Garth Turner

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The Honourable
John Garth Turner
PC
Garth Turner.jpg
Garth Turner at a town hall meeting in Oakville, Ontario (2008)
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Halton
In office
2006–2008
Preceded by Gary Carr
Succeeded by Lisa Raitt
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Halton—Peel
In office
1988–1993
Preceded by New riding
Succeeded by Julian Reed
31st Minister of National Revenue
In office
June 25, 1993 – November 3, 1993
Prime Minister Kim Campbell
Preceded by Otto Jelinek
Succeeded by David Anderson
Personal details
Born (1949-03-14) March 14, 1949 (age 65)
Woodstock, Ontario
Political party Liberal (2007-present)
Other political
affiliations
Conservative (2005-6)
Progressive Conservative (1988-1993)
Spouse(s) Dorothy Turner
Residence Caledon, Ontario; Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
Profession Author, columnist, journalist, teacher, licensed financial advisor, blogger

John Garth Turner, PC (born March 14, 1949) is a Canadian business journalist, best-selling author, entrepreneur, broadcaster, financial advisor and politician, twice elected as a Member of the House of Commons, former Minister of National Revenue and leadership candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. After serving as a PC MP between 1988 and 1993, he returned to political life as a candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2006 federal election, beating Liberal Gary Carr in the riding of Halton, Ontario. On October 18, 2006, the Conservative Party suspended him from the Conservative caucus for his independent stance and he sat as an Independent MP until February 6, 2007, when he joined the Liberal Party of Canada.[1] His great-grandfather, Ebenezer Vining Bodwell, was also a Liberal Member of Parliament.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Turner was born in Woodstock, Ontario, and educated at the University of Toronto Schools where he belonged to Cody house. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Arts in English literature from the University of Western Ontario.

Before entering a career in politics, Turner founded and owned weekly newspapers in Ontario,[examples needed] worked as an editor for The Globe and Mail, Metroland Publishing and Thomson Newspapers, and helped launch Maclean's as a newsweekly magazine. He was subsequently business editor of the Toronto Sun for ten years.

Progressive Conservative MP[edit]

Turner was elected as the Progressive Conservative (PC) MP for Halton—Peel in the 1988 election. A Red Tory, he became chairman of the consumer and corporate affairs committee. He became a candidate for the leadership of the PC Party in 1993, placing fourth on the first ballot. In the short-lived cabinet of Kim Campbell he was appointed Minister of National Revenue, but lost his seat in the 1993 election when his party was reduced to just two seats.

Financial commentator[edit]

After his election loss, Turner returned to journalism, becoming business editor for Baton Broadcasting and then the CTV network and authoring a series of books on real estate and personal finance. He became a popular public speaker on financial issues, syndicated newspaper columnist and radio broadcaster.

After parting with Baton and later CTV, he formed the television production company Millennium Media Television, which became the largest independent producer of network television programming in Canada.[citation needed] The company produced up to nine weekly series for broadcasters such as Global, CTV and YTV, and its 'Business Television' had the most substantial audience at the time for a financial program on Canadian television.[citation needed]

Also during this period, Turner became a public speaker, traveling the country and attracting crowds at events often sponsored by financial advisory companies, banks, mutual fund companies and real estate investment companies. He also authored a string of best-sellers, including '2015: After the Boom', 'The Strategy', 'The Defence', '2020' and an annual RRSP guide.[citation needed]

Turner was former CEO and founder of The Credit River Company, a Caledon-based destination and ecotourism company that was noted[by whom?] for the restoration of heritage buildings in the area. Turner served as national director of the Vancouver-based Sierra Legal Defence Fund, an organization dedicated to upholding environmental laws, resigning after his return to the House of Commons. His charity work included acting as a spokesperson for the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

In April 2008, Garth Turner added a new book to his library as an investment author. Greater Fool, The Troubled Future of Real Estate, detailed Turner's view of the dangers confronting middle class Canadians who reside in volatile urban real estate markets across the country. His subsequent book, "After the Crash", which was published in early 2009, is an examination of the financial crisis gripping North America. In an article published in newspapers in December 2008, the Canadian Press called 'Greater Fool' both "prescient" and "scarily bang-on."[citation needed] In February 2009, 'After the Crash' became a national bestseller, according to the Globe and Mail and Booknet Canada.[citation needed] It concentrates on financial forecasting and strategies for the 2010-2015 period.

In 2009, Turner launched an online retail operation, xurbia.ca, offering renewable and alternative energy products and equipment, as well as preparedness supplies,[citation needed] citing climate change[citation needed] and the ongoing economic downturn as precipitating factors. He also relaunched his pre-election eco-tourism business with the purchase of the historic (1855) Cataract Inn, in Caledon, Ontario, outside of Toronto.[citation needed] Turner also returned to his national speaking tours, focusing on investor education in a string of events once again sponsored by prominent companies in the financial services sector.

Conservative MP[edit]

Turner returned to politics with his election as a Conservative MP for Halton, which included most of the territory he had represented in his previous term, in the 2006 general election. Local political organizer Esther Shaye acted as his campaign manager.

Turner was very critical of former Liberal cabinet minister David Emerson's floor-crossing to the Conservatives. Turner called for Emerson to resign from Parliament and try to regain his seat in a by-election, saying that "anyone who crosses the floor ultimately should go back to the people for ratification and I stick by it and hopefully in this case that will happen...." [1]

Liberal MP[edit]

On October 18, 2006, the Ontario members of the Conservative caucus voted to suspend Turner for what they claimed were violations of caucus confidentiality as published in his weblog. Within hours, Turner was dismissed from the Conservative Party caucus, and ultimately from the Conservative Party of Canada, by edict of the party's political leadership. The Conservative Party never furnished evidence of Turner's alleged breaches of confidentiality, while Turner argued Prime Minister Stephen Harper could not tolerate an independent-minded MP within his caucus.

On October 19, 2006, the Toronto Star reported that Turner was being courted to become the first ever Green Party of Canada member of Parliament. Turner praised Green leader Elizabeth May on his blog and campaigned for her in her bid to win a seat in the London by-election.[3] According to Turner's weblog, his constituents were consulted over a number of weeks, and various options for action were considered: that he remain an independent Member of Parliament with no party affiliation; that he reconcile with the Conservative party; or that he join the Green Party. After a period of introspection and deliberation, on February 6, 2007 Turner surprised many observers by joining the Liberal Party caucus at the invitation of its leader, Stéphane Dion.

The Conservative Party has criticized this decision as contrary to Turner's often-declared principle of electoral accountability to voters. In response, Turner repeatedly offered to run in a by-election in his constituency of Halton, Ontario, should David Emerson and Wajid Khan (floor-crossing members in the Conservative caucus, each former Liberals) also run in by-elections in their constituencies held at the same time.

In the 2008 federal election, Turner ran unsuccessfully for the Liberal Party in Halton, being defeated by Conservative Lisa Raitt.

In April 2009, Turner published the book, "Sheeple: Caucus Confidential in Stephen Harper's Ottawa," through Key Porter Books. It is an account of his experiences within and without the caucus of the Conservative Party, and the clash between backroom-style politics and the open blogging Turner pioneered as a web-based MP.

Financial advisor[edit]

Turner works as a financial lecturer and an independent, fee-based, licensed financial advisor based in Toronto, with clients across the country. He is also a blogger, posting daily on economics and real estate at GreaterFool.ca. He has been used[examples needed] as a source of financial information by news organizations in Canada and the US.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Maverick MP Garth Turner joins Liberals". CBC News, February 6, 2007. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
  2. ^ garth.ca blog entry
  3. ^ "Maverick MP Turner resigns from Conservative party". CBC News, November 14, 2006. Retrieved 2014-06-09.

External links[edit]