Michael Wilson (Canadian politician)
|Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Etobicoke Centre
|Preceded by||Riding created|
|Succeeded by||Allan Rock|
|Canadian Ambassador to the United States|
13 March 2006 – 19 October 2009
|Preceded by||Frank McKenna|
|Succeeded by||Gary Doer|
|Chancellor of the University of Toronto|
|Preceded by||David Peterson|
|Born||Michael Holcombe Wilson
4 November 1937
|Political party||Progressive Conservative|
|Alma mater||University of Toronto|
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Wilson attended Upper Canada College, Trinity College at the University of Toronto where he joined The Kappa Alpha Society. He was a Bay Street investment executive when he was elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament in the 1979 general election. He served in various portfolios in the governments of Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney. He served as the Canadian Ambassador to the United States from 2006 until his replacement by Gary Doer in 2009.
Early political career
Wilson was a candidate at the 1983 Progressive Conservative leadership convention. He tried to woo young delegates by having the rock group Spoons perform on his behalf. He dropped off after the first ballot, and urged his supporters to vote for the eventual winner, Brian Mulroney.
He reformed the tax system to broaden the tax base and lower tax rates, removing many special tax provisions, and helped negotiate the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement. Wilson also introduced the Goods and Services Tax in 1990, a tax which is widely credited as having helped bring the Federal government back into surplus.
In 1991, after seven years as Minister of Finance, Wilson became Minister of Industry, Science and Technology and Minister of International Trade. In that role, he participated in negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Return to private life
Wilson was not a candidate in the 1993 election, and returned to Bay Street to head his own consulting and financial services firm. He later rejoined Royal Bank of Canada and was Chairman and CEO of RT Capital when that business was sold to UBS AG. Wilson was formerly Chairman of UBS Canada.
In recent years he has become a spokesman for a lobby group promoting public–private partnership. He was Chairman of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance. In September 2003, Wilson was installed as chancellor of Trinity College.
He is a mental health advocate, having lost a son to depression and suicide; he established the Cameron Parker Holcombe Wilson Chair in Depression Studies at the University of Toronto.
He is active in many other organizations, including the NeuroScience Canada Partnership, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships, the Loran Scholars Foundation, the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Ambassador to the United States
On 16 February 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the nomination of Wilson as Ambassador of Canada to the United States of America. He succeeded Frank McKenna in Washington, D.C. Wilson became the 22nd Canadian Ambassador to the United States on 13 March 2006 when U.S. President George W. Bush accepted his credentials.
Allegation of leaks during 2008 Democratic presidential campaign
In March 2008, it was alleged that Wilson told the Canadian media that US Presidential candidate Barack Obama was not serious about his promise to opt out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Liberal MP Navdeep Bains called on Wilson to step down as Canada's ambassador to Washington while the alleged leaks are investigated. Wilson has publicly acknowledged that he spoke to then-CTV reporter Tom Clark, who first reported the leaks, before the story aired, but refused to discuss what was said.
- Governor General announces 74 new appointments to the Order of Canada
- Clark, Campbell. "Envoy faces calls to resign in NAFTA leak probe". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
- Harper, Tim (11 March 2008). "Envoy's role in leak questioned". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
- Washington Canadian Embassy's ambassador page
- Michael Wilson (Canadian politician) – Parliament of Canada biography
|Parliament of Canada|
|21st Ministry – Cabinet of Joe Clark|
|Cabinet Post (1)|
|'||Minister of State for International Trade
|24th Ministry – Cabinet of Brian Mulroney|
|Cabinet Posts (3)|
|John Crosbie||Minister for International Trade
|Benoît Bouchard||Minister of Industry, Science and Technology
|Marc Lalonde||Minister of Finance
Rt. Rev’d John C. Bothwell
|Chancellor of the University of Trinity College