Gila Martow

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Gila Martow

Gila Martow.jpg
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Francophone Affairs
Assumed office
November 29, 2018
MinisterCaroline Mulroney
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Thornhill
Assumed office
February 13, 2014
Preceded byPeter Shurman
Personal details
Gila Deborah Gladstone

(1961-06-05) June 5, 1961 (age 58)
Montreal, Quebec
Political partyProgressive Conservative
ResidenceThornhill, Ontario
Alma materUniversity of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science

Gila Deborah Martow (née Gladstone; born June 5, 1961) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. She represents the electoral district of Thornhill in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as a member of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.[1] She held the position of Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour until November 2018, when she was appointed Parliamentary Assistant to Francophone Affairs Minister Caroline Mulroney following the departure of Amanda Simard from the PC Caucus.


Originally from Chomedey, Quebec, Martow was an optometrist. She and her husband, an ophthalmologist, jointly ran an eye clinic at the Markham Stouffville Hospital.[2]

Martow's maternal grandparents lived on a kibbutz organized by the Hashomer Hatzair Marxist-Zionist[3]Hashomer Hatzair records, 1938-1942 | The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life</ref> youth movement in the early 1930s in Mandatory Palestine (later to become Israel).[4] Martow attended the socialist movement's summer camp, Camp Shomria, from 1973 to 1977. The camp's Mia Gladstone Art Program is named in memory of Martow's mother.[5]

Political activism[edit]

In 2007, she was a spokesperson for the Multi-Faith Coalition. During the provincial election that year, she supported Progressive Conservative leader John Tory's plan to create funding among Ontario’s private faith-based schools. She said, "By not funding non-Catholic faith-based schools, there is going to be social unrest. This is discrimination against non-Catholics."[6] Martow's first run for elected office was in 2010, when she ran for city council in Vaughan Ward 5, placing second.

Ontario legislature[edit]

In early 2014, she ran in a by-election in the riding of Thornhill to replace the retiring Peter Shurman. She defeated Liberal candidate Sandra Yeung Racco on February 13, 2014.[1] Four months later she ran again in the 2014 provincial election. She faced Racco again in a rematch. Initially Racco was declared the winner but the decision was reversed the next day following the official Elections Ontario tally of the vote. Martow was declared the winner by 85 votes.[7] A recount was done and Martow was declared the winner on June 23, 2014 by a margin of 106 votes.[8]

On December 1, 2016, Martow presented a motion in the legislature rejecting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. It passed by a vote of 49-5 with the governing Liberals and PCs supporting, and NDP opposing.

In the past, Martow has served as the PC Critic for Intergovernmental Affairs (2014) and as the Anti-Racism Secretariat (2016). She then served in the shadow cabinet as the critic for: Children, Youth, and Families; GTA Issues; and Francophone Affairs until 2018.[9]

After the Progressive Conservatives formed government following the 2018 provincial election, Martow was appointed Parliamentary Assistant to Labour Minister Laurie Scott by Premier Doug Ford.[10] On November 29, 2018, Premier Ford announced that Martow would become the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Francophone Affairs, Caroline Mulroney and that Jane McKenna would take over her position as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour.

Election results[edit]


2018 Ontario general election: Thornhill
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Gila Martow 28,889 61.13 +17.18
New Democratic Ezra Tanen 9,134 19.33 +11.17
Liberal Sabi Ahsan 6,985 14.78 -29.00
Green Rachel Dokhoian 1,043 2.21 -0.27
Libertarian Mike Holmes 621 1.31 +0.15
None of the Above Above Znoneofthe 410 0.87
Ontario Moderate Party Aleksei Polyakov 177 0.37
Total valid votes 47,261 100.0  
Progressive Conservative hold Swing +13.24
Source: Elections Ontario[11]
2014 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Gila Martow 21,886 43.95 -3.94
Liberal Sandra Yeung Racco 21,780 43.78 +2.18
New Democratic Cindy Hackelberg 4,052 8.16 +1.37
Green David Bergart 1,229 2.48 +1.04
Libertarian Gene Balfour 571 1.16 +0.11
Freedom Erin Goodwin 233 0.47 -0.08
Total valid votes 50,291 100.0  
Progressive Conservative hold Swing -3.06
Source: Elections Ontario[12]

Ontario provincial by-election, February 13, 2014
Resignation of Peter Shurman
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Gila Martow 13,438 47.67 +0.96
Liberal Sandra Yeung Racco 11,677 41.43 +0.51
New Democratic Cindy Hackelberg 1,905 6.75 -2.21
Green Teresa Pun 404 1.43 -0.25
Libertarian Gene Balfour 296 1.05 -0.34
Freedom Erin Goodwin 153 0.54 +0.21
People's Political Party Kevin Clarke 144 0.51
Pauper Party of Ontario John Turmel 47 0.17
Total valid votes 28,184
Turnout 27.4%
     Progressive Conservative hold Swing +0.34%


2010 Vaughan election, Ward 5[13]
Candidate Votes
Alan Shefman (x) 5,561
Gila Martow 4,279
Bernie Green 2,898
Vernon Hendrickson 1,870
Yehuda Shahaf 694
Stellios Missirlis 231


  1. ^ a b "NDP win Niagara Falls, Tories hold Thornhill in Ontario byelections". Global News. February 13, 2014.
  2. ^ Joseph, Simone (January 14, 2014). "Parties get set as Thornhill byelection called". Metroland Media..
  3. ^ Hashomer, Hatzair. "Hashomer Hatzair records, 1938-1942". The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life. The Regents of the University of California. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  4. ^ "House proceedings (hansard)". Legislative Assembly of Ontario. April 23, 2015.
  5. ^ "Hashomer Hatzair marks 85 years in Canada". August 14, 2008.
  6. ^ Eby, Chris. "Ont. Tories trash Liberal promise-keeping record". CTV Toronto News. CTV. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  7. ^ "It's official: PC Martow wins Thornhill in wake of vote tally error". York Region. June 14, 2014. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  8. ^ "Martow proclaimed winner in recount". York Region. Metroland Media. June 23, 2014.
  9. ^ "Legislative Assembly of Ontario | Members (MPPs) | Current MPPs | Gila Martow, MPP (Thornhill)". Retrieved 2017-02-10.
  10. ^ "Premier Ford Announces Parliamentary Assistant Assignments as Part of Ontario's Government for the People".
  11. ^ "Summary of Valid Votes Cast for each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. p. 11. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  12. ^ "General Election Results by District, 089 Thornhill". Elections Ontario. 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  13. ^ "City of Vaughan Unofficial Results" (PDF).

External links[edit]