Michael Chong

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The Honourable
Michael Chong
Michael Chong.jpg
Michael Chong in Guelph, 2014
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Wellington—Halton Hills
Assumed office
Preceded by new riding
Personal details
Born Michael David Chong
(1971-11-22) November 22, 1971 (age 43)
Windsor, Ontario
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Carrie Davidson
Residence Elora, Ontario
Alma mater University of Toronto
Profession Information technology executive

Michael David Chong, PC, MP, BA (born November 22, 1971) is a Canadian politician. He has represented the riding of Wellington—Halton Hills in the Canadian House of Commons since 2004. He served in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Sport, as well as the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada from February 6, 2006 to November 27, 2006. Chong is a member of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Early life and career[edit]

Chong was born to a Hong Kong father[1] and a Dutch mother in Windsor, Ontario. He was raised near Fergus in Wellington County, and from Centre Wellington District High School. He studied for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History at the University of Toronto's Trinity College, interrupting his studies to take a job with Canadian Tire.[2] He later completed his degree in Philosophy.[3] Chong has worked in information technology, holding senior positions at Barclays Bank and Research Capital Corporation. Prior to his election, he worked as Chief Information Officer for the National Hockey League Players Association and was a senior technology consultant at the GTAA for the redevelopment of Toronto Pearson International Airport.[4]

Chong was a founding member of The Dominion Institute.[5] He served on the board of the Groves Memorial Hospital from 2002 to 2004, later serving on the board of the Elora Festival and Elora Festival Singers as well as the Corporation of Trinity College.

Chong is married to Caroline (Carrie) Joan Davidson who is a descendant of William Whiteway, a pro-Confederation politician who served as Premier of Newfoundland in the 1890s.[6][7] They have three sons, William (born 2004), Alistair (born 2007) and Cameron (born 2009), and live just outside of Fergus in Wellington County.


Chong joined the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in the late 1980s.[8] He ran for parliament in the 2000 federal election as a Progressive Conservative, and finished third Waterloo—Wellington against incumbent Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) Lynn Myers. Chong supported Peter MacKay for the leadership of the federal PC party in 2003.[9]

Conservative MP[edit]

In early 2004, the Progressive Conservatives merged with the Canadian Alliance to create the Conservative Party of Canada. Chong joined the new party, and in March 2004 defeated Marty Burke to win its nomination for Wellington—Halton Hills.[10] He was elected in the 2004 federal election, defeating Liberal Bruce Hood by over 2,000 votes.

Chong is primarily known as a fiscal conservative, and is considered a moderate in his party. He declared his personal support for the Kyoto Protocol during the 2004 federal election, despite his party's opposition to the measure.[11] He supported Elizabeth Witmer's bid to lead the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in 2001-02, and supported John Tory for the same position in 2004.[12]

Chong wrote an opinion editorial for the Globe and Mail newspaper in late 2004 entitled "Canadians without hyphens", criticizing John Barber's suggestion that there were not enough Chinese-Canadian MPs representing areas with large Chinese populations. Chong noted he was elected in a riding with a 97% caucasian population, while John McCallum was elected in Markham—Unionville, which is more than 60% Asian. Chong argued that these results reflected his idea of Canada, adding that he favoured the creation of a "common Canadian identity that will allow for greater understanding among ethnic groups".[13]

Like most Conservative MPs, Chong voted against the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in Canada in 2005. A majority of MPs from other parties supported the measure, however, and same-sex marriages were granted legal recognition. In December 2006, Chong reversed his previous position and became one of thirteen Conservative MPs to vote against re-opening the marriage debate.[14]

Cabinet minister[edit]

Chong was re-elected in the 2006 federal election. In February 2006, he was appointed to the cabinet in Stephen Harper's government as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, and Minister of Sport. He was the second Chinese-Canadian cabinet minister in Canadian history, after Raymond Chan. On November 27, 2006, Michael Chong resigned his cabinet post as he did not support a government motion recognizing the Québécois as a nation within a united Canada.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister[edit]

In the buildup to the 2006 federal budget, Chong met with various provincial representatives to discuss ways of approaching Canada's equalization formula between the federal government and the provinces. Prior to the budget's release, he described the existing system as "a mess".[15] Some politicians in Ontario expressed concern that the deal would be unduly favourable to Quebec and unfavourable to their province.[16] Later in the year, Harper government indicated that it would automatically transfer future surpluses to the provinces.[17]

In September 2006, the Canadian media reported that the Harper government was considering a plan to transfer $3 billion to the provinces each year. Every province except Newfoundland and Labrador would gain revenue, with Quebec gaining the most at $1.1 billion.[18]

Minister of Sport[edit]

In early 2006, Chong said that his government would fulfill an election pledge to devote 1% of federal health spending (about $350 million) to health promotion and amateur sports.[19] He represented the Harper government as a representative at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.[20] This funding did not appear in the 2006 budget, although the Harper government introduced an annual sports tax credit of $80 per child.[21]

In June 2006, Chong indicated that the federal government would not provide federal funding to the "Out Games", a gay-and-lesbian themed athletic competition held in Montreal.[22] The following month, Chong provided $395,000 to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, to make its collection accessible online.[23] He has also discussed the possibility of restarting Canada's ParticipACTION program, which encourages ordinary citizens to become more involved in sports and athletic events.[24] The program was restarted in February 2007, after Chong resigned from cabinet.[25]

Chong pledged $3.5 million to the 2008 North American Indigenous Games in early November 2006.[26] Later in the same month, he announced the creation of Podium Canada to consolidate Canada's medal strategies for the Summer and Winter Olympics.[27]


Chong opposes using the Great Lakes as a water source for inland communities. He has expressed concern about depopulation in rural Ontario, and supports continued door-to-door rural mail service programs.[28]


Chong unexpectedly resigned from cabinet on November 27, 2006, to express his opposition to a motion before the House of Commons, put forward by Prime Minister Harper, which recognized "the Québécois as a nation within a united Canada". Chong said that the motion was akin to ethnic nationalism, which he opposes. During the press conference he held to announce his decision, he said "I believe in one nation, undivided, called Canada".[29]

Table of offices held[edit]

28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper
Cabinet Posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
Peter Van Loan
Lucienne Robillard Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Peter Van Loan
Special Cabinet Responsibilities
Title Successor
Stephen Owen Minister for Sport
Peter Van Loan
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
riding created in 2004
Member of Parliament for Wellington—Halton Hills
Succeeded by

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2011: Wellington—Halton Hills
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Michael Chong 35,132 63.70 +6.07
Liberal Barry Peters 9,034 16.38 -5.95
New Democratic Anastasia Zavarella 7,146 12.96 +3.59
Green Brent Bouteiller 3,527 6.37 -3.47 9,592.53
Christian Heritage Jeffrey Streutker 316 0.57 -0.24
Total valid votes/Expense limit 55,155 100.00 $89,278.64
Total rejected ballots 154 0.28
Turnout 55,309 67.27
Eligible voters 82,215
Canadian federal election, 2008: Wellington—Halton Hills
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Michael Chong 29,191 57.63 +6.97 $67,429
Liberal Bruce Bowser 11,312 22.33 -6.83 $71,000
Green Brent Bouteiller 4,987 9.84 +3.74 $1,497
New Democratic Noel Duignan 4,747 9.37 -2.94 $800
Christian Heritage Jeffrey Streutker 414 0.81 -0.29 $416
Total valid votes/Expense limit 50,651 100.00 $85,604

Canadian federal election, 2006: Wellington—Halton Hills
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
     Conservative Michael Chong 27,907 50.67 $73,992.80
Liberal Rod Finnie 16,065 29.17 $55,604.90
     New Democratic Party Noel Duignan 6,785 12.32 $5,495.97
Green Brent Bouteiller 3,362 6.10 $1,102.36
     Christian Heritage Carol Ann Krusky 606 1.10 $4,944.18
     Independent Mike Wisniewski 355 0.64 $1,173.51
Total valid votes 55,080 100.00
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 162
Turnout 55,242 71.05
Electors on the lists 77,756
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.

Canadian federal election, 2004: Wellington—Halton Hills
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
     Conservative Michael Chong 21,479 42.81 $62,705.07
Liberal Bruce Hood 19,173 38.21 $69,352.69
     New Democratic Party Noel Duignan 5,974 11.91 $13,605.90
Green Brent Bouteiller 2,725 5.43 $799.48
     Christian Heritage Pat Woode 826 1.65 $2,304.09
Total valid votes 50,177 100.00
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 205
Turnout 50,382 67.03
Electors on the lists 75,160
Percentage change figures are factored for redistribution. Conservative Party percentages are contrasted with the combined Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative percentages from 2000.
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.

Canadian federal election, 2000: Waterloo—Wellington
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
Liberal Lynn Myers 19,619 43.66 $64,568.53
     Canadian Alliance John Reimer 14,797 32.93 $47,962.31
     Progressive Conservative Michael Chong 7,999 17.80 $24,282.50
     New Democratic Party Allan Douglas Strong 1,845 4.11 $1,588.58
Green Brent Bouteiller 432 0.96 $206.62
     N/A (Christian Heritage) Peter Ellis 249 0.55 $2,148.45
Total valid votes 44,941 100.00
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 156
Turnout 45,097 58.11
Electors on the lists 77,610
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.

All electoral information is taken from Elections Canada. Italicized expenditures refer to submitted totals, and are presented when the final reviewed totals are not available.


  1. ^ Paper CB(4) 7/10-11, Legislative Council of Hong Kong
  2. ^ Richard Brennan, "2 accidents helped forge new minister", Toronto Star, 9 February 2006, A09.
  3. ^ "About Michael", Michael Chong (online biography), accessed 2008.
  4. ^ "About Michael", Michael Chong (online biography), accessed 2006.
  5. ^ Jon Willing, "Group preserves memories of aging war veterans before it's too late", Guelph Mercury, 20 August 2004, A3.
  6. ^ Judith Tenenbaum, "Caroline Davidson and Michael Chong", National Post, 30 January 2003, AL2.
  7. ^ Mackenzie | News Updates
  8. ^ Jon Willing, "New riding up for grabs", Guelph Mercury, 25 May 2004, A4.
  9. ^ Dave Pink, "Leadership drama 'what we wanted'", Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 2 June 2003, A1.
  10. ^ Joanne Shuttleworth, "Fergus man is Conservative nominee", Guelph Mercury, 10 March 2004, A3.
  11. ^ "Tory candidate likes Kyoto, even if his party doesn't", Guelph Mercury, 26 June 2004, A5.
  12. ^ Ross Marowits, "Eves may be front-runner but he's no shoo-in to lead Tory party, say members", Canadian Press, 2 December 2001, 11:49 report; Joanne Shuttleworth, "Tory takes over", Guelph Mercury, 20 September 2004, A1.
  13. ^ Michael Chong, "Canadian without hyphens", Globe and Mail, 23 November 2004, A25.
  14. ^ Janice Tibbetts, "Same-sex debate's over, Harper says", Montreal Gazette, 8 December 2006, A1.
  15. ^ Elizabeth Thompson, "Federal Throne Speech must address fiscal imbalance", Montreal Gazette, 28 March 2006, A14; "Parliament is back, but don't panic", Winnipeg Free Press, 3 April 2006, A11.
  16. ^ Tonda MacCharles and Robert Benzie, "Officials deny deal made with Quebec", Toronto Star, 29 July 2006, A4.
  17. ^ Bill Curry, "Ottawa offers provinces surplus money", Globe and Mail, 11 August 2006, A13.
  18. ^ John Ivison, "$3B more for provinces in plan payments", National Post, 21 September 2006, A1.
  19. ^ "The high price of gold", Ottawa Citizen, 28 February 2006, A8.
  20. ^ James Christie, "Canadian team falls short of 100-medal goal", Globe and Mail, 27 March 2006, S6.
  21. ^ John Kernaghan, "Sports tax credit saves $80 a year per child", Hamilton Spectator, 3 May 2006, A11.
  22. ^ Susan Riley, "Liberals: please call home", Ottawa Citizen, 9 June 2006, A14.
  23. ^ "Grant of $395,000 to put Canada's Sports Hall of Fame info on Internet", Canadian Press, 26 July 2006, 15:16 report.
  24. ^ "What government is doing to fight obesity", CTV Question Period, 3 September 2006.
  25. ^ "Ottawa revives ParticipACTION campaign to promote fitness", National Post, 17 February 2007, 17 February 2007, A10; "ParticipACTION is Back" [press release], Canada NewsWire, 19 February 2007, 16:13.
  26. ^ Jeff Rud, "Ottawa puts $3.5 million in Games", Vancouver Sun, 4 November 2006, B8.
  27. ^ James Christie, "New Podium Canada body created", Globe and Mail (Breaking News), 24 November 2006.
  28. ^ Greg Mercer, "Water protection high on Chong's list", Guelph Mercury, 17 February 2006, A1; Vic Kirsch, "Ont. MP promises Tories will fight move to end rural home mail delivery", Canadian Press, 17 October 2006, 20:49 report.
  29. ^ Bill Curry, "Canada's history, family's history held sway", Globe and Mail, 28 November 2006, A8; "Three cheers for Michael Chong" [editorial], National Post, 28 November 2006, A18; Tonda MacCharles, "Tory minister quits over Quebec vote", Toronto Star, 28 November 2006, A1.

External links[edit]