Bas Balkissoon

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Bas Balkissoon
BasBalkissoon.jpg
Bas Balkissoon in 2015 as Deputy Speaker
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Scarborough—Rouge River
In office
November 24, 2005 – March 22, 2016
Preceded by Alvin Curling
Succeeded by Raymond Cho
Toronto City Councillor for Ward 41 Scarborough-Rouge River
In office
2000–2005
Preceded by New riding
Succeeded by Paul Ainslie (interim)
Chin Lee
Toronto City Councillor for Ward 18 - Scarborough Malvern
In office
1998–2000
Preceded by New riding
Succeeded by Riding abolished
Scarborough City Councillor for Ward 13
In office
1988–1997
Preceded by Bob Sanders
Succeeded by Riding abolished
Personal details
Born 1952 (age 64–65)
Trinidad and Tobago
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Tahay Balkissoon
Children 3
Residence Toronto, Ontario
Portfolio Deputy Speaker (2011-2016)
Religion Hinduism

Bas Balkissoon (born c. 1952) is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 2005 to 2016 who represented the riding of Scarborough—Rouge River. From 1988 to 1997 he was a municipal councillor in Scarborough and from 1998 to 2005 he was a councillor in the amalgamated city of Toronto.

Background[edit]

Born in Trinidad and Tobago, and of Indian descent, Balkissoon rose to prominence as the head of Scarborough Homeowners Alliance For Fair Taxes, an organization that challenged the province's property assessment system.[1] He is married to Tahay and together they have raised three children.[2]

City Councillor[edit]

In 1988, he was elected to Scarborough city council in what was then Ward 13.[3]

With the formation of the new amalgamated city of Toronto, he was elected to Toronto City Council in 1997.[4] As chair of the city's Audit Committee he was credited with uncovering a dubious computer leasing deal between the city and MFP Financial, which eventually led to the formation of the Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry.[5] Balkissoon also served for a period on the Police Services Board on which he was critical of then-Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino as well as the Toronto Police Association and its leader at the time, Craig Bromell.[6]

Ontario legislature[edit]

In a by-election held on November 24, 2005, Balkissoon was elected as the Member of Provincial Parliament for the riding of Scarborough—Rouge River, replacing Alvin Curling who was appointed as the Canadian ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Balkissoon, as the Liberal Party candidate, won with 58% of the vote. Conservative candidate Cynthia Lai received 24% of the vote and the NDP's Sheila White finished third with 15%.[7] In the Liberal nomination prior to the by-election, the party chose to use a clause in its constitution that declared other candidates invalid, effectively handing the nomination to Balkissoon. This excluded other contenders such as Raymond Cho who considered putting his name forward.[8]

Balkissoon was easily re-elected in the 2007 provincial election, defeating his closest opponent by over 17,000 votes.[9] He was also re-elected in 2011,[10] and 2014.[11]

During his time in office he has been appointed to a number of Parliamentary Assistant roles including Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services (2006-7, 2014); Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (2007-10); and Minister of Community and Social Services (2010-2013). In 2011 he was named as Deputy Speaker and Chair of the Committee of the Whole House.[12]

On March 22, 2016 Balkissoon resigned from the legislature.[13][14]

Electoral record[edit]

Ontario general election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Bas Balkissoon 16,134 38.86 -3.01
New Democratic Neethan Shan 12,863 30.98 -4.99
Progressive Conservative Raymond Cho 11,491 27.68 +8.89
Green George B. Singh 569 1.37 +0.12
None of the Above Amir Khan 461 1.11
Total valid votes 41,518 100.0  
Liberal hold Swing +0.99
Source: Elections Ontario[15]
Ontario general election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Bas Balkissoon 15,275 41.9 -23.3
New Democratic Neethan Shan 13,130 36.0 +22.5
Progressive Conservative Ken Kim 6,836 18.7 +4.2
Libertarian Felix Liao 458 1.3 -0.1
Green George Singh 448 1.2 -2.5
Family Coalition Raphael Rosch 166 0.5 -1.2
Freedom Daniel Walker 151 0.4 +0.4
Total valid votes 36,464 100.0
Ontario general election, 2007
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Bas Balkissoon 22,362 65.2 +7.6
Progressive Conservative Horace Gooden 4,962 14.5 -10.4
New Democratic Sheila White 4,646 13.5 -1.4
Green Serge Abbat 1,275 3.7 +2.5
Family Coalition Joseph Carvalho 581 1.7 +1.1
Libertarian Alan Mercer 492 1.4 +0.8
Ontario by-election, November 24, 2005
Party Candidate Votes % +/-
Liberal Bas Balkissoon 9,347 57.6 -6.2
Progressive Conservative Cynthia Lai 4,032 24.9 -0.3
New Democratic Sheila White 2,425 14.9 +8.9
Green Steven Toman 167 1.2 -2.3
Libertarian Alan Mercer 100 0.6 -
Family Coalition Rina Morra 93 0.6 -0.8
Freedom Wayne Simmons 59 0.4 -

References[edit]

  1. ^ Abbate, Gay (November 17, 1988). "Trimmer's priority is ridding Scarboro of 'Scarberia' image". The Globe and Mail. p. D10. 
  2. ^ O'Neill, Susan (November 25, 2005). "Balkissoon easily wins byelection". The Scarborough Mirror. p. 1. 
  3. ^ "Civic election '88". The Globe and Mail. November 16, 1988. p. A16. 
  4. ^ "1997 Toronto general election results". City of Toronto. 1997. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Barber, John (October 18, 2001). "Will auditors get to the bottom of unsolved mystery?". The Globe and Mail. p. A23. 
  6. ^ Quinn, Jennifer (April 5, 2002). "Balkissoon resigns police board; Councillor unhappy with ceremonial role, chairman's actions". Toronto Star. p. B2. 
  7. ^ "By-Election 2005". Elections Ontario. November 24, 2005. 
  8. ^ Urquhart, Ian (October 5, 2005). "Liberals play rough on by-election". The Toronto Star. 
  9. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 10, 2007. p. 14 (xxiii). Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  10. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 16. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  11. ^ "General Election by District: Scarborough-Rouge River". Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Legislative Reports". Canadian Parliamentary Review. November 11, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Liberal MPP Bas Balkissoon resigns his Scarborough-Rouge River seat in legislature". Global News. Canadian Press. March 22, 2016. Retrieved March 22, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Platt Tweets". twitter. March 22, 2016. 
  15. ^ "General Election Results by District, 083 Scarborough—Rouge River". Elections Ontario. 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 

External links[edit]