Judy Sgro

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Judy Sgro

Judy Sgro.jpg
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Humber River—Black Creek
York West (1997–2015)
Assumed office
November 15, 1999
Preceded bySergio Marchi
Chair of the Standing Committee on International Trade
Assumed office
January 29, 2020
Preceded byMark Eyking
Chair of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
In office
February 3, 2016 – September 11, 2019
Preceded byVance Badawey
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
In office
13 January 2003 – 10 January 2005
Prime MinisterPaul Martin
Preceded byDenis Coderre
Succeeded byJoe Volpe
Toronto City Councillor for North York Humber
In office
January 1, 1998 – November 14, 1999
Preceded byWard Created
Succeeded byPaul Valenti
ConstituencyWard 6
Metro Councillor for North York Humber
In office
December 1, 1994 – December 31, 1997
Preceded byMario Gentile
Succeeded byCity Amalgamated
North York City Councillor
In office
1987 – November 30, 1994
Preceded byMario Gentile
Succeeded byGina Severino
ConstituencyWard 2
Personal details
Born (1944-12-16) December 16, 1944 (age 76)
Moncton, New Brunswick
Political partyLiberal Party of Canada
Spouse(s)Sam Sgro
ResidenceToronto, Ontario

Judy Sgro PC MP (born December 16, 1944) is a Canadian politician. A member of the Liberal Party of Canada, she currently represents the electoral district of Humber River—Black Creek in the House of Commons of Canada. Sgro currently serves as the chair of the Standing Committee on International Trade and as a Chair on the Canadian House of Commons Liaison Committee since 2016.[1][circular reference][2]

Politics[edit]

Councillor[edit]

Sgro was introduced to politics when she was elected to North York City Council in 1987. In 1994 she was acclaimed as a Metro councillor for North York.[3] In 1998 she became a Toronto city councillor in the newly amalgamated city where she served a term as vice-chair of the Toronto Police Services Board.[4]

Federal politics[edit]

Government (1999–2006)[edit]

In 1997 Sgro's first attempt at Federal politics came up short when she tried to get elected in the riding of York South—Weston. She lost to John Nunziata, who was running as an independent, by 4,431 votes. In 1999 she won a by-election in York West to replace Sergio Marchi who had accepted an ambassadorial position to the World Trade Organization. She has since been re-elected by substantial pluralities.

In 2001, she was named chairperson of the Prime Minister's "Caucus Task Force on Urban Issues". In 2003 her group released an interim report recommending increased Federal support to recognize their economic and social value.[4] From December 12, 2003 to January 13, 2005 Sgro served as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in the government of Paul Martin.

Political favouritism issues[edit]

In November 2004, controversy began to surround Sgro as questions arose surrounding her activities during the June election earlier that year. Several members of her ministerial staff had filed expense claims to travel to and work in her riding throughout the campaign ending on election day. More serious claims were also raised when Opposition Conservative MPs claimed she had given a special immigration permit to a campaign supporter – specifically Alina Balaican, a Romanian who had initially been admitted to the country to work as a stripper. New Democratic Party MP Pat Martin also accused Sgro's aides of making threats to deny ministerial permits to his constituents if he criticized her on the stripper controversy.[5] The press dubbed the issue "Strippergate".

On January 14, 2005, Sgro resigned from cabinet after further allegations that she had offered to intervene in the immigration hearing of Harjit Singh, a Brampton pizzeria owner, in exchange for free pizza for her campaign staff.[6] The following day, the Toronto Star revealed that Singh had previously committed credit card fraud.[7]

On January 31, 2005, Sgro filed a lawsuit against Singh for $750,000 in damages.[8] On May 10, 2005, the Federal ethics commissioner Bernard Shapiro cleared Sgro of all wrongdoing from the Strippergate debacle when it was found that Sgro didn't know that two staffers had put her in a position of conflict of interest. The ethics commissioner also concluded that Sgro had never met the woman or even knew that she had volunteered on her re-election campaign. Shapiro said to Sgro, "It appears you acted appropriately." Also the same day, Singh retracted his allegations and apologized to Sgro. He said, "I now admit I did not have a meeting with Judy Sgro and at no time did she request any campaign assistance from me. Nor did she help me with my immigration problems."[9]

Sgro was the first member of Cabinet to resign from Paul Martin's government. There was some speculation in the media that fellow minister Joe Volpe helped to engineer her resignation given that they had a cool relationship.[9]

Expenses issue[edit]

In June 2010 it was revealed that Sgro had been claiming expenses for rent on an Ottawa luxury highrise condominium owned by her adult children, violating rules for such expenses set by the Board of Internal Economy of the House of Commons. Sgro had paid $138,000 to purchase the condo in 2001, and then transferred the title on the property to her children in 2006; she then paid her children $22,000 a year in rent to live in the apartment, violating rules forbidding MPs from claiming expenses on goods or services contracted from family members.[10]

Asked about this controversy in 2013 by a reporter from Québecor Média, Sgro replied, "The issue was dealt with, an issue was pointed out... I immediately dealt with the issue and I would ask the prime minister and his folks to do the same thing. Thank you very much."[11]

Opposition (2006–2015)[edit]

Sgro served as the Opposition Critic for Industry for the Liberals.[12] On November 1, 2010, the Liberals released a white paper providing recommendations for retirement income security followed by a Pension Income Bill of Rights. The paper was created by a working group co-chaired by Sgro.[13]

On March 4, 2014, Sgro was re-nominated by acclamation as the Liberal candidate for the renamed riding of Humber River—Black Creek for the next federal election.[14] She subsequently won election to this seat.

Government (2015–present)[edit]

Sgro currently serves as the chair of the Standing Committee on International Trade. She was re-elected in the 2019 federal election.

Personal life[edit]

She and her husband Sam Sgro are the parents of three children. Judy's daughter, Deanna Sgro, was a candidate for the Ontario Liberal Party during the 2018 Ontario general election, as well as the 2018 Toronto municipal election for Humber River-Black Creek.

Election results[edit]

2019 Canadian federal election: Humber River—Black Creek
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Judy Sgro 23,187 61.1 -5.81 $93,410.00
New Democratic Maria Augimeri 7,198 19.0 +8.06 $18,120.64
Conservative Iftikhar Choudry 6,164 16.3 -3.96 $3,300.00
Green Mike Schmitz 804 2.1 +0.47 none listed
People's Ania Krosinska 402 1.1 none listed
United  Stenneth Smith 114 0.3 - $0.00
Marxist–Leninist Christine Nugent 89 0.2 -0.36 $0.00
Total valid votes/Expense limit 37,958 100.0
Total rejected ballots 503
Turnout 38,461 56.8
Eligible voters 67,656
Source: Elections Canada[15][16]
2015 Canadian federal election: Humber River—Black Creek
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Judy Sgro 23,995 66.9 +19.9
Conservative Kerry Vandenberg 7,228 20.2 -1.9
New Democratic Darnel Harris 3,851 10.7 -17.1
Green Keith Jarrett 584 1.6 0
Marxist–Leninist Christine Nugent 201 0.6
Total valid votes/Expense limit 35,859 100.0     $195,631.84
Total rejected ballots 333
Turnout 36,192
Eligible voters 60,994
Source: Elections Canada[17][18]
Liberal hold Swing +18.5
2011 Canadian federal election: York West
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Judy Sgro 13,030 47.0 -12.4
New Democratic Giulio Manfrini 7,721 27.8 +9.1
Conservative Audrey Walters 6,122 22.1 +5.4
Green Unblind Tibben 450 1.6 -3.6
Christian Heritage George Okoth Otura 231 0.8
Canadian Action Arthur Smitherman 170 0.6
Total valid votes/Expense limit 27,724 100.0
Total rejected ballots 267 1.0 +0.2
Turnout 27,991 48.2 -0.1
Eligible voters 57,287
Liberal hold Swing -10.75
2008 Canadian federal election: York West
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Judy Sgro 16,997 59.4% -4.4% $35,514
New Democratic Giulio Manfrini 5,363 18.7% +4.6% $12,354
Conservative Kevin Nguyen 4,773 16.7% -1.9% $12,960
Green Nick Capra 1,488 5.2% +2.2% $1,557
Total valid votes/Expense limit 28,621 100.0% $77,457
Turnout 28,840  %
Liberal hold Swing -4.5
2006 Canadian federal election: York West
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
Liberal Judy Sgro 21,418 63.78 $48,741.93
Conservative Parm Gill 6,244 18.59 $71,005.65
New Democratic Sandra Romano Anthony 4,724 14.07 $8,845.73
Green Nick Capra 1,002 2.98 $1,692.18
     Independent Axcel Cocon 192 0.57 $1,801.61
Total valid votes 33,580 100.00
Total rejected ballots 261
Turnout 33,841 57.90
Electors on the lists 58,450
2004 Canadian federal election: York West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Judy Sgro 17,903 64.7% -12.6%
New Democratic Sandra Romano Anthony 4,228 15.2% +6.0%
Conservative Leslie Soobrian 3,120 11.2% +0.5%
Christian Heritage Joseph Grubb 1,580 5.7%
Green Tim McKellar 824 3.0%
Total valid votes 27,655 100.0%
Liberal hold Swing +6.55
2000 Canadian federal election: York West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Judy Sgro 19,737 77.3% +3.1%
Alliance Munish Chandra 2,724 10.7% +7.9%
New Democratic Julia McCrea 2,361 9.2% +1.5%
Marijuana G. Marcello Marchetti 537 2.1%
Marxist–Leninist Amarjit Dhillon 175 0.7%
Total valid votes 25,534 100.0%
Liberal hold Swing +3.1


Canadian federal by-election, November 15, 1999: York West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Judy Sgro 10,034 74.2 +0.5
Progressive Conservative Elio Di Iorio 1,721 12.7 +5.2
New Democratic Julia McCrea 1,054 7.8 -2.1
Reform Enzo Granzotto 377 2.8 -6.2
Canadian Action Stephen Burega 242 1.8
Green Henry Zeifman 101 0.7
Total valid votes 13,529 100.0
Liberal hold Swing +1.3
By-election due to the appointment of Sergio Marchi as Canadian Ambassador to the World Trade Organization
1997 Toronto City Council Election: North York Humber
Council Candidate
2 to be elected
Vote %
Judy Sgro 14,334 33.83
George Mammoliti 10,226 24.13
Gina Serverino 6,875 16.22
Tony Marzilli 5,205 12.28
Bob Churchhill 5,012 11.83
Michael Marson 722 1.70
1997 Canadian federal election: York South-Weston
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent John Nunziata 17,163 45.0
Liberal Judy Sgro 12,732 33.4 -36.7
New Democratic Odoardo Di Santo 3,552 9.3 +3.9
Reform Kathleen Crone 2,363 6.2 -8.6
Progressive Conservative Jan Harnett 1,925 5.1 -1.8
Green Shelley Lipsey 171 0.4
Marxist–Leninist Ginette Boutet 112 0.3 +0.1
Independent Hassan Husseini 98 0.3
Independent gain from Liberal Swing
Total valid votes 38,116 100.0
1994 Metro Toronto Council Election: North York Humber
Council Candidate Vote %
Judy Sgro Acclaimed
1991 North York City Council Election: Ward 2
Council Candidate Vote %
Judy Sgro Acclaimed
1988 North York City Council Election: Ward 2
Council Candidate Vote %
Judy Sgro 6,882 67.43
Gerry Iuliano 2,398 23.50
Luigi Cavaleri 926 9.07

References[edit]

  1. ^ Canadian House of Commons Liaison Committee
  2. ^ https://www.ourcommons.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members/Judy-A-Sgro(1787)/Roles
  3. ^ "1994 Toronto General Election Results (Former Metropolitan Toronto): Former Municipality of the City of North York: Metro Councillor". City of Toronto. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Moloney, Paul; Campion Smith, Bruce (January 15, 2005). "A well-earned reputation as a battling politician; Judy Sgro loses cabinet portfolio: She promises a fight to clear her name". Toronto Star. p. F1.
  5. ^ Fife, Robert (December 27, 2004). "Sgro aide tried to silence critics by withholding permits, MPs allege". Ottawa Citizen. p. A9.
  6. ^ "Sgro quits cabinet to fight allegations". CTV News. Archived from the original on March 22, 2007.
  7. ^ "Sgro's accuser trying to avoid deportation". CTV News. January 15, 2005. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012.
  8. ^ Sean, Gordon (February 1, 2005). "Sgro sues Singh for slander, libel; 3 others named in $750,000 lawsuit: Accusations led to minister resigning". Toronto Star. p. A6.
  9. ^ a b Geiger, John (May 11, 2005). "The belated vindication of Judy Sgro". National Post. p. A22.
  10. ^ Glen McGregor; Stephen Maher (June 7, 2010). "Toronto MP uses taxpayers' money to rent condo owned by her children". The Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on June 22, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  11. ^ Kirkup, Kristy (June 11, 2013). "Liberal MP Judy Sgro sloughs off questions about her housing expenses". Toronto Sun. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  12. ^ "Judy Sgro: Member of Parliament at House of Commons". LinkedIn. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  13. ^ "Liberals plan to ease CPP rules". The Province. November 3, 2010. p. A11.
  14. ^ http://www.elections.ca/WPAPPS/WPR/EN/NC/Details?province=-1&distyear=2013&district=2268&party=1&keywords2=Sgro&selectedid=7119
  15. ^ "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  16. ^ "Election Night Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  17. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Humber River—Black Creek, 30 September 2015
  18. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived August 15, 2015, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]