John Henry (politician)

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John Henry
John Henry 2013.jpg
Henry in 2013
Mayor of Oshawa, Ontario
Assumed office
December 1, 2010
Preceded by John Gray
Councillor, Ward 5, Oshawa, Ontario
In office
Preceded by Cathy Clarke
Succeeded by Position abolished[note 1]
Personal details
Born (1960-07-30) July 30, 1960 (age 54)
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Spouse(s) Katherine
Children 2
Profession Business Owner

John G. Henry, (born July 30, 1960) is a municipal politician in Ontario, Canada. He was elected Mayor of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada on October 25, 2010. Before that he served as councillor from 2006 to 2010.


Henry was born in Oshawa, Ontario. The son of Oshawa General Motors workers, he attended RS McLaughlin CVI High School. Henry is a graduate of Durham College, George Brown College and Panasonic's Corporate School. Henry trained as an Industrial Fire Fighter at the Louisiana State University, Ice Rescue Specialist at the Rochester Police Academy, Dive Rescue Specialist, Level 1 at the University of Michigan. Henry represented Canada at the Fist International Dive Rescue Program at the University of Colorado.[1]

He is the owner of Office Products and Services, (not able to verify) an Oshawa company serving Durham Region and the GTA.[1] His wife Katherine, is a pharmacist/owner of a Shoppers Drug Mart store in Oshawa. They have two children, Danielle and Jessica.[1][2]

City Councillor[edit]

Henry ran for the position of Oshawa councillor Ward 5 in 2003 but was defeated by incumbent Cathy Clarke by 734 votes.[3] He tried again in 2006 this time defeating her by 349 votes.[4] His campaign focused on city hall accountability, developing new sources of revenue and managing spending.[5]

In 2007, Oshawa council voted to do away with the ward system that had been in place since 1985. Henry voted to return the election to a system of electing councillors at-large, which had been the historical system from 1933 to 1985. The vote was a result of a referendum held the previous year where a majority of voters preferred the old system. Henry said, "I'm not prepared to say people's vote doesn't matter...anything short of supporting this would be an insult to the residents of this city."[6]

During his time as councillor, Henry unlike other councillors paid for his municipal expenses out of his own pocket.[7]

Mayor of Oshawa[edit]

In 2010, Henry ran for Mayor of Oshawa. He defeated the incumbent John Gray by 6,295 votes.[8] There was widespread dissatisfaction with Gray's record including his decision to drive a taxpayer funded vehicle, a 2010 Camaro SS and for approving use of city funds to pay MBA education expenses for his executive assistant and another councillor.[9] Due to Henry's expense policy for his election campaign and his previous councillor work he was dubbed "Rob Ford East" by the Toronto Sun.[10]

On September 3, 2013, a raucous council meeting resulted in two members of the public being arrested. The issue being discussed at the meeting was a report by the city's auditor general about a real estate deal. When city security staff tried to deal with them, a struggle ensued. Undercover Durham Regional Police officers who were also sitting in the room then arrested two men and charged them with assault.[11][12] The charges against them and the security men involved were all withdrawn at a later date.[13]



  1. ^ Oshawa voted in 2007 to change councillor elections from a ward system to an at-large system.


  1. ^ a b c "John Henry". This Week (Oshawa, Ontario). September 22, 2006. p. 1. 
  2. ^ "The City of Oshawa: Past, Present and Future" (PDF). The Local Biz Magazine. Spring 2012. pp. 7–9. 
  3. ^ "GTA Votes: Durham Region". Toronto Star. November 11, 2003. p. B8. 
  4. ^ "Ajax". Toronto Star. November 14, 2006. p. B8. 
  5. ^ Follert, Jillian (November 14, 2006). "Two new faces on council". This Week (Oshawa). p. 1. 
  6. ^ Follert, Jillian (May 1, 2007). "Good bye ward system". This Week (Oshawa). p. 1. 
  7. ^ Follert, Jillian (September 3, 2010). "Oshawa council spends expense cash on BlackBerries, advertising, meals, galas". This Week (Oshawa). p. 1. 
  8. ^ "Municipal Elections: 2010 Election Results". City of Oshawa. Retrieved January 3, 2014. 
  9. ^ Fraser, Tim (October 27, 2010). "Results from across the GTA; The Ontario tally". National Post. p. A15. 
  10. ^ Strobel, Mike (October 25, 2010). "Rob Ford East' wins in Oshawa". Toronto Sun. 
  11. ^ Peter Kuitenbrouwer (December 3, 2013). "'Reign of terror' and arrests at Oshawa council makes a Toronto boy feel right at home". National Post. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  12. ^ Szekely, Reka (September 4, 2013). "Oshawa mayor happy about plainclothes cops at council meeting". Oshawa This Week. 
  13. ^ "Charges dropped against second Oshawa activist arrested during council meeting". Oshawa This Week. January 10, 2014. 

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