October 30, 2007 – December 31, 2013
|Preceded by||Mario Racco|
|Succeeded by||Gila Martow|
November 18, 1947 |
|Political party||Progressive Conservative|
|Children||2 (Michael and Brian)|
|Residence||Thornhill, Ontario, Niagara-on-the-Lake|
|Alma mater||Sir George Williams University|
Peter Shurman (born November 18, 1947) is a Canadian politician who served as the Progressive Conservative member for the riding of Thornhill in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 2007 to 2013. Prior to his election, he was a radio talk show host on CFRB in Toronto. Shurman resigned his seat in the legislature effective December 31, 2013.
Shurman was born in Montreal, Quebec. He attended Sir George Williams University, now Concordia University, and apprenticed in communications with Standard Broadcasting, holding various positions with the company's Montreal AM and FM stations, CJAD and CJFM, including general manager. Shurman left university without completing his BA degree and started out in technical maintenance and progressed through a number of positions including program announcing, reporting, sales, and management. He moved to Toronto in 1983 and eventually became Standard Broadcasting's vice-president of radio at age 36.
Shurman left Standard Broadcasting in 1987. His activities immediately thereafter included buying 14 radio stations for a total of $22.5 million in less than one year for third parties; undertaking an assignment to grow a minor Toronto paging company, into one of the area's largest and most important operators in only eighteen months; applying for an FM radio licence in Toronto in 1990. When the licence was not granted, he purchased an ailing telephone answering service, The Receptionists Ltd., and renamed it Universal TeleResponse Corporation. UTR became a multi-million dollar enterprise handling 7x24 communications for FP/Fortune 500 companies.
After 22 years in the radio broadcasting business, Shurman became CEO and principal shareholder in 1991 of Universal TeleResponse Corporation (UTR), a call centre in North Toronto.
In 2003, Shurman sold UTR and remained for one year as part of the sale agreement before returning to broadcasting. He was a talk radio host for CFRB until announcing his intention to run in the 2007 Ontario provincial election.
In 2007, Shurman ran for the Progressive Conservative nomination for the riding of Thornhill but was defeated by Norm Gardner. John Tory, the party leader at the time requested that Gardner step aside for Shurman. Shurman then successfully campaigned as a Progressive Conservative candidate in the Ontario general election, 2007 becoming the MPP for the riding of Thornhill. His election provided focus for the issue surrounding public funding of faith-based schools, a major issue in Thornhill which has a large Jewish (35%) population.
In 2008, the Progressive Conservative party requested that Shurman resign his seat so that party leader John Tory, who had lost his seat in the 2007 election, could run in a by-election. Shurman refused the party's request to resign.
Towards the end of 2008, York University (a university that is close to Shurman's political riding) was effectively shut down due to a call for a strike by Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903. Shurman became involved with a student anti-strike group, York Not Hostage and was successful in bringing significant pressure to bear on the government of Premier Dalton McGuinty. Back-to-work legislation was presented to the Legislature which was recalled from winter break to pass it and bring an end to the strike.
Shurman subsequently brought a resolution to the floor of the Ontario Legislative Assembly condemning Israeli Apartheid Week on Ontario campuses. The resolution, debated in late February 2010, passed unanimously.
During his tenure he served as the Opposition Critic for Economic Development & Trade, Francophone Affairs and was Vice-Chair of the Legislature's Standing Committee on Public Accounts. He served as PC Caucus Finance Critic until September 8, 2013 when he was removed from the position after a "heated exchange" with party leader Tim Hudak in which Shurman refused to repay a housing allowance he had received for a Toronto apartment. Shurman was permitted to do this under the rules as he had moved his principal residence from his riding to Niagara-on-the-Lake which is more than 50 kilometres away from the provincial capital. It was later reported that Shurman had proposed to Hudak that he run in a Niagara area riding, in or near his new home, in the 2011 provincial election but Hudak insisted he run in Thornhill because he was concerned that the seat would otherwise be lost. In the October 2011 election, Shurman held his Thornhill seat against a challenge by former Canadian Jewish Congress CEO Bernie Farber, running as the Ontario Liberal Party candidate.
In December 2013, Shurman was reprimanded by Progressive Conservative leader, Tim Hudak for claiming mileage from his Niagara-on-the-Lake home to Toronto as an expense. Shurman subsequently announced that he would resign his seat effective December 31. In a letter to his constituents, he said, "The decision is entirely my own and results from lengthy reflection and discussion with family... I have concluded that continuing with my political career would be a mistake for me."
- "Thornhill MPP Peter Shurman announces resignation". Toronto Sun. December 10, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
- "Fasten your chinstrap: Former CJAD broadcaster takes seat in Ontario legislature". The Gazette (Montreal). October 15, 2007. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
- "Nomination headaches dog Tories". Toronto Star. June 26, 2007.
- Morrow, Adrian (September 8, 2013). "Shurman dropped as Ontario PC finance critic after billing taxpayers for second home". The Globe and Mail.
- "Peter Shurman was discouraged from running in riding where new home was". Toronto Star. September 10, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
- "Tory MPP Peter Shurman resigns amid another spending controversy". Globe and Mail. December 10, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013.