||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2011)|
|MPP for Timmins—James Bay|
|Preceded by||First Member|
|MPP for Cochrane South|
|Preceded by||Alan Pope|
|Succeeded by||Riding Dissolved|
May 14, 1957 |
|Political party||New Democratic Party|
Gilles Bisson (born May 14, 1957) is a Franco-Ontarian Canadian politician who has represented the northern riding of Timmins—James Bay in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario since 1990. He is a member of the Ontario New Democratic Party, and currently serves as the party whip and as critic for the Ministries of Natural Resources, Northern Development and Mines, Aboriginal Affairs, Francophone Affairs and Transportation.
On August 29, 2008, Bisson announced he would run to succeed Howard Hampton in the 2009 Ontario New Democratic Party leadership election. Bisson was defeated, finishing in third place behind first runner-up Peter Tabuns and the victor, Andrea Horwath.
Before entering politics, Bisson was a labour union organizer, who worked for the Ontario Federation of Labour (of which he was the Northeast Director for a time). He also worked with the United Steelworkers of America on a project aimed at encouraging the Workers Compensation Board of Ontario to recognize lung cancer as a compensable industrial disease.
A licensed private pilot, Bisson owns a small aircraft which he uses to fly between communities in his far-flung riding, the legislative seat in Toronto and elsewhere. Bisson was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets with #10 Timmins Kiwanis Squadron. He graduated with the rank of Flight Sergeant.
Bisson is married, is the father of two daughters and is a grandfather of three.
Bisson presently serves as third party house leader and is the critic for transportation.
Bisson was first elected to the Ontario legislature in the provincial election of 1990, defeating Liberal Frank Krznaric by about 2,000 votes in the old riding of Cochrane South. He served as parliamentary assistant to the Ministers of Northern Development and Mines and Francophone Affairs in Bob Rae's government, and also served as a member of the cabinet committee on the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993.
Although the NDP were defeated in the provincial election of 1995, Bisson significantly increased the margin of his victory in Cochrane South. He was, in fact, the only NDP candidate elected with more than 50% riding support in that cycle. He was easily re-elected in the 1999 election, and fought off a closer challenge from Liberal Michael Doody, a former mayor of Timmins and broadcaster, in the election of 2003.
- Ontario Legislative Assembly Parliamentarian History , Accessed 14 April 2011