Derwyn Shea

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Derwyn Shea
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded by Elaine Ziemba
Succeeded by Riding abolished
Constituency High Park—Swansea
Metro Councillor
In office
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by David Miller
Constituency High Park
City Councillor
In office
Serving with William Boytchuk
Preceded by William Boytchuk and David White
Succeeded by William Boytchuk (one city councillor)
Constituency Ward 1 (High Park-Swansea)
Personal details
Born (1937-09-01)September 1, 1937
Hamilton, Ontario
Died August 15, 2015(2015-08-15) (aged 77)
Toronto, Ontario
Political party Progressive Conservative
Spouse(s) Julia (died 2009)
Occupation Church rector
Religion Anglican

Derwyn Spencer Shea (September 1, 1937 – August 15, 2015) was an Anglican Church of Canada clergyman and politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a municipal politician in the city of Toronto for 12 years, and sat as a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1995 to 1999, representing the riding of High Park—Swansea.


Shea was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but moved to Toronto at the age of two. He was educated at the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario, and Laurentian University receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree (magna cum laude), a Master of Arts degree in urban history and structure, a Dip.Th (Huron College), a Th.B (American Divinity) and a Doctor of Divinity (Canada College), honorus causa. His pastoral clinical studies were taken at McMaster University.

Shea was ordained in 1966 as an Anglican priest, and worked in the dioceses of Saskatchewan, Algoma and Toronto. He founded the Eastview Neighbourhood Association for latchkey youth in Toronto's east end, and was co-author of the benchmark East Toronto Deanery Study. He was the first Canadian to receive a Fellowship from the Academy of Parish Clergy, and was involved in Ugandan relief efforts.[1]

Municipal politics[edit]

Shea was a member of the city of Toronto's Planning Board from 1972 to 1982 including 4 years as chairman, when he was elected in his first attempt as senior alderman in Toronto's ward 1. From 1985 to 1994, he represented Toronto-High Park on the Metropolitan Toronto council. As a member of council he served with a number of agencies, boards and commissions. He was variously a police commissioner and a commissioner of Toronto Hydro as well as president of the Canadian National Exhibition, governor of Exhibition Place and chair of the O'Keefe Centre and served on a number of hospital boards including Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Runnymede Chronic Care.[2][1]

Provincial politics[edit]

In the 1995 provincial election, Shea defeated New Democratic Party cabinet minister and incumbent Elaine Ziemba by about 1,500 votes.[3] He was a backbench supporter of Mike Harris's caucus for the next four years, serving as parliamentary assistant for the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and then as parliamentary assistant for the Citizenship, Culture, and Recreation.

Later life[edit]

He retired from the legislature in 1999 and returned to his position as rector of St. Clement's (Riverdale) Anglican Church. In 2000, Shea initiated and was later elected founding chair of the Ontario Association of Former Parliamentarians. In 1999 Shea was inducted as rector of St Hilda's parish in Toronto and Chairman and CEO of St Hilda's Towers, a 500 bed independent and assisted living seniors residence including extended convalescent care facilities. In 2002 he was installed as a canon in the Diocese of Toronto.

In 2004, Shea endorsed Frank Klees's bid to lead the Ontario PC Party. In 2007 Shea was appointed by the government of Canada to the 9 member National Seniors Council and in the same year he completed his training with the International Elections Monitoring Institute.

A friend of Mike Harris's, he officiated the former Premier's wedding to Laura Maguire in 2005.[2]

Shea died of cancer at Toronto General Hospital on August 15, 2015 at age 77. He was predeceased by his wife, Julia, and survived by his partner, Christine Schubert.[2][4]


  1. ^ a b "Obituary: Canon Derwyn Shea Memorial". Turner & Porter. August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Powell, Betsy (August 19, 2015). "Longtime politician Derwyn Shea worked for his ward, his church and Mike Harris". Toronto Star. 
  3. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 8, 1995. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  4. ^ Blizzard, Christina (November 9, 2013). "Woman, dead four years, billed for giving birth". Kingston Whig-Standard. 

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