David Zimmer

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The Honourable
David Zimmer
David Zimmer.png
David Zimmer[1]
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Willowdale
Assumed office
October 2, 2003
Preceded by David Young
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
Assumed office
February 11, 2013
Preceded by Christopher Bentley
Personal details
Born (1944-04-07) April 7, 1944 (age 73)
Kitchener, Ontario
Political party Ontario Liberal Party
Residence Toronto, Ontario
Occupation Lawyer

David Zimmer (born April 7, 1944) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario who was elected in 2003. He represents the riding of Willowdale in Toronto. He is a member of cabinet in the government of Kathleen Wynne.


Zimmer was born in the town of Kitchener, Ontario. While associated with the Toronto law firm of Ledrew Laishley Reed, he also served as an administrative law instructor in the Law Society's Bar Admission Course.[2] From 1982 to 1984 he was Director of the Humane Society and from 1993 to 1995 was President of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. He served as chairperson of the city's public housing provider, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. Upon the start of campaigning for elective office, he relinquished the public post of assistant deputy chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

Zimmer was awarded the Greatest Local Hero Award by the North York Town Crier for his volunteer and community work in Willowdale.[citation needed] In 2005, he received a "Social Work Doctors’ Colloquium" Award of Merit for his work toward a just and caring society.[3] He has also been cited for work on Ontario Municipal Board reform and the new City of Toronto Act, which gives Toronto greater power to manage its own affairs.


Zimmer first sought elected office as an alderman in Kitchener, Ontario in the 1970s but was not successful. In the 2003 Ontario provincial election, he ran as the Liberal candidate in the riding of Willowdale, defeating Progressive Conservative incumbent and sitting Attorney General David Young by 1,866 votes.[4][5] He was re-elected in 2007,[6] 2011,[7] and 2014,[8] increasing his share of vote and margin of victory each time.

Between 2003 and 2011, Zimmer served as Parliamentary Assistant to Attorney Generals Michael Bryant and Christopher Bentley. Between 2011 and 2013, Zimmer served as Parliamentary Assistant to Kathleen Wynne, then Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. He was a member of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (2003–06, 2007–11, 2012), Standing Committee on Estimates (2006–07), Standing Committee on Justice Policy (2006–11), Standing Committee on General Government (2012), Select Committee on Elections (2008–09), and Select Committee on the proposed transaction of the TMX Group and the London Stock Exchange Group (2011)

In 2004, his motion to create an "Elder Abuse Awareness Day" was passed with support from all parties.[9] He also assisted former Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant with legislation to ban pit bulls in Ontario. In 2006, he sponsored a Private Member’s Bill which will suspend the driver’s license of anyone who is convicted of impaired boating. It passed with unanimous consent of all parties in the Ontario Legislature.[10]

During Ontario Liberal Party's 2012-13 leadership election, Zimmer along with Linda Jeffrey, Reza Moridi and Mario Sergio, were the first four caucus supporters of Kathleen Wynne's candidacy, declaring their support at Wynne's campaign launch on November 5, 2012.

In February 2013 he was appointed to the cabinet of Kathleen Wynne as the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.[11] On June 13, 2016, his portfolio was renamed to Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.[12]

Cabinet posts[edit]

Provincial Government of Kathleen Wynne
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Christopher Bentley Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation[note 1]

Electoral record[edit]

Ontario general election, 2014
** Preliminary results — Not yet official **
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal David Zimmer 24,294 52.62 +1.78
Progressive Conservative Michael Ceci 15,422 33.40 -0.20
New Democratic Alexander Brown 4,697 10.17 -2.68
Green Teresa Pun 1,758 3.81 +1.79
Total valid votes 46,171 100.0  
Liberal hold Swing +0.99
Source: Elections Ontario[8]
Ontario general election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal David Zimmer 22,034 51.00
Progressive Conservative Vince Agovino 14,428 33.39
New Democratic Alexander Brown 5,522 12.78
Green Michael Vettese 930 2.15
Freedom Amy Brown 293 0.68
Source: Elections Ontario[7]
Ontario general election, 2007
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal David Zimmer 21,065 47.7
Progressive Conservative David Shiner 15,418 34.9
New Democratic Rini Ghosh 3,755 8.5
Green Torbjorn Zetterlund 2,920 6.6
Libertarian Heath Thomas 469 1.1
Family Coalition Kristin Monster 405 0.9
Independent Charles Roddy Sutherland 121 0.3
Source: Elections Ontario[6]
Ontario general election, 2003
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal David Zimmer 21,823 46.97 4.69
Progressive Conservative David Young 19,957 42.95 -7.57
New Democratic Yvonne Bobb 3,084 6.64 2.38
Green Sharolyn Vettese 933 2.01 1.26
Family Coalition Rina Morra 442 0.95 0.02
Freedom Vaughan Byrnes 227 0.49 0.14
Source: Elections Ontario[4]



  1. ^ From 2013 to 2016 portfolio was named Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.


  1. ^ Fraser, Rob (May 12, 2010), Photographer 
  2. ^ "McGuinty Announces Cabinet Committees and Parliamentary Assistants (23-Oct-03)". www.udiontario.com. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Zimmer honoured for social work". The North York Mirror. March 18, 2005. 
  4. ^ a b "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. October 2, 2003. Archived from the original on September 11, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  5. ^ John Goddard (October 11, 2007). "Willowdale: Zimmer trumpets victory over 'high-profile' councillor". Toronto Star. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "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 2014-03-02. 
  7. ^ a b "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 2014-03-02. 
  8. ^ a b "General Election by District: Willowdale". Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Ontario marks first provincial Elder Abuse Awareness Day". Canada NewsWire. October 19, 2004. 
  10. ^ "Ontario tightens penalties for impaired boat operators". www.canada.com. June 24, 2006. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Ontario's new cabinet". Waterloo Region Record. Kitchener, Ont. February 12, 2013. p. A3. 
  12. ^ "Kathleen Wynne's shuffled cabinet features 40% women". CBC News. June 13, 2016. 

External links[edit]