Carolyn Bennett

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The Honourable
Carolyn Bennett
Carolyn Bennett at podium-Crop.jpg
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for St. Paul's
Assumed office
Preceded by Barry Campbell
Personal details
Born Carolyn Ann Bennett
(1950-12-20) December 20, 1950 (age 64)
Toronto, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Peter O'Brian
Children 2
Residence Toronto, Ontario
Alma mater Havergal College, University of Toronto
Profession Physician
Cabinet Minister of State (Public Health) (2003-2006)

Carolyn Ann Bennett, PC MP (born December 20, 1950) is the Member of Parliament for the riding of St. Paul's, a constituency located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is a member of the Liberal Party of Canada, and was formerly a candidate for its leadership.


Bennett grew up in Toronto and attended Havergal College. She obtained a degree in medicine from the University of Toronto in 1974 and received her certification in family medicine in 1976. Bennett worked as a family physician at Wellesley Hospital and Women's College Hospital in Toronto from 1977 to 1997 and was a founding partner in Bedford Medical Associates. She was also president of the medical staff association of Women's College Hospital and assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Bennett served on the boards of Havergal College, Women's College Hospital, the Ontario Medical Association, and the Medico-Legal Society of Toronto.

In 1986, Bennett received the Royal Life Saving Society Service Cross, a Commonwealth award recognizing her more than twenty years of distinguished service. In 1990, she was named as one of Simpson's "Women Who Make a Difference". She was the recipient of the coveted EVE Award for contributing to the advancement of women in politics in 2002, and in 2003 received the first ever CAMIMH Mental Health Champion Award. Bennett is also author of Kill or Cure? How Canadians Can Remake their Health Care System, published in October 2000. In 2004, she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada for her contributions to medicine, especially women's health.[1]

She is married to Canadian film producer Peter O'Brian. They have two sons.


Bennett ran for public office in the 1995 Ontario provincial election as a candidate of the Ontario Liberal Party.[2] Running in the riding of St. Andrew—St. Patrick, she lost to Progressive Conservative candidate Isabel Bassett by about 3,500 votes.[3]

Bennett was more successful in the 1997 federal election, defeating her closest opponent in St. Paul's by almost 15,000 votes.[4] She was re-elected by increased margins in the elections of 2000 and 2004.[5][6]

On December 12, 2003, after Martin became Prime Minister, he appointed Bennett as his Minister of State for Public Health. The Minister of State (Public Health) assists the Minister of Health. She was chair of the Canada-Israel Friendship Group from 1999 to 2003 and is a member of Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel.

In the 2006 election, Bennett defeated two main challengers who were both touted as star candidates, Peter Kent of the Conservatives and Paul Summerville of the New Democratic Party.[7][8] Bennett was re-elected, but lost her cabinet position as the Liberals were defeated.[9] She was re-elected in 2008 and 2011.[10][11]

In opposition, she was appointed the Liberal Party's critic of Social Development.[12]

She announced on April 24, 2006 that she would pursue the leadership of the party.[13] On September 15, 2006, she withdrew from the leadership race and threw her support behind former Ontario Premier Bob Rae.[14]

She is currently the Liberal critic for Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development, and Chair of the National Liberal Women's Caucus.


  1. ^ "Media Advisory: The Honourable Dr. Carolyn Bennett Receives Honorary Fellowship from the SOGC.". June 25, 2004. 
  2. ^ "Carolyn Bennett takes your questions on the Liberal leadership race". The Globe and Mail. September 13, 2006. 
  3. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 8, 1995. 
  4. ^ "Final Results Riding by Riding". Calgary Herald. June 4, 1997. p. A5. 
  5. ^ "Election Results". Star - Phoenix (Saskatoon, SK). November 28, 2000. p. A8. 
  6. ^ "Election results...riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. June 29, 2004. p. A14. 
  7. ^ Bill Doskoch (September 7, 2008). "Toronto's political landscape unlikely to shift". CTV. 
  8. ^ "NDP won't raise taxes, pledges Jack Layton". CTV. December 5, 2005. 
  9. ^ Justin Skinner (September 4, 2008). "Federal election call expected soon". Inside Toronto. Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  10. ^ "Greater Toronto Area Results". The Toronto Star. October 15, 2008. p. U2. 
  11. ^ "Riding results from across Canada". Edmonton Journal. May 3, 2011. p. A6. 
  12. ^ Carolyn Bennett. "Carolyn Bennett - MP Profile". Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  13. ^ "Liberal leadership field grows with Bennett's entry". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. April 24, 2006. Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  14. ^ Susan Delacourt (September 16, 2006). "Bennett quits contest, backs Rae". Toronto Star. 

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