Phil Edmonston

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Louis-Phillip Edmonston
Member of Parliament
for Chambly
In office
February 12, 1990 – 1993
Preceded by Richard Grisé
Succeeded by Ghislain Lebel
Personal details
Born (1944-05-26) May 26, 1944 (age 70)
Washington, D.C., USA
Political party New Democratic Party
Profession Consumer advocate, editor, journalist, writer

Louis-Phillip (Phil) Edmonston (born May 26, 1944, in Washington, D.C.) is a Canadian consumer advocate, writer, and former politician.[1] He is one of the few politicians with dual American and Canadian citizenship to be elected to Canadian Parliament.[2]

He is best known for his series of annual Lemon-Aid car guides.[2] Edmonston now lives in Panama.

Background[edit]

Edmonston served as a United States Army infantry medic in Panama from 1961 to 1964, where he witnessed the so-called flag riots,[3] and graduated from the Canal Zone College.[1] He subsequently immigrated to Montreal, where he became known as a journalist and consumer advocate.

In journalism, Edmonston has worked as a television reporter, a syndicated newspaper columnist, and a host of his own open-line show.[4]

Consumer advocate[edit]

In 1968 he founded the Automobile Protection Association (APA), which uncovered and disseminated information about automobile defects and successfully pressured the auto industry for several recalls. Edmonston was president of the APA until 1987. In that role, he worked on thousands of consumer claims against automobile manufacturers and won million-dollar settlements and hundreds of lawsuits for consumers.[2]

His work with the association led to the Lemon-Aid series of car manuals, issued annually since the 1970s.

Edmonston has served as a pro bono witness on automobile defects and safety before numerous courts and government committees. In 1982, he testified on inadequate automobile quality and rust protection before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Technology and successfully pressured Ford to become the first automaker to provide a corrosion compensation warranty.

He is the author of over 100 best-selling books on consumer rights and the automobile industry.[2]

Political career[edit]

Edmonston entered Canadian politics in the 1988 federal election as a candidate for the New Democratic Party (NDP) in Chambly, Quebec, placing second. He won the riding in his second attempt, a 1990 by-election in which he defeated former Quebec cabinet minister Clifford Lincoln by almost 20,000 votes, becoming the first member of parliament from Quebec to be elected for the NDP.[5] (Another Quebec MP, Robert Toupin from Terrebonne, had previously crossed the floor to the NDP in 1986.)

His relationship with the NDP was at times turbulent. During the party's 1989 leadership campaign, he threatened to resign from the party if Dave Barrett became leader. A Quebec nationalist, Edmonston was offended by Barrett's view that western alienation was more important than Quebec's grievances over the constitution. Edmonston's differences with the NDP over its position on Canadian federalism and against decentralization and devolving powers to Quebec contributed to his decision not to run for re-election in 1993.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Writers' Union of Canada - Phil Edmonston". writersunion.ca. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Phil Edmonston's Lemonaidcars.com". lemonaidcars.com. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  3. ^ "Witness: The Panama Flag Riots". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  4. ^ "Phil Edmonston - Authors - Random House". randomhouse.com. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  5. ^ "History of Federal Ridings since 1867". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 

External links[edit]