John Tory

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John Tory
John Tory.jpg
Leader of the Opposition in Ontario
In office
March 29, 2005 – October 10, 2007
Preceded by Bob Runciman (interim)
Succeeded by Bob Runciman (interim)
Leader of the Ontario PC Party
In office
September 28, 2004[1] – March 20, 2009
Preceded by Ernie Eves
Succeeded by Bob Runciman (interim)
MPP for
Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey
In office
March 29, 2005 – October 10, 2007[2]
Preceded by Ernie Eves
Succeeded by Sylvia Jones
Personal details
Born John Howard Tory
(1954-05-28) May 28, 1954 (age 60)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Political party Ontario PC Party
Spouse(s) Barbara Hackett
Children John
Christopher
Susan
George
Alma mater Trinity College (UofT)
Osgoode Hall Law School (YorkU)
Profession Businessman
Lawyer
political activist
lobbyist
Religion Presbyterian
Website johntory.ca

John Howard Tory, OOnt (born May 28, 1954) is a Canadian businessman, political activist, former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, former Member of Provincial Parliament and broadcaster. He is a candidate for Mayor of Toronto in the 2014 election. He was the volunteer chair of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance from 2010 to 2014.

Tory was the runner-up in the 2003 Toronto municipal election to succeed Mel Lastman as Mayor of Toronto and lost to David Miller. Despite widespread speculation that he would run for mayor again in 2010, he announced in January that he would not be a candidate. On February 24, 2014, he registered as a candidate for the 2014 mayoral election.

Background[edit]

Tory was born in Toronto, Ontario, and is the son of John A. Tory, president of Thomson Investments Limited and a director of Rogers Communications. He has been married to Barbara Hackett since 1978. From 1972 to 1979, Tory was hired by family friend Ted Rogers as a journalist for Rogers Broadcasting's Toronto radio stations CFTR and CHFI.

Before enrolling in university, like his father and grandfather, he attended the University of Toronto Schools, a private high school affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Tory received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Trinity College, University of Toronto in 1975. He received his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1978 from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1980.

From 1980 to 1981, and later from 1986 to 1995, Tory held various positions at Tory, Tory, DesLauriers & Binnington including partner, managing partner, and member of the Executive Committee.

From 1981 to 1985, Tory served in the Office of the Premier of Ontario, Bill Davis as Principal Secretary to the Premier and Associate Secretary of the Cabinet. In 1985, Davis retired as Premier. Tory joined the Office of the Canadian Special Envoy on Acid Rain, as Special Advisor to the Special Envoy. The Special Envoy had been appointed by the federal government of Brian Mulroney to review matters of air quality with a United States counterpart. Tory supported Dianne Cunningham's bid to lead the provincial Progressive Conservative Party in 1990 (Toronto Star, 3 May 1990).

Tory later served as Tour Director and Campaign Chairman to then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and managed the 1993 federal election campaign of Mulroney's successor, Kim Campbell. Tory was criticized for approving a 1993 election ad that mocked Liberal Party leader Jean Chrétien's facial deformity (although the Conservatives denied that was the ad's intention). The Conservatives suffered the most lopsided defeat for a governing party at the federal level in Canadian history, losing half their vote from 1988 and all but two of their 151 seats.

From 1995 to 1999, he returned to Rogers Communications Inc., but this time as president and CEO of Rogers Media[3] which had become one of Canada's largest publishing and broadcasting companies. Rogers has interests in radio and television stations, specialty television channels, consumer magazines, trade magazines and, at the time, the Toronto Sun and the Sun newspaper chain. In 1999, he became president and CEO of Rogers subsidiary Rogers Cable,[3] Canada's largest cable television company and a leading video rental chain and cable Internet provider. He led it through a period of transition from a monopoly environment to an open marketplace, overseeing a significant increase in operating income. Tory stepped down after Ted Rogers announced that he would stay on as President and CEO of parent company Rogers Communications.

Tory also served as the ninth commissioner of the Canadian Football League from 1996 to 2000.[3]

Tory continued to have an interest in being a broadcaster throughout his life and, as a Rogers executive, hosted a public affairs program on Rogers Cable's community access channel for many years.

In 2012 he was made a member of the Order of Ontario in recognition for being "a consummate champion for the Greater Toronto Region as a founding member and chair of CivicAction and chairs and volunteers on countless fundraising campaigns".[4]

Currently sits as a Director of Metro Inc. The Quebec based parent corporation for Metro & Food Basics grocery stores. [5]

Toronto mayoral election campaign, 2003[edit]

After six years as a key backer of retiring Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman, Tory ran in the November 2003 election for Mayor of Toronto. He finished in second place, behind councillor David Miller and ahead of former mayor Barbara Hall, former councillor and Member of Parliament John Nunziata, and former councillor and budget chief Tom Jakobek.

Tory and Miller both entered the race with limited name recognition and support, but each quickly claimed a core base—Miller among progressives and Tory among more conservative voters. Meanwhile, Hall's initially commanding lead slowly dissipated over the course of the campaign, and the campaigns of both Nunziata and Jakobek were sidelined by controversies.

Tory's campaign came under fire when it was accused by opponent Nunziata of attempting to bribe him into pulling out of the race by offering the Deputy Mayor's position. At first, Nunziata did not reveal who attempted to bribe him but several media sources speculated that it was Tory's campaign. Besides denying these allegations, Tory also made the pledge to drop out from the race if a police investigation found out that any member of his team was charged with wrongdoing. When Tory was cleared of wrongdoing, Nunziata was in turn accused of mischief for making an unsubstantiated smear claim and sunk further in polls.

Tory also accepted an endorsement from the Toronto Police Association.

Tory held the traditional suburban conservative vote that had helped to elect Mel Lastman in the 1997 mayor's campaign, but lost the overall vote to Miller in a close race. After the election, Tory helped Miller and Hall raise funds to repay their campaign debts.

Election results as a mayoral candidate[edit]

2003 Toronto municipal election, Mayor of Torontoedit
Candidate Total votes  % of total votes
David Miller 299,385 43.26
John Tory 263,189 38.03
Barbara Hall 63,751 9.21
John Nunziata 36,021 5.20
Tom Jakobek 5,277 0.76
39 other candidates 24,462 3.53
Total valid votes 692,085 100.00

For full results, see Results of the 2003 Toronto election.

Leader of the Ontario PC Party[edit]

Ontario PC Party logo during Tory's tenure

In March 2004, Tory hinted that he would be seeking the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, after Ernie Eves announced his intention to resign from that post. The provincial PC leadership election was announced for September 18, 2004, and Tory made his candidacy official on May 6, 2004. John Laschinger was appointed to be Tory's campaign manager. Tory won the support of former provincial cabinet ministers Elizabeth Witmer, David Tsubouchi, Jim Wilson, Janet Ecker, Chris Hodgson, Cam Jackson, Phil Gillies and Bob Runciman as well as backbench Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) Norm Miller, Laurie Scott, Ted Arnott and John O'Toole.

Tory's opponents for the leadership post were former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Oak Ridges MPP Frank Klees, both from the right-wing faction of the party. Tory positioned himself as a centrist candidate, and defeated Flaherty 54% to 46% on the second ballot. When Flaherty later left provincial politics to seek a seat in the House of Commons of Canada as a member of the Conservative Party of Canada, Tory endorsed his former rival in the 2006 election; Flaherty was elected and was appointed Finance Minister. Tory also campaigned prominently with Flaherty's wife Christine Elliott in the provincial by-election held March 30, enabling her to win the seat formerly held by her husband.

Tory told the media in November 2004 that he would seek election to the legislature in time for the spring 2005 legislative session. On December 7, 2004, the Ontario Liberal Party announced that it would run a candidate against Tory in a by-election. This caused some controversy as the Liberal and Conservative parties in Canada have historically allowed major party leaders who do not have a parliamentary seat to enter the legislature unopposed, though this has been broken in recent years and the NDP have never followed such an unwritten rule.

On January 31, 2005, after much public speculation and some delay, Ernie Eves resigned his seat and cleared the way for Tory to run in Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, the safest Conservative seat in the province. As a "parachute candidate", Tory faced some criticism about his commitment to the riding. Nevertheless, he easily won the March 17, 2005 by-election with 56% of the vote. Former Premier Davis appeared for Tory's first session in the legislature as Progressive Conservative leader.

2007 Ontario general election[edit]

In the 2007 general election, Tory ran in the Toronto riding of Don Valley West, the area where he grew up, raised his family and lived most of his life.

Tory released his platform on June 9, 2007. The platform, A Plan for a Better Ontario, commits a PC government to eliminate the health care tax introduced by the previous government, put scrubbers on coal-fired plants,[6] address Ontario’s doctor shortage,[7] allow new private health care partnerships provided services are paid by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP),[8] impose more penalties on illegal land occupations in response to the Caledonia land dispute,[9] fast-track the building of nuclear power plants,[10] and invest the gas tax in public transit and roads.[11] A costing of the platform released in August estimates the PC promises will cost an additional $14 billion over four years.[12]

The PC campaign was formally launched on September 3.[13] Most of the campaign was dominated by discussion of his plan to extend public funding to Ontario’s faith-based, schools[14] during which John Tory supported allowing the teaching of creationism in schools.[15] Earlier in the year, indications were that the party would have been a strong contender to win the election, but the school funding promise resulted in the Liberals regaining the lead in popular support for the duration of the campaign.[16] Later in the campaign, in the face of heavy opposition, Tory promised a free vote on the issue.[17]

With the beginning of the official campaign period on September 10, the PC campaign made clear its intention to make the previous government’s record a key issue. In particular, Tory focused on the Liberals' 2003 election and 2004 pre-budget promise not to raise taxes and their subsequent imposition of a health care tax.[18]

On election night, Tory was defeated in Don Valley West by the incumbent MPP, Ontario Liberal Education Minister Kathleen Wynne.[19] Although Tory was defeated in both his riding of Don Valley West and the race for the premiership, he said that he would stay on as leader unless the party wanted him to resign.[16][19]

Leading from outside the legislature[edit]

As a result of the election loss, the party decided to hold a leadership review vote at its 2008 general party meeting in London.[20] Tory received 66.9 percent support, lower than internal tracking which showed him in the more comfortable 70 percent range. Three hours after the leadership review vote, Tory announced to the delegates that he would be staying on as leader.[21] He came under heavy criticism from several party members following this delay, with his opponents signalling that they will continue to call for an end to what they called his 'weak' leadership.[22] Other party members supported Tory, saying that his opponents should accept the results and move on.[21][22]

Throughout 2008, Tory's leadership of the party was perceived to be tenuous, as he faced widespread criticism for his seeming failure to convince a sitting MPP to resign in order to open a seat for him. Most notably, Bill Murdoch called for Tory to resign as party leader in September, resulting in his suspension from the party caucus on September 12.[23] Six days later, Murdoch was permanently expelled from the party caucus. In December 2008, media pundits speculated that Prime Minister Stephen Harper would appoint Progressive Conservative MPP Bob Runciman to the Senate to create a vacancy for Tory, but Harper did not do so.

On January 9, 2009, Progressive Conservative MPP Laurie Scott announced her resignation from the legislature, allowing Tory to run in the resulting by-election in Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock. In exchange for agreeing to resign, Scott was given the post of chair of the party's election preparedness committee until the 2011 election, and $100,000 in severance pay.[24][25] On March 5, 2009, he lost the by-election to Liberal candidate Rick Johnson.[26] Tory announced his resignation as party leader the next day and was subsequently replaced as leader by Niagara West—Glanbrook PC MPP Tim Hudak at the 2009 Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership election.[27]

Return to broadcasting[edit]

Several weeks following the end of his political career, Tory announced that he was returning to his first love, broadcasting, to host a Sunday evening phone-in show on Toronto talk radio station CFRB. The John Tory Show simulcast on CHAM in Hamilton and CKTB in St. Catharines.[28] He is also looking for opportunities in business, law or the non-profit sector.[29]

In the fall of 2009, CFRB moved Tory to its Monday to Friday afternoon slot, for a new show, Live Drive, airing from 4pm to 7pm.[30] The show first broadcast on October 5, 2009.[31] Tory's last broadcast was February 21, 2014 after which he declared his candidacy for mayor.[32]

2010 mayoral run speculation[edit]

Tory was considering challenging incumbent Mayor of Toronto David Miller in the 2010 municipal election as was Deputy Premier of Ontario George Smitherman.[30] On September 25, 2009, Miller announced he was not running for re-election.[33] Tory announced on January 7 that he was not running in order to continue his radio show and also become head of the Toronto City Summit Alliance.[34][35][36][37][38] On August 5, 2010, after a week of press speculation that he was about to re-enter the race, Tory confirmed that he would not be running in 2010 for Mayor of Toronto.[39]

2014 mayoral campaign[edit]

Tory registered as a candidate for the 2014 Toronto mayoral election on February 24, 2013. In his launch video he stated that building a Yonge Street Relief line is “job one” if elected mayor.[40] On May 27 he announced his Yonge Street relief plan, entitled SmartTrack, providing surface rail along existing GO train infrastructure with service from Unionville to Mississauga. SmartTrack is to be completed in 7 years.[41]

Election results[edit]

Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock by-election, March 5, 2009
resignation of Laurie Scott
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rick Johnson 15,482 43.73
Progressive Conservative John Tory 14,576 41.17
Green Mike Schreiner 2,352 6.64
New Democratic Lyn Edwards 2,117 5.98
Independent Jason Taylor 320 0.90
Family Coalition Jake Pothaar 258 0.73
Freedom Bill Denby 140 0.40
Independent John Turmel 92 0.26
Libertarian Paolo Fabrizio 71 0.20


Ontario general election, 2007: Don Valley West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Kathleen Wynne 23,059 50.4 -
Progressive Conservative John Tory 18,136 39.7 -
Green Adrian Walker 2,202 4.8 -
New Democratic Mike Kenny 2,135 4.7 -
Family Coalition Daniel Kidd 183 0.4 -


Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey by-election, March 17, 2005
resignation of Ernie Eves
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative John Tory 15,610 56.3
Liberal Bob Duncanson 4,625 16.7
New Democratic Lynda McDougall 3,881 14.0
Green Frank de Jong 2,767 10.0
Family Coalition Paul Micelli 479 1.7
Independent William Cook 163 0.6
Libertarian Philip Bender 135 0.5
Independent John Turmel 85 0.3


References[edit]

  1. ^ John Tory's profile on the OntLA website
  2. ^ Tory's term as MPP for Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey ended on October 10, 2007 as he is running in the Toronto riding of Don Valley West.
  3. ^ a b c John Tory's profile on the Ontario PC Party website
  4. ^ "27 Appointees Named To Ontario's Highest Honour". 
  5. ^ https://www.registreentreprises.gouv.qc.ca/RQAnonymeGR/GR/GR03/GR03A2_19A_PIU_RechEnt_PC/PageEtatRens.aspx?T1.JetonStatic=ca5a690b-8d07-4d15-82cc-1e65b0c6544c&T1.CodeService=S00436
  6. ^ Richard Brennan, Tory unveils $1.3B plan to clean Nanticoke smoke, Toronto Star, September 14, 2007.
  7. ^ Richard Brennan, Liberals haven't fixed MD shortage, says Tory, Toronto Star, September 12, 2007.
  8. ^ Kerry Gillespie Tory sees private health role, Toronto Star, September 19, 2007.
  9. ^ Karen Howlett, Tory vows tougher penalties for occupations, The Globe and Mail, September 23, 2007.
  10. ^ Rob Ferguson, Tory vows to fast-track nuke plants, Toronto Star, September 23, 2007.
  11. ^ Canadian Press, Tory: 'Millions' for transit, Toronto Star, September 14, 2007.
  12. ^ Richard Brennan, Tories release cost figures for 'prudent' platform, Toronto Star, August 30, 2007.
  13. ^ Canadian Press, Ontario's Tory boards the blue bus, The Globe and Mail, September 3, 2007
  14. ^ Caroline Alphonso, Ontario campaign starts with verbal attacks, The Globe and Mail, September 10, 2007.
  15. ^ Brennam, Richard (September 6, 2007). "Tory ignites creationism debate". Toronto Star. Retrieved September 20, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b CBC.ca - McGuinty only leader not facing leadership questions
  17. ^ Progressive Conservatives to soften position on faith-based schools: report
  18. ^ Shawn McCarthy, Tories slam health tax as ‘granddaddy of broken promises', The Globe and Mail, September 11, 2007.
  19. ^ a b CBC.ca - McGuinty wins massive majority, Tory loses seat
  20. ^ "Will provincial leaders stay, or go?", Toronto Star, October 15, 2007.
  21. ^ a b "Conservative Leader John Tory to remain after 67 per cent in leadership vote" — Canadian Press, February 23, 2008.[dead link]
  22. ^ a b "Critics assail 'weak' Tory", National Post, February 24, 2008.
  23. ^ MPP suspended for suggesting John Tory quit, Toronto Star, September 12, 2008.
  24. ^ "Tory gets a chance at last", Toronto Star, January 9, 2009.
  25. ^ http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/2009/01/13/mpp-stepping-aside-gets-100000-in-severance-pay
  26. ^ "Ont. P.C. Leader John Tory loses byelection bid", CTV News, March 5, 2009.
  27. ^ http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5h3C6d4A3xqrNhxLlHSCMmhqWgGww
  28. ^ John Tory to host show on CFRB, Toronto Star, April 24, 2009
  29. ^ http://www.cp24.com/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20090423/090423_bill_murdoch/20090423/?hub=CP24Home
  30. ^ a b "John Tory to host afternoon radio show". CBC News. September 23, 2009. 
  31. ^ "John Tory returns to radio roots". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). August 23, 2012. 
  32. ^ "LISTEN: John Tory tells Newstalk 1010 he's running for mayor". Newstalk 1010. February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Toronto mayor won't run again". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). August 23, 2012. 
  34. ^ Deibel, Linda (7 January 2010). "John Tory won't make a second run for mayor, source says". Toronto Star. Retrieved 7 January 2010. 
  35. ^ "T.O.'s Mayor Miller says he won't run for re-election", CTV News, September 25, 2009
  36. ^ "Who could be Toronto's next mayor?", Globe and Mail (online edition), September 25, 2009
  37. ^ "A list of potential mayoral candidates", National Post (online edition), September 25, 2009
  38. ^ "It's official: John Tory won't run for Toronto mayor", Toronto Star (online), January 7, 2010
  39. ^ "John Tory is officially out of mayoral race - again", Toronto Star, August 5, 2010
  40. ^ John Tory for Mayor of Toronto, Campaign Launch Video, Sunday February 23 2014. 
  41. ^ "John Tory unveils yet another Toronto transit plan, includes 53-km ‘relief line’ from Unionville to airport". National Post. May 27, 2014. Retrieved August 12, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Larry Smith
Canadian Football League commissioner
1996 - 2000
Succeeded by
Michael Lysko