Chris Hodgson

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Chris Hodgson
Ontario MPP
In office
1999–2003
Preceded by New riding
Succeeded by Laurie Scott
Constituency Haliburton—Victoria—Brock
In office
1994–1999
Preceded by Dennis Drainville
Succeeded by Riding abolished
Constituency Victoria—Haliburton
Personal details
Born 1962 (age 54–55)
Haliburton, Ontario
Political party Progressive Conservative
Relations Ronald Glen Hodgson, uncle
Louis Hodgson, uncle
Residence Haliburton, Ontario
Occupation Real estate agent

Chris Hodgson (born c. 1962) is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1994 to 2003 representing the ridings of Victoria—Haliburton and Haliburton—Victoria—Brock. He was a cabinet minister in the governments of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves.

Background[edit]

Hodgson was born in Haliburton, Ontario and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Trent University. He worked as a real-estate agent for RE/MAX and worked in health care planning for Haliburton County.

Hodgson's son, Cody, is an ice hockey player picked 10th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft who currently plays for the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League. His uncle, Ronald Glen Hodgson, was a Tory MPP for many years, in the same riding later held by Chris Hodgson. Another uncle, Louis Hodgson, was also a PC MPP, representing the Toronto riding of Scarborough East for one term from 1963 to 1967.

Political career[edit]

Hodgson was the warden of Haliburton County prior to entering provincial politics.

Hodgson was elected to the Ontario legislature in a 1994 by-election, defeating Liberal candidate Sharon McCrae by fewer than 2,000 votes in the rural riding of Victoria—Haliburton. The by-election was extremely bitter, and there were many accusations that Hodgson's team appealed to homophobic prejudice in the region to put their candidate over the top. At the time of the by-election, the Liberal Party supported the NDP government's plans to provide increased social benefits for same-sex couples in Bill 167. They reversed their position after Hodgson's victory, amid fears that the issue had cost them rural support.

This reversal in policy would later cost the party, however: after targeting the Liberal Party's purported lack of credibility, the Tories won a majority government in the provincial election of 1995, and Hodgson was re-elected over McCrae by almost 20,000 votes.[1] On June 26, 1995, he was named Minister of Natural Resources, Development and Mines in Mike Harris's government.[2]

On October 10, 1997, Hodgson was named Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet and Deputy Government House Leader.[3] He also served as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Hodgson defeated McCrae for a third time in the 1999 provincial election, this time in the redistributed riding of Haliburton—Victoria—Brock.[4] He retained his position as Chair of the Management Board in the new parliament, and was also named Commissioner of the Board of Internal Economy on July 27, 1999. After a cabinet shuffle on February 8, 2001, he was named Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.[5]

As Minister of Natural Resources Hodgson launched the Lands for Life initiative, which saw the largest increase in parks and protected space in the history of the province. As Municipal Affairs Minister he rewrote the Municipal Act for the first time since the passage of the Baldwin Act in the late 19th century, placed protective status on the Oak Ridges Moraine and began a smart growth program for the entire province, an initiative that was downsized to include only the GTA in the successive Liberal government and renamed Places to Grow.

When Harris resigned as Premier in 2002, many expected Hodgson to enter the race to replace him. Instead, he endorsed Ernie Eves, the victorious candidate. He retained the Municipal Affairs and Housing portfolio in the Eves cabinet, but unexpectedly stepped down on January 13, 2003, announcing his decision to retire from politics. He did not run in the 2003 election. In 2004, he supported John Tory's successful bid to replace Eves as party leader.

Ipperwash Inquiry[edit]

Shortly after assuming office, Hodgson was involved in a cabinet discussion with Harris and members of the Ontario Provincial Police concerning a standoff with native protesters at Ipperwash Provincial Park. The police cleared the park by force on September 6, 1995, and in the process killed an unarmed protester named Dudley George.

An inquiry into the Ipperwash shooting was established by the Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty in 2004. In late 2005, former deputy Solicitor-General Elaine Todres testified that she heard Hodgson say, "Get the fucking Indians out of my park" at a lunch-hour meeting on the day of Dudley George's shooting. Former Attorney General Charles Harnick had previously testified that he heard Premier Harris say "I want the fucking Indians out of the park" at the same meeting.[6] Harris and Hodgson both denied the allegations when they took the stand.

Cabinet positions[edit]

Provincial Government of Mike Harris
Cabinet Posts (4)
Predecessor Office Successor
Tony Clement Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
[note 1]

2001–2003
Helen Johns
Dave Johnson Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet
1997–2001
David Tsubouchi
Shelley Martel Minister of Northern Development and Mines
1995–1999
Tim Hudak
Howard Hampton Minister of Natural Resources
1995–1999
John Snobelen

After politics[edit]

He is currently president of the Ontario Mining Association.

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ernie Eves retained Hodgson in his cabinet when he took power in 2002.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 8, 1995. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  2. ^ "Mike Harris' cabinet". The Spectator. Hamilton, Ont. June 27, 1995. p. A7. 
  3. ^ Rusk, James; Mackie, Richard (October 10, 1997). "Premier to shuffle cabinet Ministers to move out of hot portfolios: Snobelen from Education, Wilson from Health". The Globe and Mail. p. A1. 
  4. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 3, 1999. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Flaherty to be new Ontario finance chief". Sudbury Star. February 8, 2001. p. A5. 
  6. ^ Harries, Kate (December 2, 2005). "Confidentiality question gets airing at inquiry". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-11-03. 

External links[edit]