Jan Dukszta

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Jan Dukszta
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded by James Trotter
Succeeded by Tony Ruprecht
Constituency Parkdale
Personal details
Born Janusz Romwald Dukszta
(1932-05-27) May 27, 1932 (age 85)
Political party New Democrat
Residence Toronto
Occupation Psychiatrist

Janusz Romwald Dukszta (born May 27, 1932) is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a New Democratic member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1971 to 1981. He represented the riding of Parkdale.


Dukszta was born in Poland in 1932.[1] He and his brother, Andrzej, escaped with their mother from Poland near the end of World War II and settled in London where they were educated at Christ College, Blackheath. Their father was responsible for resettling and educating Poles in England. He was trained in medicine in Dublin and served his psychiatric residency in North Bay, Ontario.


He was elected in the 1971 provincial election in the Toronto riding of Parkdale.[2] He was re-elected in 1975 and by more than 2,400 votes in the 1977[3] before losing by 900 votes in the 1981 provincial election to Liberal Tony Ruprecht.[4][5][6][7]

Dukszta attributed his defeat, in part, to an anti-gay campaign by a group called "Positive Parents" that targeted NDP candidates in several Toronto ridings because of the party's support for an amendment to the Ontario Human Rights Code to prohibit discrimination in housing and employment on the basis of sexual orientation. The group distributed literature that claimed Dukstza was gay while a second group, Campaign Life, distributed literature denouncing him for supporting maintaining coverage for abortions under Ontario Health Insurance Plan.[3]

At one all-candidates' meeting Dukszta held up a hand-made pink triangle and a yellow star to illustrate the danger he saw in anti-homosexual sentiment being used against New Democrats. "I saw this sort of thing in Poland during the war, when the Germans made homosexuals wear pink triangles and Jews had to wear the star," Dukszta told the Globe and Mail saying of the anti-gay organizations "These groups are dangerous.... It is the start of fascism.... Are we going to go through another McCarthy period when minorities will be attacked allegedly in the name of the moral majority?"[8] Dukszta claimed he was also the target of a smear campaign that falsely accused the psychiatrist of being an abortionist. "Some of their canvassers were saying I was doing abortions in the back room. Our canvassers were hearing it."[8]

Dukszta helped write the NDPs health and education policy. As a member of the NDP caucus he served as critic for housing and, subsequently, for culture and recreation.[8]

Dukszta had also taken time out of his re-election campaign to treat fellow NDP MPP Tony Lupusella who had suffered a nervous breakdown and was unable to campaign but was nevertheless re-elected by 231 votes.[9]

After politics[edit]

Dukszta returned to psychiatric practice following his defeat[4] and, by 1986, was head of medical staff at Queen Street Mental Health Centre in Toronto.[10] Since retired, he still sees private patients.

Dukszta is dedicated to the arts, the visual arts in particular. Over his almost half-century living in Canada he has purchased and commissioned hundreds of works of art, many of which have been donated to museums and galleries. In particular, many of the commissioned works include portraits of himself in a variety of poses. In 1985, he had collected about 30 such pieces which were displayed in his Rosedale apartment.[11]

In 2010, the University of Toronto Art Centre held an exhibition entitled Portrait of a Patron that showcased artwork that Dukszta had commissioned since 1953.[12]


By Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm,[13]


  1. ^ Normadin, Pierre G.; A. Léopold Normandin (1974). The Canadian parliamentary guide / Guide parlementaire canadien. Ottawa. p. 761. ISSN 0315-6168. 
  2. ^ "Riding-by-riding returns in provincial election". The Globe and Mail. October 23, 1971. p. 10. 
  3. ^ a b Turner, Julia (March 21, 1981). "Vodka eases pain Liberal's Parkdale win leaves Dukszta bitter". Globe and Mail. 
  4. ^ a b Carriere, Vianney (August 24, 1981). "The Losers: For ex-MPPs, it's limelight to limbo". Globe and Mail. 
  5. ^ "Table of vote results for all Ontario ridings". The Globe and Mail. September 19, 1975. p. C12. 
  6. ^ "Ontario provincial election results riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. June 10, 1977. p. D9. 
  7. ^ Canadian Press (March 20, 1981). "Election results for Metro Toronto". The Windsor Star. Windsor, Ontario. p. 22. 
  8. ^ a b c Spiers, Rosemary (March 21, 1981). "Anti-gay, anti-abortion groups hurt us in election, NDPers say". Globe and Mail. 
  9. ^ Coyle, Jim (August 6, 1982). "Suffered nervous breakdown, New Democrat tries comeback". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. p. 5. 
  10. ^ Delacourt, Susan (March 11, 1986). "Protest puts patients in jeopardy, MDs say". Globe and Mail. 
  11. ^ Bowen, Lisa Balfour (January 12, 1985). "The Patron Saint of Queen Street West". The Globe and Mail. pp. E17, E19. 
  12. ^ "Portrait of a Patron: The Dukszta Collection". University of Toronto Art Centre. January 19, 2010. Archived from the original on December 19, 2010. 
  13. ^ http://aleksandraziolkowskaboehm.blogspot.com/2012/05/kanada-kanada.html

External links[edit]