Warren Kinsella

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For the Canadian author, see W. P. Kinsella.

Warren Kinsella is a Toronto-based lawyer, author, musician, political consultant, commentator on the Sun News Network, blogger and columnist for Quebecor newspapers. Kinsella bills himself as the "Prince of Darkness" of Canadian politics.

Personal life

He is the son of physician and medical ethicist Douglas Kinsella, C.M., founder of the National Council on Ethics in Human Research (NCEHR).[1] Kinsella holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Carleton University and a bachelor of law degree from the University of Calgary.


Campaign strategist

Kinsella served as a strategist in the Canadian federal Liberal Party's 1993 election campaign "task force", and worked as a staffer in opposition leader Jean Chrétien's office. After the Liberals won the election, Kinsella became chief of staff to federal Public Works minister David Dingwall for a short time.

Kinsella ran as a Liberal candidate in the 1997 federal election in the riding of North Vancouver but was defeated by Reform incumbent Ted White.

During his last stint as a national campaign headquarters worker during the 2000 Canadian federal election, he appeared on CTV's Canada AM brandishing a purple Barney dinosaur doll to mock what he claimed were Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day's creationist beliefs. [2]

After the 2000 federal election, Kinsella was a vocal supporter of Chretien during the intra-party struggle that resulted in Chretien being replaced by Paul Martin, and he would work on Liberal leadership campaigns for Allan Rock and Sheila Copps in opposition to Martin.

He joined the Toronto-based Navigator consulting firm and later started his own company. Both firms engage in paid political campaign strategy work, lobbying and communications crisis management.

Kinsella was involved in the 2007 re-election campaign of Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty and his Ontario Liberal Party. In the 2007 campaign, he wrote a blog post suggesting that Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod would rather bake cookies than be seen on a stage with farm activist Randy Hillier. Several candidates from opposition parties denounced the post as offensive, prompting Kinsella to apologize.[3] The incident prompted MacLeod to write the cookbook I'd Rather Be Baking Cookies: A Collection of Recipes from Lisa MacLeod and Friends.[4][5] Kinsella supported Sandra Pupatello in the leadership convention that chose a successor to McGuinty. The leadership was won by Kathleen Wynne.[citation needed]

Starting in November 2008, Kinsella worked briefly for Liberal leadership candidate Michael Ignatieff.[6] One long-time senior Liberal questioned the hiring of Kinsella, calling him a "human shrapnel machine." [7] Later that month Kinsella, in a video blog, jokingly mentioned that his regular Chinese restaurant sold "cat meat";[8] he apologized for the comment after criticism from Chinese-Canadian groups and political opponents.[9] Kinsella resigned from Ignatieff's campaign in May 2009.[10]

Sponsorship Scandal

During the Gomery Commission's inquiry into the Sponsorship scandal, Justice John Gomery was told that Kinsella, while chief of staff to Minister of Public Works David Dingwall, wrote a letter to the department's Deputy Minister, Ran Quail in 1994 requesting Chuck Guité be appointed to review the government's advertising and communications strategy.[11] Quail said he viewed the letter as political interference into civil service affairs, while Dingwall and Kinsella characterized the letter as a request rather than a directive.

Guite would later be convicted of defrauding the federal government in a kickback scheme that began after a reorganization of the department similar to Kinsella's suggestion was enacted two years afterward. Kinsella was working in the private sector when the fraud occurred, vigorously denied any wrongdoing, and no finding of any fault was found in Gomery's report relating to his conduct.[12]

Internet Activity

Kinsella runs an online journal that resembles a weblog, though he prefers to call it a website. He has engaged in a number of feuds with other bloggers, including one against conservative columnist Ezra Levant that prompted Kinsella to initiate a libel suit for $5,000,000 in damages.[13]


  • Unholy Alliances (Lester, 1992)
  • Web of Hate: Inside Canada's Far Right Network ISBN 0-00-638051-4 (HarperCollins, 1997)
  • Party Favours (HarperCollins, 1997)
  • Kicking Ass in Canadian Politics (Random House, 2001)
  • Fury's Hour: A (sort-of) Punk-Rock Manifesto (Random House, 2005)
  • The War Room: Political Strategies for Business, NGOs, and Anyone Who Wants to Win (Dundurn Press, 2007)
  • Fight the Right: A Manual for Surviving the Coming Conservative Apocalypse (Random House, Oct 2 2012)

Kinsella has written commentary in most of Canada's major newspapers and several magazines, including The Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen, the National Post and The Walrus. He is now a columnist for the Toronto Sun and smaller English-language Quebecor newspapers. He appears regularly on the Sun News Network.


External links