Christopher Bentley

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Christopher Bentley
Ontario MPP
In office
October 2, 2003 – February 14, 2013
Preceded by Bob Wood
Succeeded by Peggy Sattler
Constituency London West
Personal details
Born 1956 (age 57–58)
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Wendy
Children 2
Occupation lawyer

Christopher "Chris" Bentley (born ca. 1956)[1] is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. He is the former member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for London West, and was a cabinet minister in the Liberal government of Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Background[edit]

Bentley received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, and obtained a law degree from the University of Toronto in 1979. Two years later, he obtained a Master's degree from Cambridge University in England. Bentley has practiced criminal and labour law, with the firm of Bentley & LeRoy LLP. In 1985, he was a founder and first chairperson of Neighbourhood Legal Services London & Middlesex, a legal clinic intended to assist low-income clients.

Since 1992, Bentley has worked as a part-time professor at Western. He helped establish the university's Law School Careers Office, and has lectured at various continuing education courses. In 2000, he published a book entitled Criminal practice manual: A practical guide to handling criminal cases.

Member of Provincial Parliament[edit]

Bentley ran for the provincial legislature in the 2003 general election, contesting the riding of London West as a Liberal. He was successful, defeating incumbent Progressive Conservative Bob Wood by over 10,000 votes. The Liberals won the election, and Bentley was appointed Minister of Labour on October 23, 2003. After a cabinet shuffle on June 29, 2005, he was named as Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Bentley was re-elected in the 2007 election and was named Attorney General of Ontario shortly thereafter. In January 2010 he was assigned the additional portfolio of Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

He retained his seat in the October 2011 provincial election and was named Minister of Energy. Bentley was soon mired in a controversy over the government's decision made during the election campaign to scrap unpopular gas plants being constructed in Mississauga and Oakville - the move was seen as a politically expedient one made to improve the Liberal Party's chances of retaining the 5 ridings it held in the area. The election returned a minority government and the emboldened opposition demanded that Bentley's ministry release all documents related to the decision. Bentley delayed prior to releasing 36,000 pages in September and insisted that all documents had been released. After it became known that there were an additional 20,000 documents Bentley was cited by a rare contempt motion by a legislative committee and was facing a contempt motion of the legislature when McGuinty unexpectedly ended the legislative session by proroguing the legislature on October 15.[2]

Previously, Bentley had widely been seen as Premier Dalton McGuinty's heir apparent but on October 25, 2012, ten days after McGuinty announced his resignation, Bentley announced that he would not be a candidate in the Liberal Party leadership convention being held to choose McGuinty's successor and that he too would be leaving politics.[3] Bentley resigned his seat in the legislature effective February 14, 2013.[4]

Electoral record[edit]

Ontario general election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Chris Bentley 22,616 45.7 -6.8
Progressive Conservative Ali Chahbar 14,601 29.5 +5.2
New Democratic Jeff Buchanan 10,757 21.7 +10.6
Green Gary Brown 1,194 2.4 -8.0
Freedom Tim Hodges 300 0.6 +0.2
Republican Chris Gupta 61 0.1 -0.1
Total valid votes 49,529 100.0
Ontario general election, 2007
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Chris Bentley 26,089 52.5 +0.74
Progressive Conservative Allison Graham 12,085 24.3 -6.81
New Democratic Paul Pighin 5,534 11.1 -3.79
Green Gary Brown 5,181 10.4 +8.78
Family Coalition Andrew Jezierski 266 0.5
Freedom Paul McKeever 215 0.4 -0.53
Independent Mike Reynolds 206 0.4
Republican Chris Gupta 82 0.2
Ontario general election, 2003
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Chris Bentley 25,581 51.46 +7.12
Progressive Conservative Bob Wood 15,463 31.11 -13.81
New Democratic Patti Dalton 7,403 14.89 +5.76
Green Laura Wythe 805 1.62 +1.01
Freedom Bill Frampton 460 0.93 +0.46

References[edit]

  1. ^ Howlett, Karen; Campbell, Murray (October 30, 2007). "McGuinty turns to veterans for top cabinet jobs". The Globe and Mail. p. A12. 
  2. ^ Mills, Carys (October 26, 2012). "Energy Minister Chris Bentley ‘thrown under the bus’". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ Canadian Press (October 26, 2012). "Chris Bentley to quit politics". CBC News. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Energy Minister Chris Bentley to resign his seat". Toronto Star. February 8, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 

External links[edit]


Provincial Government of Dalton McGuinty
Cabinet Posts (4)
Predecessor Office Successor
Brad Duguid Minister of Energy
2011-2013
Bob Chiarelli
Michael Bryant Attorney General of Ontario
2007-2011
John Gerretsen
Mary Anne Chambers Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
2005-2007
John Milloy
Brad Clark Minister of Labour
2003-2005
Steve Peters