Steve Peters (politician)
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2007)|
|40th Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario|
28 November 2007 – 6 October 2011
|Lieutenant Governor||David Onley|
|Preceded by||Michael A. Brown|
|Succeeded by||Dave Levac|
3 June 1999 – 2011
|Preceded by||new riding|
|Succeeded by||Jeff Yurek|
|Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs|
23 October 2003 – 29 June 2005
|Preceded by||Helen Johns|
|Succeeded by||Leona Dombrowsky|
|Minister of Labour|
29 June 2005 – 10 October 2007
|Succeeded by||Peter Fonseca|
|Born||St. Thomas, Ontario|
Stephen J. "Steve" Peters (born 19 January 1963) is a Canadian politician. He was a Member of Provincial Parliament of Ontario and served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. Peters served as a Cabinet Minister in the first term of the government of Dalton McGuinty.
Peters was born in St. Thomas, in the southwestern section of Ontario. Both of his parents were the children of Ukrainian immigrants. He was educated at the University of Western Ontario, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1985. Peters subsequently worked as an archivist at Victoria Hospital in London, Ontario, and at Alma College in St. Thomas. He also worked as a stock clerk at an A&P food store in St. Thomas.
St. Thomas city council
Peters began his political career at the municipal level, being elected to the St. Thomas city council in 1988. He became the city's mayor in 1991, and was the youngest mayor in the country at the time. Peters was re-elected by significant majorities in 1994 and 1997.
Peters running as a candidate of the Ontario Liberal Party in the 1999 provincial election. Peters defeated incumbent Progressive Conservative (PC) MPP Bruce Smith in the riding of Elgin—Middlesex—London, 20,417 votes to 19,246.
The election was won by the Progressive Conservatives, and Peters became the opposition critic for Disability issues on 26 June 1999. In September 2000, he was named opposition critic for Agriculture. For the next three years, most of his interventions in the legislature were focused on agricultural and rural issues.
Peters was easily re-elected in the 2003 provincial election, receiving over 57% of the vote in Elgin—Middlesex—London (Bruce Smith, again running for the Progressive Conservatives, received just over 30%). The election was won by the Liberals; many political commentators predicted that Peters would be named Agriculture Minister in the event of a Liberal victory.
Peters was named Minister of Agriculture and Food on 23 October 2003. In late September 2004, he announced that the provincial government would provide $30 million to farmers affected by the BSE crisis, which had prevented Canadian beef from reaching the American market.
Though he was re-elected in the general election of October 2007, he was dropped from cabinet in a post-election cabinet shuffle and was instead on 28 November 2007, elected by his fellow members as the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly on the fourth ballot, defeating Michael A. Brown, Ted Arnott, David Zimmer and Lorenzo Berardinetti. In doing so, Peters became the first Ukrainian-Canadian to hold the position.