After creating a drama program for at-risk youth, she won the Lieutenant Governor's Community Volunteer Award in 2008.[4]

At the time of her election, she was a student studying political science and Latin American studies at McGill University[5] and was also working as the Labour Relations Officer for the Association of McGill University Support Employees.[4] She was also co-president of the student New Democratic Party club at McGill University.[6]

Entrance to politics[edit]

She was one of five current McGill students, alongside fellow undergraduates Mylène Freeman, Laurin Liu, and Matthew Dubé, and graduate student Jamie Nicholls, elected to Parliament in the federal 2011 election following the NDP's unexpected mid-campaign surge in Quebec.[7] Not only did Borg win a seat in the 2011 election, but that election was the first time she had ever voted in a federal election.[8] She is the third-youngest member of the current Parliament, after Liu and Pierre-Luc Dusseault, and one of the youngest women ever elected to Parliament.

Borg and Dubé were co-presidents of NDP McGill (the NDP student group at McGill University) at the time that they both won election to Parliament, and both had spent the campaign working to re-elect Thomas Mulcair in the nearby riding of Outremont.[9][10][11] Borg had originally planned to spend the Fall 2011 term as a foreign exchange student in Mexico.[7]

In Parliament[edit]

In Parliament, Borg was named to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights,[12] where she intervened against the Conservative government's omnibus crime bill, C-10, and the closure imposed on its debate,[13][14] as well as Bill C-30, the Conservative bill on warrantless online surveillance.[15] In the Fall of 2012, Borg embarked on a tour across Eastern Canada and the Maritimes to increase pressure on the Conservative government to abandon the bill.[16] After months of public backlash, the Conservative government finally scrapped Bill C-30 in February 2013. Borg called the death of this bill a "great victory and a way forward for politics." [17]

In the leadership race following the death of NDP leader Jack Layton, Borg endorsed Brian Topp.[18]

On November 12, she was profiled by CPAC's Beyond Politics.[2]


In 2012, Borg embarked on a cross country tour to rally support for a Private Member's Motion she presented, M-352, to reinstate Federal funding to the recently cut Katimavik program.[19][unreliable source?]

Digital Issues[edit]

In April 2012, newly elected NDP leader Thomas Mulcair appointed Borg to the Shadow Cabinet of the Official Opposition. She was given the position of Digital Issues Critic,[20] and became the youngest full critic in the history of Canada. Simultaneously, she was transferred from the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to the Standing Committee on Ethics, Privacy and Access to Information.[21] In one of her first acts as Digital Issues Critic, Borg launched at study at the Ethics, Privacy and Access to Information Committee to investigate the privacy practices of social media companies.[22] During the study's hearings, MPs heard from numerous experts and industry representatives including Facebook, Twitter and Google.[23][24]

Bill C-475[edit]

Following through on the study into social media and privacy, Borg presented Bill C-475 to the House of Commons in February 2013. The bill seeks to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) to introduce mandatory data breach reporting and enforcement powers to the Privacy Commissioner.[25][unreliable source?][26] Bill C-475 has received the endorsements of several privacy and internet experts, along with consumer protection and civil liberties groups.[27]

A campaign called "My Privacy Online" was launched to support the progression of Bill C-475 through the House of Commons.[27] The bill saw its first hour of debate at First Reading on May 23, 2013, the same day that the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released a position paper calling for similar reforms to PIPEDA.[28]

Bill C-486[edit]

In response to calls from youth in her constituency of Terrebonne-Blainville,[29] Borg collaborated with and seconded MP Paul Dewar's Bill C-486 in March 2013.[30] Bill C-486 seeks to end the use of conflict minerals in Canada, particularly those originating in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa.

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
New Democratic Charmaine Borg 28,236 49.4 +35.9% 0.00
Bloc Québécois Diane Bourgeois 17,634 30.8 -21.5% 60,548.03
Conservative Jean-Philippe Payment 5,222 9.1 -4.9% 21,165.08
Liberal Robert Frégeau 4,885 8.5 -8% 19,287.41
Green Michel Paulette 1,218 2.1 0% 37.24


  1. ^ "PARLINFO - Parliamentarian File - Complete File - BORG, Charmaine". 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  2. ^ a b Profile of Charmaine Borg on CPAC's Beyond Politics
  3. ^ Scott, Marian (May 4, 2011), "Five McGill students elected as NDP MPs", The Vancouver Sun, retrieved May 4, 2011 
  4. ^ a b "Charmaine Borg". New Democratic Party. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Canada's youngest MPs confident they have what it takes". Toronto Star. Lorianna De Giorgio.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ Curry, Bill (May 3, 2011), "Students, ex-Communist, a Cree leader and more join NDP's swollen Quebec ranks", The Globe and Mail (Toronto), retrieved May 3, 2011 
  7. ^ a b "McGill 5 head off to House of Commons". The Gazette. May 4, 2011. 
  8. ^ Kevin Dougherty (May 5, 2011). "Mulcair will be NDP rookies' playing coach". The Gazette. 
  9. ^ Nathaniel Finestone (April 5, 2011). "Political clubs gear up for election". McGill Tribune. 
  10. ^ Bill Curry (May 3, 2011). "Students, ex-Communist, a Cree leader and more join NDP’s swollen Quebec ranks". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 
  11. ^ Tamsin McMahon (May 4, 2011). "The REALLY New Democrats". National Post. 
  12. ^ Hansard, 9 December 2011
  13. ^ "Défendre la démocratie." 18 November 2011.
  14. ^ Chris Plecash (31 October 2011). "After a month of hearings on Bill C-10, price tag for tough-on-crime agenda remains unclear". The Hill Times. 
  15. ^ "NDP gears up to fight Conservatives’ snooping law." 15 September 2011.
  16. ^ "Bill C-30 talk raises concerns over warrantless access |". 2012-11-13. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  17. ^ "Bill C-30: Tories kill controversial Internet surveillance bill | National Post". Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  18. ^ Tobi Cohen (31 October 2011). "Student-turned-NDP-MP who worked for Mulcair endorses Topp". 
  19. ^ "News for the rest of us". Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  20. ^ "NDP shadow cabinet". CBC News. April 20, 2012. 
  21. ^ "House of Commons Committees - ETHI - ARCHIVE (41-1) - Membership". Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  22. ^ CBC News  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ CBC News  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ "House of Commons Committees - ETHI (41-1) - Privacy and Social Media in the Age of Big Data - PRIVACY AND SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE AGE OF BIG DATA". Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  25. ^ "NDP MP Charmaine Borg Tries To Kickstart Canada's Dormant Privacy Reform - Michael Geist". 2013-02-27. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  26. ^ "NDP wants to better protect Canadians’ privacy rights | Canada's NDP / NPD du Canada". 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  27. ^ a b "Home » My Privacy Online". Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  28. ^ "New Democrats part of a growing consensus on privacy law reforms | Canada's NDP / NPD du Canada". 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  29. ^ "Commission scolaire des Affluents". Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  30. ^ "New Democrats take action to end the use of conflict minerals | Canada's NDP / NPD du Canada". 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 

External links[edit]