|Preceded by||David Peterson|
|Succeeded by||riding dissolved|
March 26, 1946 |
|Political party||New Democrat|
Marion Boyd (born March 26, 1946) is a former Canadian politician, who represented the riding of London Centre in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1990 to 1999 as a member of the Ontario New Democratic Party.
In 1968, Boyd graduated from Glendon College with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and history. From 1968 to 1973, she worked as an assistant to the president of York University. In 1975-76, she helped the York University Faculty Members win their first union contract. She subsequently worked as an executive director of the London Battered Women's Advocacy Clinic, and served two terms as president of the London Status of Women Action Group. She is widely known as a feminist.
In 1985, Boyd was the NDP candidate in London North in the provincial election of 1985, but finished third against incumbent Liberal Robert Van Horne. She ran in London Centre in the 1987 election, and lost to sitting Premier David Peterson by almost 9,000 votes. She campaigned as a federal New Democrat in the 1988 general election, finished third behind Liberal Joe Fontana and Progressive Conservative Jim Jepson in London East.
Boyd sought a rematch against Peterson in the 1990 provincial election. This time she won, defeating the Premier by more than 8,000 votes. It is almost unheard of for a provincial premier to be defeated in his own riding, and the size of Boyd's victory was all the more shocking. The NDP won government in this election, and Premier Bob Rae appointed her Minister of Education on October 1, 1990. She also received responsibility for Women's Issues on September 11, 1991, and launched a high-profile campaign against domestic abuse in the same year. She was transferred to the Ministry of Community and Social Services on October 15, 1991.
Boyd was promoted to Attorney General of Ontario on February 3, 1993, the first woman to hold that position as well as the first non-lawyer. In this capacity, she was responsible for Bill 167, that would have granted benefits to same-sex couples. The bill failed on a free vote when twelve NDP members voted with the opposition parties against the bill. The bill's failure was a personal disappointment for Boyd, who had invested considerable effort in promoting its passage.
Boyd also approved a highly controversial plea-bargain deal that allowed serial killer Karla Homolka to receive a 12 year prison sentence in return for testimony which led to the conviction of Homolka's then-husband, Paul Bernardo. The deal was criticized in much of the Canadian media, and many questioned Boyd's judgment in the matter. At the time the extent of Homolka's personal involvement in Bernardo's crimes was not known.
Boyd remained as Attorney General until the Rae government was defeated in the 1995 election. She was one of seventeen NDP MPPs to successfully retain their seats in that election, defeating PC candidate Patrick McGuinness by fewer than 2,000 votes. Boyd remained a high-profile MPP, serving as the NDP's Health Critic from 1997 to 1999.
The London Centre riding was eliminated by redistribution in 1996. Boyd ran against fellow incumbent Dianne Cunningham of the Progressive Conservative Party in London North Centre, and lost by just over 1,700 votes.
|Provincial Government of Bob Rae|
|Cabinet Posts (3)|
|Howard Hampton||Attorney General
also named Minister of Justice and Responsible for Women's Issues
|Zanana Akande||Minister of Community and Social Services
Also Responsible for Women's Issues
|Sean Conway||Minister of Education
Electoral record (Federal)
|Canadian federal election, 1988|
|Progressive Conservative||Jim Jepson||19,445||37.5%||-9.7%|
|New Democratic||Marion Boyd||12,667||24.4%||-2.5%|
Electoral record (provincial)
|Ontario general election, 1985|
|Liberal||Ronald Van Horne||20,536||54.4%||+4.8%|
|Progressive Conservative||George Auold||11,433||30.3%||-7.7%|
|New Democratic||Marion Boyd||5,191||13.8%||+1.4%|
|Ontario general election, 1987|
|New Democratic||Marion Boyd||9,266||28.1%||+11.0%|
|Progressive Conservative||Dennis McKaig||3,864||11.7%||-14.8%|
|Family Coalition||Brenda Rowe||695||2.1%||+2.1%|
|Ontario general election, 1990|
|New Democratic||Marion Boyd||17,837||51.3%||+23.2%|
|Progressive Conservative||Mark Handelman||5,348||15.4%||+3.7%|
|Family Coalition||John Van Geldersen||982||2.8%||+0.7%|
|Ontario general election, 1995|
|New Democratic||Marion Boyd||11,096||36.8%||-14.5%|
|Progressive Conservative||Patrick McGuinness||9,364||31.0%||+15.6%|
|Family Coalition||Mike Dwyer||1,041||3.5%||+0.7%|
|Natural Law||Liz Overall||134||0.4%||+0.4%|
|Ontario general election, 1999|
|Progressive Conservative||Dianne Cunningham||18,320||40.21|
|New Democratic||Marion Boyd||16,611||36.46|
|Family Coalition||Andrew Jezierski||466||1.02|
|Natural Law||Stephen Porter||120||0.26|
|Total valid votes||45,557||100.00|
In 2000, she was appointed as chair to the Task Force on the Health Effects of Woman Abuse. It was convened in response to the problem of domestic violence against women. Later that year the task force produced a report with 29 recommendations. The key conclusion was that doctors should begin screening female patients as young as 12 years old for signs of abuse.
In December 2003, it came to light that religious tribunals had some legal basis under the Arbitration Act. Some argued that this interpretation allowed for Muslim Sharia law to be applied in settling family disputes. In the spring of 2004, the issue flared up even more with some claiming that the use of Sharia law tribunals was infringing on the rights of Muslim women. In the summer of 2004, Premier Dalton McGuinty asked Boyd to investigate the issue.
In December 2004, she released a report that found no evidence of complaints with regards to faith-based arbitration. She concluded that no changes to the act were needed with respect to religious tribunals. She made 46 recommendations for changes to the Arbitration Act mainly dealing with training of arbitrators and clarifying the roles and responsibilities of tribunals. Those opposed to religious dispute resolution attacked her findings while others, including lawyer Faisal Kutty commended her for a balanced review of the issue. In 2005, in response to public opinion, McGuinty ignored Boyd's main conclusion and tabled changes to the act under the Family Statute Law Amendment Act. While incorporating many of Boyd's recommendations, the act specifically removed any legal status for the arbitration of custodial and marital disputes by religious tribunals. The act mandated that all family law arbitrations in Ontario be conducted only in accordance with Canadian law. Opponents welcomed the decision while proponents argued that this was a great loss in terms of integration. Lawyer and legal academic Faisal Kutty argued that he controversy was a prime case to examine whether Islamic law and liberal democracy can co-exist within a liberal constitutional framework. He also argued that "Ontario also delayed an opportunity to indigenize or Canadianize Islamic law rulings in a manner that would help in the integration process of its Muslim citizens."
Boyd currently works as an environmental business consultant and mediator.
- Hall, Joseph (September 14, 1990). "Social activist eager to make changes". Toronto Star. p. A11.
- Zarzour, Kim (July 21, 1987). "Police lax on wife-beaters, critics say". Toronto Star. p. D1.
- Canadian Press (May 3, 1985). "Across the province". Toronto Star. p. A13.
- "Here's how red tide swamped Ontario - riding by riding; Peterson's Liberals romp to victory". The Gazette (Montreal). September 11, 1987. p. A6.
- "Riding-by-riding look at election results from across the country". The Ottawa Citizen. November 22, 1988. p. B6.
- Swanson, Lynne (Mar 21, 2000). "Abuse against women a public health issue: MD". Canadian Medical Association Journal 162 (6): 848.
- Swanson, Lynne (November 28, 2000). "Task force recommends screening females for abuse beginning at age 12". Canadian Medical Association Journal 163 (11): 1492.
- Hogben, Alia. "Arbitration and Family Laws: Muslim Women Campaign to Eliminate the Use of Religious Laws in Legally-Binding Arbitration". Canadian Woman Studies 25 (Summer 2006): 133–136.
- Hurst, Lynda (May 22, 2004). "Ontario sharia tribunals assailed; Women fighting use of Islamic law But backers say rights protected". Toronto Star. p. A1.
- "Faisal Kutty, Lawyers Weekly, January 21, 2005 COMMENTARY: “Boyd’s recommendations balance needs of religious communities with rights of vulnerable”"
- Urquhart, Ian (February 11, 2006). "Sharia, pensions, health care on MPPs' agenda". Toronto Star. p. F5.
- "McGuinty Government Modernizes Provincial Laws". Ottawa: Canada NewsWire. June 22, 2006.
- “The Myth and Reality of 'Shari'a' Courts in Canada: A Delayed Opportunity for the Indigenization of Islamic Legal Rulings”