Jeff Leal

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The Honourable
Jeff Leal
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Peterborough
Assumed office
October 2, 2003
Preceded by Gary Stewart
Member of the Peterborough City Council for Otonabee Ward
In office
Serving with
Glenn Pagett (1985–1997)
Nancy Branscombe (1997–2000)
Succeeded by Paul Rexe
Garry Herring
Personal details
Born (1954-12-13) December 13, 1954 (age 62)
Peterborough, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Karan
Children 2
Residence Peterborough, Ontario
Occupation Health and Safety officer
Portfolio Chief Government Whip (2011-2013)

Jeff Leal (born December 13, 1954) 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 Peterborough. He serves in the cabinet of the government of Kathleen Wynne.


Leal was born and raised in Peterborough. He attended Kenner Collegiate and has an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from Trent University (1978) and a degree in Business Administration from the University of Windsor (1981). Leal worked as executive assistant to Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) John Eakins and Larry South in the 1980s.[1] He was a health and safety representative for Coyle Corrugated Containers.[2] He is married to Karan, an educator and school principal, with two children, Braden and Shanae



He served on the Peterborough city council from 1985 to 2003, representing the Otonabee Ward. At City Hall he was appointed as Deputy Mayor (1993-2003) and chaired the social services committee after the 2000 municipal election.

2000 Peterborough municipal election, Council, Otonabee Ward (two members elected)edit
Candidate Total votes  % of total votes Notes
(x)Jeff Leal 3,461 41.15
Glenn Pagett 3,182 37.83
Allan Deck 1,768 21.02
Total valid votes 8,411 100.00


Leal ran for provincial office in the 1999 provincial election as the Liberal candidate. He was narrowly defeated by Progressive Conservative incumbent Gary Stewart.[3] He defeated Stewart by over six thousand votes in a 2003 rematch, amid a provincial shift to the Liberal Party.[4] Leal was re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2014.[5][6][7]

During his time in government he has served as Parliamentary Assistant to several ministers including Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (2004), Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (2005), Ministry of Energy (2005), Ministry of the Environment (2006), and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (2007–09). In February 2010, he was named the Chief Government Whip.[8]

In February 2013, Premier Kathleen Wynne named Leal to Ontario's Cabinet, serving in the role as Minister of Rural Affairs.[9]

Leal has helped secure over $400 million in funding for Peterborough, creating and preserving over 3,700 jobs with investments in infrastructure, transportation, businesses and health care. This included the creation of a new hospital, Peterborough Regional Health Centre, and funding following a damaging flood in 2004.[10][11]

Leal has championed a number of issues through private member's bills, including retirement and income security measures. He introduced a private member's bill in 2008 to provide creditor protection for Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs).[12] Two years later, he introduced a separate bill that would require companies with twenty or more employees to offer a savings or pension plan that all employees would automatically join (with the ability to opt out). The stated purpose of this bill, which was supported by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, was to reduce the costs of such insurance plans compared with retail mutual funds.[13]

In June 2014, Leal was appointed as the Minister of Agriculture and Food and Rural Affairs.[14]

Cabinet positions[edit]

Provincial Government of Kathleen Wynne
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Ted McMeekin Minister of Agriculture and Food and Rural Affairs
Was Minister of Rural Affairs in 2013–2014

Electoral record[edit]

Ontario general election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Jeff Leal 19,319 39.79 -8.01
Progressive Conservative Alan Wilson 15,309 31.53 +5.93
New Democratic Dave Nickle 12,458 25.66 +9.06
Green Gary Beamish 1,235 2.54 -6.16
Freedom Alex Long 127 0.26
Socialist Ken Ranney 104 0.21
Total valid votes 100.0

Ontario general election, 2007: Peterborough
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Jeff Leal 24,466 47.72 +3.61 $95,432
     Progressive Conservative Bruce Fitzpatrick 13,176 25.70 −7.32 $89,425
New Democratic Dave Nickle 8,523 16.62 −1.78 $33,229
Green Miriam Stucky 4,473 8.72 $10,163
Family Coalition Paul Morgan 634 1.24 $0
Total valid votes 51,272 100.00
Rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 241
Turnout 51,513 57.47
Electors on the lists 89,627

Note: Percentage changes are factored for redistribution. Sources: Official 2007 Poll by Poll Results and 2007 Annual Returns, Candidate and Constituency Associations, Elections Ontario.

Ontario general election, 2003: Peterborough
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Jeff Leal 24,626 44.74 +4.54 $59,358
     Progressive Conservative Gary Stewart 18,418 33.46 −11.53 $83,317
New Democratic Dave Nickle 9,796 17.80 +4.80 $22,783
Green Tim Holland 1,605 2.92 +1.82 $6,817
Family Coalition Max Murray 414 0.75 $212
     Independent Bob Bowers 178 0.32 +0.05 not listed
Total valid votes 55,037 100.00
Rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 245
Turnout 55,282 62.76 −0.01
Electors on the lists 88,080

Ontario general election, 1999: Peterborough
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
     Progressive Conservative Gary Stewart 24,422 44.99 $66,248
Liberal Jeff Leal 21,820 40.20 $45,608
New Democratic Dave Nickle 7,058 13.00 $26,105
Green Larry Tyldsley 598 1.10 $1,651
     Independent Bob Bowers 151 0.28 $862
     Independent Kenneth T. Burgess 125 0.23 not listed
Natural Law Robert Mayer 106 0.20 $0
Total valid votes 54,280 100.00
Rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 297
Turnout 54,577 62.77
Electors on the lists 86,951


  1. ^ Hodgins, Bill (September 27, 2003). "'Lefty' after city seat for Grits". Peterborough Examiner. p. A1The article title is an reference to Leal's golf swing, not to his political leanings. 
  2. ^ Lacey, Mike (September 17, 2003). "Jeff Leal's been down this road before...and loves it". Peterborough This Week. p. 1. 
  3. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 3, 1999. 
  4. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. October 2, 2003. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 10, 2007. p. 12 (xxi). Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  6. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 14. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  7. ^ "General Election by District: Peterborough". Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Jeff Leal replaces Mike Colle as Ontario chief government whip on Tuesday". Canadian Press. February 13, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal sworn in as rural affairs minister". Peterborough Examiner. February 11, 2013. 
  10. ^ Benzie, Robert (July 22, 2004). "$5 million in aid for Peterborough; 'Just a down payment,' says McGuinty". Toronto Star. p. A2. 
  11. ^ "City gets more flood aid; Province to give extra $3.5 million 3,200 relief requests in Peterborough". Toronto Star. Canadian Press. September 7, 2004. p. A2. 
  12. ^ "Now's time to shield RRSPs from creditors". Toronto Star. May 23, 2009. p. B1. 
  13. ^ Daw, James (May 6, 2010). "Bill would make retirement savings plans mandatory". Toronto Star. p. B2. 
  14. ^ Richard Brennan; Robert Benzie; Rob Ferguson (June 24, 2014). "Kathleen Wynne warns financial cupboard is bare". Toronto Star. 

External links[edit]