Patrick Boyer

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Hon. Patrick Boyer
Member of Parliament
for Etobicoke—Lakeshore
In office
Preceded by Ken Robinson
Succeeded by Jean Augustine
Personal details
Born (1945-03-04) March 4, 1945 (age 69)
Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada
Political party Progressive Conservative
Spouse(s) Corinne (deceased)
Residence Toronto
Profession Lawyer

J. Patrick Boyer (born March 4, 1945) is a university professor, author, publisher, and a former Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament (1984–1993).[1][2]

Before entering politics, Patrick Boyer, Q.C., was a writer, journalist and a partner in the Fraser & Beatty law firm in Toronto. He gained a Master's in Canadian history and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Toronto and studied economics and political science at Carleton University prior to that.


Boyer was first elected to Parliament in 1984, representing Toronto's Etobicoke—Lakeshore riding in the government of Brian Mulroney. As a Member of Parliament, he chaired committees on election law reform, equality rights and on the status of disabled persons. In 1989, he was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Minister of External Affairs, and in 1991 he became parliamentary secretary to the Minister of National Defence. He was a strong advocate of direct democracy, and campaigned for the introduction of referendums in the political process. It was significantly due to Boyer's efforts that the Charlottetown Accord of 1992 was submitted to a public referendum.

In 1993 he was named Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, Science and Technology, to the Deputy Prime Minister, and to the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs.

That same year, Boyer ran for the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives following the announcement of Mulroney's retirement. His leadership campaign was fought largely around the issue of referendums and direct democracy. The leadership was won by Kim Campbell, who led the party to its historic 1993 defeat. Only two Tory MPs retained their seats in that election, and Boyer was not one of them.

Following his departure from politics, Boyer began teaching a new course at the University of Toronto, offered in both the Faculty of Law and the Department of Political Science, titled “The Law of Canadian Democracy.” In 1999 and 2000 he taught two courses in Canadian Constitutional Law at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario. He was also a member of the Faculty of the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph, Ontario, where he taught courses on politics, accountability, democracy and ethics.

In 2001, he unsuccessfully sought the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario provincial nomination in the riding of Parry Sound—Muskoka for a by-election to replace retiring MPP Ernie Eves.

In March 2007, Boyer was again nominated as the Conservative Party of Canada candidate for the riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore. He ran in the 2008 federal election but lost to Michael Ignatieff by 5,783 votes.

During the Ontario electoral reform referendum, 2007 he was a leading member, along with Senators Hugh Segal and Nancy Ruth, Hon. Janet Ecker, and Rick Anderson, of Conservatives for MMP.

Personal life[edit]

Boyer's first wife, Corinne Boyer, succumbed to ovarian cancer at age 57 in 1995. She had survived two bouts of cancer - a malignant melanoma in 1979 and a breast lump in 1991—before her final struggle with ovarian cancer. Undaunted, Corinne often said, "I've got the cancer, but the cancer does not have me." She had spent years crusading for women's rights, endangered species, and the environment. In the months before she died, and largely because of her experiences with cancer, she fought for increased funding for women's health research. In 1997, Patrick Boyer founded the Corinne Boyer fund which was dedicated to advancing research into ovarian cancer and raising awareness of the disease in Canada. In 1998, the Corinne Boyer Fund and the University of Ottawa announced the establishment of the Corinne Boyer Chair in Ovarian Cancer Research in the Faculty of Medicine. In 1999, the name of the organization was changed to National Ovarian Cancer Association, now Ovarian Cancer Canada.

Patrick Boyer is a past president of the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs, a member of the Canadian Pugwash Group, and chairman of Pugwash Thinkers’ Lodge in Nova Scotia.

He has been invited overseas on democratic development projects, including in Cambodia, Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, Ukraine, and Bulgaria. He has travelled extensively at different times in Central and South America.

A well-known advocate of proportional representation, he is a member of the National Advisory Board of Fair Vote Canada and has been a guest speaker at their conferences. He also advocates Canadian Senate abolition due to cronyism, partisanship and conflict of interest.[3]

Throughout Boyer's career in and out of elected politics, he has authored 13 books along with many articles and chapters. The books include Lawmaking by the People (1981), The People’s Mandate (1992), Direct Democracy In Canada (1993) and Boyer's Ontario Election Law (1996). He also authored the definitive Canadian legal texts on election law, covering all aspects of national, provincial and municipal voting in Canada.

Boyer now operates an independent publishing company, Blue Butterfly Books, which publishes a growing collection of fiction and non-fiction works.



External links[edit]