Bill Graham (Canadian politician)
PC CM QC
|Leader of the Opposition|
February 7, 2006 – December 2, 2006
|Preceded by||Stephen Harper|
|Succeeded by||Stéphane Dion|
|Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
March 18, 2006 – December 2, 2006
|Preceded by||Paul Martin|
|Succeeded by||Stéphane Dion|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Toronto Centre
October 25, 1993 – July 2, 2007
|Preceded by||David MacDonald|
|Succeeded by||Bob Rae|
|Born||William Carvel Graham
March 17, 1939
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Political party||Liberal Party of Canada|
|Alma mater||University of Toronto
University of Toronto Faculty of Law
University of Paris
William Carvel "Bill" Graham PC CM QC (born March 17, 1939) is a former Canadian politician, who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of National Defence, Leader of the Opposition and interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. He is currently a member of the Minister's Advisory Panel for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, providing expertise and advice for the Government of Canada's Defence Review. Graham has recently authored an autobiography, titled "Call of the World: A Political Memoir," that has been well-reviewed by critics across the country.
Graham grew up in Montreal and Vancouver, and he was educated at Upper Canada College, Trinity College at the University of Toronto, the University of Toronto Faculty of Law (where he was an editor of the Law Review and the gold medalist of 1964), and the University of Paris. As a student, he traveled in the Middle East and Europe. He married the former Catherine Curry in 1962, and they have a daughter, Katherine ("Katy", born in 1964) and a son, the freelance writer Patrick Graham (born in 1965).
After his graduation from law school, Graham went to Paris to pursue a doctorate of laws, with a focus on international law, as well as to improve his French. He also represented a Toronto law firm, Fasken and Calvin (known as Faskens) (where he had articled), in Europe. Upon returning to Toronto in 1968, Graham remained at Faskens until 1982 working with Walter Williston in litigation and on his own in a international trade and commercial law practice.
He also became active in civic affairs, particularly the promotion of bilingualism. He served as a Director and, from 1979 to 1987, President of Alliance Francaise de Toronto. In 1975, Graham was appointed by Ontario Attorney General Roy McMurtry to an advisory committee on the implementation of bilingualism in Provincial courts.
He moved from the practice of law to academia in 1981, when he took a faculty position at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, teaching EEC law, public international law, and international trade law until 1993. Graham also held visiting lectureships at McGill University and the Université de Montréal. In 1999, he endowed a chair in international law at the law school.
Graham twice sought election unsuccessfully to the House of Commons as a Liberal in the riding of Toronto Centre-Rosedale, losing in 1984 to the Conservative incumbent, former Toronto Mayor David Crombie, and in 1988 to Conservative candidate David MacDonald. He defeated MacDonald in the 1993 federal election, and was reelected in 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2006.
He served as a member, and for six years as Chair, of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Law (SCFAIT). Under his chairmanship, SCFAIT produced public reports on the role of nuclear weapons in world politics, Canada and the circumpolar world, the future of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), hemispheric free trade, and Canadian relations with Europe and the Muslim world. Graham also promoted "parliamentary diplomacy" and was active in the creation or operation of many international fora for parliamentarians, including the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), of which he was Treasurer, and the Canada-US Parliamentary Association. He was also the Liberal Party of Canada's representative to Liberal International (of which he was Treasurer) and the first elected Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas.
While his attention as an MP was directed largely to foreign affairs, in domestic politics he strongly promoted same-sex rights. This issue was of considerable importance in his riding, which contains Canada's largest gay neighbourhood. He supported same-sex pensions and the admission to Canada of gay refugees facing persecution for their sexual identity, and he was an early proponent of legal recognition of same-sex marriage. He was voted Toronto's best MP several times by the readers of the city's 'Now' Magazine, and he was the recipient of Pride Toronto's lifetime achievement award in 2007.
In January 2002, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien appointed Graham as Minister of Foreign Affairs. His tenure was largely dominated by the changes to world affairs flowing from the 9 / 11 terrorist attacks and the increased unilateralism of American foreign policy. In the months leading up to the 2003 American-led invasion of Iraq, Chrétien and Graham articulated a position of opposition to military action without either an unambiguous authorizing resolution by the United Nations Security Council or clear evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime was in violation of the obligations to disarm that it had accepted after the 1991 Gulf War. A Canadian compromise allowing additional time for weapons inspections, but with a firm deadline for Iraqi compliance, elicited strong American opposition and little enthusiasm from other Security Council members. After a resolution (sponsored by the US, the UK, and Spain) that explicitly authorized military action was withdrawn in the face of likely failure, Canada declined to take part in the subsequent invasion.
Canada did support important elements of the US-led War on Terror, and Canadian troops participated in the UN-sanctioned invasion of Afghanistan to oust the Taliban regime in October 2001. In the summer of 2003, Chrétien and Graham committed Canada to assume the lead role in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the NATO mission in Afghanistan. ISAF was initially responsible for securing Kabul and its environs, but an October 2003 Security Council resolution authorized its extension through much of the country.:285–286
Some aspects of Canadian-American cooperation in the War on Terror worked smoothly, but there were instances of misunderstanding or miscommunication. Perhaps the most widely noticed came after American authorities deported a Canadian citizen, Maher Arar, to Syria, where he was imprisoned for a year and tortured, apparently on the basis of intelligence quietly relayed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Unable to get RCMP support for Arar's release, Graham urged Prime Minister Chrétien to intervene. Following Chrétien's representations, Arar was released and a judicial inquiry conducted into his case. Graham testified that he was unaware at the time that the RCMP had passed information to the American authorities. Graham also unsuccessfully urged his American counterpart, Colin Powell, to consent to the release of Omar Khadr, a Canadian national taken prisoner by American forces in Afghanistan while a minor and held at the US facility at Guantanamo Bay. Despite these differences, Graham and Powell had good relations and cooperated effectively on a number of issues, including the despatch of 500 Canadian Forces personnel to Haiti as a short-term stabilization force after the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
When Graham's former law school classmate Paul Martin succeeded Chrétien as Prime Minister in December 2003, Martin left Graham at Foreign Affairs, but after an election in June 2004 reduced the Liberals to a minority, Martin moved him to National Defence. This would normally be regarded as a demotion, but Martin had promised during the election campaign to increase defence spending, and he indicated to Graham that he would enjoy prime ministerial backing in his efforts to rebuild the Canadian military after the economies resulting from the deficit-reduction program that Martin had implemented in the early 1990s as Minister of Finance.:129–131
In Graham's first months as Defence Minister, one of the most pressing issues was the Canadian response to the George W. Bush administration's invitation to take part in its Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) program. Graham offered qualified support to Canadian participation, in part because he feared that nonparticipation would marginalize the North American Air Defence Command (NORAD) within continental defence arrangements. But opposition to BMD and Bush administration policies generally was strong in Canada, and Martin did not provide energetic backing for Graham's efforts to convince his Cabinet and Caucus colleagues. In February 2005, Graham informed his American counterpart, Donald Rumsfeld, that Canadian participation was politically impossible.:152–177
In July 2005, as part of a tour of Canada's arctic defense installations, Graham visited Hans Island, the sovereignty of which was disputed by Canada and Denmark. Denmark publicly protested the visit, but subsequently entered into negotiations to settle the island's status.
Perhaps Graham's biggest success as Defence Minister was implementing a new doctrinal and budgetary framework for Canadian defence policy. He persuaded Martin and Finance Minister Ralph Goodale to accept a $13 billion increase in defence spending, the largest in a generation, as part of the 2005 budget. This entailed significant capital expenditures, including the acquisition of Hercules aircraft to provide the Canadian Forces (CF) with tactical airlift capability. In addition, the CF command structure was overhauled to improve the capacity to respond to either domestic disaster or terrorist threat, including the creation of a new Canada Command.:130–151
Graham and General Rick Hillier, whose 2005 appointment as Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) he recommended, sought to transform the CF into a more mobile force, capable of conducting armed "peacemaking" and humanitarian interventions. This broke with both the Cold War emphasis on preparation for large-scale conventional hostilities across defined international borders, and the recent Canadian tradition of lightly armed peacekeeping under UN auspices. Restoring security and order to the failed or failing states that served as bases for terrorists was placed at the centre of CF doctrine. This conception of the CF's future role was set out in a Defence Policy Statement that fed into the Martin government's broader review of Canadian foreign policy.:130–151
Graham and Hillier persuaded Martin to make Afghanistan a laboratory for the new doctrine; in the spring of 2005 the Canadian government announced that the 1,200 Canadian troops in Kabul would be transferred to Kandahar province. Canada assumed a major role in Southern Afghanistan, with 2,300 personnel there by early 2006. Graham and Hillier supported a "3D" or "whole of government" approach, based on the concept of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), in which diplomats, military, police, development and reconstruction specialists work together to provide security and rebuild societal institutions. During Graham's tenure as Defence Minister, Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) provided emergency relief to Sri Lanka after the 2005 tsunami.
In the weeks leading up to the January 2006 federal election, Graham oversaw the negotiations of an agreement, signed by Hiller and the Afghan Defence Minister, governing the treatment of Afghan detainees captured by Canadian personnel and turned over to Afghan authorities. After revelations in 2010 that some detainees had been tortured, Graham appeared before a parliamentary committee investigating the matter. He conceded that the agreement had been imperfect, lacking as it did a mechanism for monitoring the treatment of prisoners after they were placed in Afghan custody, but pointed out that its omissions were more readily apparent in retrospect than they were at the time, and that it had been developed on the best available advice to meet unprecedented circumstances.
After the Liberals were defeated in the 2006 election, and the Conservatives formed a minority government under Stephen Harper, Graham served as interim Leader of the Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition, until the December 2006 leadership convention that elected Stéphane Dion as Leader. Two highly charged issues debated in the House of Commons during his leadership were the recognition of Quebec as a "nation" and the extension of the mission in Afghanistan until 2011. Graham was neutral in the race to choose a new leader. On February 22, 2007, he announced he would not be a candidate for reelection in the next federal election. On June 19, he announced that he was stepping down as an MP, effective July 2. This freed up the seat for former Ontario Premier and leadership contender Bob Rae (and like Graham would later become interim Liberal leader) to run as the Liberal candidate in the resulting byelection.
|Canadian federal election, 2006|
|New Democratic||Michael Shapcott||14,036||23.74||-0.01|
|Animal Alliance||Liz White||72||0.12|
|Total valid votes||59,112||100.00|
|Canadian federal election, 2004: Toronto Centre|
|New Democratic||Michael Shapcott||12,747||23.75||+12.39|
|Canadian Action||Kevin Peck||63||0.12||−2.97|
|Total valid votes||53,663||100.00|
|Conservative vote is compared to the total of the Canadian Alliance vote and Progressive Conservative vote in 2000 election.|
Toronto Centre—Rosedale, 1996 - 2003
|Canadian federal election, 2000|
|Progressive Conservative||Randall Pearce||8,150||17.15||-2.13|
|New Democratic||David Berlin||5,398||11.36||-9.22|
|Canadian Action||Paul Hellyer||1,466||3.09||+2.44|
|Natural Law||David Gordon||224||0.47||-0.11|
|Total valid votes||47,518||100.00|
Note: Canadian Alliance vote is compared to the Reform vote in 1997 election.
|Canadian federal election, 1997|
|New Democratic||David MacDonald||9,597||20.58||+9.80|
|Progressive Conservative||Stephen Probyn||8,993||19.28||-1.96|
|Canadian Action||Anthony Robert Pedrette||303||0.65|
|Natural Law||Ron Parker||270||0.58||-1.01|
|Independent||Ted W. Culp||145||0.31|
|Total valid votes||46,642||100.00|
Rosedale, 1993 - 1996
|Canadian federal election, 1993|
|Progressive Conservative||David MacDonald||10,930||21.24||-20.12|
|New Democratic||Jack Layton||5,547||10.78||-4.28|
|Natural Law||Doug Henning||817||1.59|
|Independent||Linda Dale Gibbons||350||0.68|
|Abolitionist||Yann Patrice D'Audibert Garcien||40||0.08|
|Total valid votes||51,454||100.00|
|Canadian federal election, 1988|
|Progressive Conservative||David MacDonald||22,704||41.36||-11.44|
|New Democratic||Doug Wilson||8,266||15.06||-2.77|
|Green||Frank de Jong||397||0.72||-1.14|
|Commonwealth of Canada||Paul Therrien||33||0.06||-0.27|
|Total valid votes||54,893||100.00|
|Canadian federal election, 1984|
|Progressive Conservative||David Crombie||23,211||52.80||+8.84|
|New Democratic||Dell Wolfson||7,836||17.82||+2.97|
|Green||Shirley Ruth Farlinger||821||1.87|
|Commonwealth of Canada||David Dube||144||0.33|
|Total valid votes||43,963||100.00|
Since his departure from electoral politics, Graham has been active in a number of organizations and business concerns. In 2007, he was elected Chancellor at Trinity College, Toronto. He is a Senior Fellow of Massey College and Visitor at Green College. He is also the Chair of the Atlantic Council of Canada, Co-Vice-Chair of the Canadian International Council, and a member of the Trilateral Commission. He is the Honorary Colonel of the Governor General's Horse Guards and received an honorary doctorate from the Royal Military College of Canada in 2010. As a member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada since 2002, Graham is entitled to use the style of "The Honourable" and the post-nominal "PC" for life. He has received various honours for his services to the French language and culture in Ontario, including appointment by the French government as Chevalier of the Legion of Honour and Chevalier of the Order of the Pleiade.
Most recently, as of 2016, Bill Graham has been participating in the Government of Canada's Defence Review, as one of four members of a Minister's Advisory Panel, providing input for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. The review aims to consult with Canadians across the country in order to develop a future road map for Canada's defence policy.
Additionally, Graham has authored an autobiography titled, "Call of the World: A Political Memoir," that details his life in politics during the Liberal governments of Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Prime Minister Paul Martin. It has been well-reviewed by critics, including those from the Literary Review of Canada, the Globe and Mail, and the Economist.
- Sylvia Fraser, 'The Private Life of Bill Graham', 'Toronto Life', May 2003, pp. 83-92.
- Kyer, C. Ian, 'Lawyers, Families and Businesses: The Shaping of a Bay Street Law Firm, Faskens 1863-1963',Irwin Law, 2013, pp. 232, 243.
- Janice Gross Stein and Eugene Lang, "The Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar" (Toronto: Penguin, 2007).
- Tonda McCharles, "Mistakes kept from Martin", "Toronto Star". October 5, 2006, A1.
- Michelle Shephard, "Ottawa played down Khadr concerns", "Toronto Star", August 20, 2007.
- David Bercuson, "Liberals, lay down your arms", Toronto "Globe and Mail", May 18, 2010; citation for honorary doctorate, Royal Military College of Canada.
- General Rick Hillier, "A Soldier First: Bullets, Bureaucrats and the Politics of War" (Toronto: Harper Collins, 2010), pp. 350-351.
- Graham testimony to parliamentary committee on Afghan detainees, May 12, 2010.
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|26th Ministry – Cabinet of Jean Chrétien|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs
cont'd into 27th Min.
|27th Ministry – Cabinet of Paul Martin|
|Cabinet posts (2)|
|Minister of National Defence
|cont'd from 26th Min.||Minister of Foreign Affairs
|Party political offices|
|Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
March 18, 2006 – December 2, 2006
|Chancellor of the University of Trinity College