Christine Elliott

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Christine Elliott
Christine Elliott.jpg
1st Patient Ombudsman of Ontario
In office
July 1, 2016 – February 1, 2018
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Craig Thompson (interim)
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
In office
October 10, 2007 – August 28, 2015
Preceded by Riding created
Succeeded by Lorne Coe
Constituency Whitby—Oshawa
In office
March 30, 2006 – October 10, 2007
Preceded by Jim Flaherty
Succeeded by Riding dissolved
Constituency Whitby—Ajax
Personal details
Born Christine Janice Elliott
(1955-04-13) April 13, 1955 (age 62)
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Political party Progressive Conservative
Spouse(s) Jim Flaherty (m. 1986; d. 2014)
Residence Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Alma mater University of Western Ontario
Occupation Lawyer
Portfolio Deputy Leader (2009–2015)

Christine Janice Elliott (born April 13, 1955) is a Canadian politician in Ontario who is a former Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP), having served the riding of Whitby-Oshawa. Elliott is the widow of former Canadian Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty under former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper (2006–2014). She served as Ontario PC Party Deputy Leader from 2009 to 2015 under Tim Hudak. She was the runner-up in both the 2015 and 2018 PC party leadership races and placed third in the 2009 race.

She was a Progressive Conservative member in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 2006 to 2015. She represented the ridings of Whitby—Ajax and Whitby—Oshawa, east of Toronto. Elliott was a candidate in the 2009 Progressive Conservative leadership election and came in third place behind winner Tim Hudak and runner-up Frank Klees. She was appointed as the party's deputy leader in 2009. She was a candidate for 2015 leadership election but lost to federal MP Patrick Brown. Following her second loss, Elliott was appointed as Ontario's first Patient Ombudsman by then-Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Eric Hoskins.

On February 1, 2018, she launched her third bid for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party of Ontario, which was triggered by the resignation of Patrick Brown on January 25 following sexual misconduct allegations.[1] On March 10, Elliott narrowly lost to Doug Ford on the third ballot with 49.4% of allocated points. Elliott had initially refused to concede to Ford, citing “serious irregularities” in the race and vowed to “investigate the extent of this discrepancy.” The day after the vote results were announced, she conceded to Ford.


Elliott was born in Oshawa and grew up in Whitby.[2][3] She attended the University of Western Ontario where she received her honours Bachelor of Arts degree in history.[4] She graduated from Western Law School and received her Bachelor of Laws degree in 1978.[5] She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1980. She started off her career as a bank auditor for one of Canada's largest banks. She was a founding member and partner of the Whitby law firm Flaherty Dow Elliott & McCarthy, where she practised in real estate, corporate/commercial, and estate law.

Elliott received Whitby's Peter Perry Award, an annual recognition of Whitby's outstanding citizen. Prior to that she became a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of her pro bono legal work. She is the co-founder and director of the Abilities Centre (a facility for those with special needs),[6] a director and past chair of Grandview Children’s Centre and a director of the Lakeridge Health Whitby Foundation. She was board president of the Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS) and was recognized when it named one of their group homes in her honour (Elliott House). She is a director of Legacy Private Trust and has been a director of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.[7]

Elliott was married to former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty until his death on April 10, 2014.[8] She lived in Whitby with her triplet sons John, Galen and Quinn until 2015 when she moved to Toronto to be closer to her job as Patient Ombudsman.[9][10] Her son Galen, used to work for Doug Ford, then Etobicoke councillor.[11] Elliott and Flaherty have both championed issues surrounding disabled children; their son, John, has a disability. [12]


In March 2006, Elliott ran successfully as the Progressive Conservative candidate in the provincial riding of Whitby—Ajax in a by-election, replacing her husband who was elected to the federal Parliament. She was re-elected in 2007 in the redistributed riding of Whitby—Oshawa.[13] She was re-elected in 2011 and 2014.[14][15]

PC party leadership bids of 2009 and 2015 and Deputy Leader[edit]

On April 4, 2009, Elliott entered the leadership race to succeed former leader John Tory. She portrayed herself as a centrist alternative to her three right-wing opponents—Hudak, Klees and Randy Hillier.[16] During her announcement she criticised her main rival Tim Hudak. She said, "He really wants to replicate some of the campaigns and some of the solutions that worked in the 1990s. What happened in 1995 is not the solution for 2009."[17] She said that as leader, she would push for a "sector-by-sector" innovation strategy for Ontario. She also said that she supports nuclear energy and that the Liberal's green energy plan was insufficient for Ontario's needs.[18][19] At the leadership convention on June 28, 2009, in Markham, Ontario, Elliott placed third in the results behind winner Tim Hudak and runner-up Frank Klees.[20]

Elliott became the party's Deputy Leader from 2009 until her resignation in 2015.

On June 25, 2014, Elliott announced she would once again be seeking the leadership of the party for a second time.[21] She had the support of at least nineteen of the twenty-eight caucus members[22] but lost to Brown on May 9, 2015, in a two-person race with 38% of the vote. She resigned her seat in the legislature on August 28, 2015, one week before Brown's election to the provincial parliament.[23]

Patient Ombudsman of Ontario[edit]

On December 10, 2015, she was appointed by Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Eric Hoskins as Ontario's first Patient Ombudsman effective as of July 1, 2016. The duties of the non-partisan position included acting on behalf of patients who have not had their issues resolved through normal complaint resolution processes. She said, "Ensuring that patients in Ontario's health-care system will now have a strengthened voice is a responsibility I am looking forward to taking on."[24] On February 1, 2018, Elliott resigned as Patient Ombudsman to enter the Ontario PC Party leadership election.[25]

2018 Ontario PC Party Leadership Bid[edit]

Elliott officially announced she was running for leadership on February 1, 2018, via Twitter, to replace Patrick Brown who had resigned as leader after sexual misconduct allegations were made against him.[26][27] Elliott's campaign slogan was "Ready. Now." and her leadership campaign has focused on her experience compared to the other candidates.[28][29] Elliott stated she supported the "People's Guarantee" (the existing platform adopted by the PC Party in November 2017) with the exception of a carbon tax, which she opposed.[30] Elliott had the most support from the Ontario PC caucus of any leadership candidate in the race.[31] On March 10, Elliott was eliminated on the third and final ballot of the leadership election, which was won by Doug Ford. Elliott had the most votes and had won the most ridings but did not have the most points and therefore came in second. [32] Elliott initially refused to concede to Ford, citing “serious irregularities” in the race and vowed to “investigate the extent of this discrepancy”. However she conceded to Ford the next day and announced her support for him as party leader.[33]

2018 PC candidate nomination for Newmarket-Aurora[edit]

On April 2, Elliott announced via Twitter her intention to seek the PC candidate nomination for the provincial riding of Newmarket-Aurora.[34] On the same day, PC candidate for Newmarket-Aurora Charity McGrath announced her decision to step aside to endorse Elliott.[35]

Electoral record[edit]

Ontario general election, 2014: Whitby—Oshawa
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Christine Elliott 23,985 40.66 −7.51
Liberal Ajay Krishnan 18,488 31.34 −2.06
New Democratic Ryan Kelly 13,662 23.16 +7.70
Green Stacey Leadbetter 2,534 4.30 +2.06
Freedom Douglas Thom 326 0.55 +0.24
Total valid votes 58,995 100.0  
Progressive Conservative hold Swing −2.72
Source: Elections Ontario[36]

Ontario general election, 2011: Whitby—Oshawa
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Christine Elliott 24,499 48.17 +4.16
Liberal Elizabeth Roy 16,988 33.40 −2.59
New Democratic Maret Sadem-Thompson 7,865 15.46 +4.34
Green Bradley Gibson 1,139 2.24 −5.02
Special Needs Dan King 211 0.41  
Freedom Douglas Thom 160 0.31 +0.02
Total valid votes 50,862 100.00
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 154 0.30 -0.22
Turnout 51,016 49.69 -3.84
Eligible voters 102,672
Progressive Conservative hold Swing +3.38
Ontario general election, 2007: Whitby—Oshawa
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Christine Elliott 22,694 44.00 −3.12
Liberal Laura Hammer 18,560 35.99 −1.00
New Democratic Nigel Moses 5,734 11.12 −1.57
Green Doug Anderson 3,745 7.26
Libertarian Marty Gobin 414 0.80
Family Coalition Dale Chilvers 275 0.53
Freedom Bill Frampton 152 0.29
Total valid votes 51,572 100.00
Total rejected ballots 270 0.52
Turnout 51,842 53.53
Eligible voters 96,842
Progressive Conservative hold Swing −1.06

^ Change is from redistributed results.

Ontario provincial by-election, March 30, 2006: Whitby—Ajax
Resignation of Jim Flaherty
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Christine Elliott 15,843 46.23 −2.2
Liberal Judi Longfield 14,529 42.40 +2.2
New Democratic Julie Gladman 3,204 9.35 +0.2
Green Nick Boileau 307 0.90 −1.5
Freedom Paul McKeever 197 0.57
Family Coalition Victor Carvalho 102 0.30
Libertarian Marty Gobin 87 0.25
Total valid votes 34,269 100.00
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 107 0.31
Turnout 34,376 32.42
Eligible voters 106,028
Progressive Conservative hold Swing


  1. ^ Benitah, Sandie (February 1, 2018). "Elliott confirms run for PC leadership; Source says Mulroney will also make a bid". CTV News Toronto. Retrieved February 1, 2018. 
  2. ^ Pessian, Parvaneh (June 12, 2009). "The many sides of Christine Elliott". This Week. p. 1. 
  3. ^ "A look at Tory leadership candidate Christine Elliott". The Canadian Press. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Christine J. Elliott". Legacy Private Trust. Retrieved April 11, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Christine J. Elliott, LL.B., M.P.P." Flaherty Dow Elliot & McCarthy Litigation Counsel. Retrieved April 11, 2014. 
  6. ^ Ryan Maloney (June 25, 2014). "Why Christine Elliott Is Far More Than Just 'Flaherty's Widow'". The Huffington Post. 
  7. ^ "Christine Elliott, Your MPP, Biography". Retrieved October 2, 2011. 
  8. ^ National Post staff; Postmedia News (April 10, 2014). "Jim Flaherty, 64, dies at Ottawa home one month after resigning as finance minister". National Post. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Daw: 4 tips Jim Flaherty is giving his three sons". Toronto Star (Moneyville). October 4, 2010. 
  11. ^ "A young Flaherty joins Doug Ford's staff". Retrieved February 28, 2018. 
  12. ^ Benzie, Robert (October 4, 2014). "Jim Flaherty and Christine Elliott were partners in life, law, and politics". Toronto Star. 
  13. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 10, 2007. p. 17 (xxvi). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 7, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 19. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 30, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  15. ^ "General Election by District: Whitby-Oshawa". Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Flaherty's wife joins race for provincial Tory leadership". Vancouver Sun. April 4, 2009. p. B2. 
  17. ^ Greenberg, Lee (April 4, 2009). "Centrist MPP enters race to lead Tories". Ottawa Citizen. p. A4. 
  18. ^ Denley, Randall (May 1, 2009). "Christine Elliott's Conservative 'to-do list'". Windsor Star. p. A8. 
  19. ^ Cowan, James (May 15, 2009). "Tory hopeful casts eye on grassroots for policy; Ontario party's leadership became 'arrogant,' Klees says". National Post. p. A7. 
  20. ^ Hayward, Jeff (June 27, 2009). "Christine Elliott fails in bid to lead Progressive Conservatives". This Week. p. 1. 
  21. ^ Jones, Allison (June 25, 2014). "Christine Elliott, Flaherty's widow, running for Ontario PC party leadership". Toronto, Ont: The Canadian Press. 
  22. ^ Brennan, Richard (June 26, 2014). "Elliott vows to build a kinder new PC party: Fresh direction is needed to regain trust of voters, leadership hopeful says". Toronto Star. p. A6. 
  23. ^ "Tory Christine Elliott quits as MPP". Toronto Star. August 28, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Former Whitby-Oshawa MPP Christine Elliott to be Province's first patient ombudsman". This Week. Whitby, Ont. December 11, 2015. p. 1. 
  25. ^ Benzie, Robert; Ferguson, Rob (February 1, 2018). "Former MPP Christine Elliott joins Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race, Caroline Mulroney to follow". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 1, 2018. 
  26. ^ "Christine Elliott (@celliottability) | Twitter". Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  27. ^ Loriggio, Paola (January 25, 2018). "Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown resigns amid allegations about conduct". Toronto. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  28. ^ Benzie, Robert (February 5, 2018). "Christine Elliott says she's got the experience Tories need in a leader". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  29. ^ "Mulroney, Ford not ready to lead Ont. PC party: Elliott". CTVNews. February 17, 2018. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  30. ^ "Christine Elliott speaks with Chris Selley about Doug Ford, the carbon tax and her Ontario PC leadership bid". National Post. February 2, 2018. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  31. ^ Ferguson, Rob (February 7, 2018). "It's still early, but Christine Elliott has most caucus support in PC leadership race". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved February 25, 2018. 
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Christine Elliott meets new Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford, gives him her support | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-03-12. 
  34. ^ "Christine Elliott on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-04-06. 
  35. ^ "Charity McGrath on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-04-06. 
  36. ^ "General Election Results by District, 100 Whitby—Oshawa". Elections Ontario. 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 

External links[edit]