Kinga Surma

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Kinga Surma

Kinga Surma Apr2018.jpg
Minister of Infrastructure
Assumed office
June 18, 2021
PremierDoug Ford
Preceded byLaurie Scott
Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA)
Assumed office
June 20, 2019
PremierDoug Ford
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byStan Cho
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Etobicoke Centre
Assumed office
June 7, 2018
Preceded byYvan Baker
Personal details
BornPoland[1]
NationalityCanadian
Political partyProgressive Conservative
ResidenceEtobicoke, Toronto, Ontario
Alma materUniversity of Guelph
Ryerson University

Kinga Surma (born ca. 1987/1988 in Poland[2]) is a Canadian politician who is the Ontario Minister of Infrastructure since June 18, 2021. She represents the riding of Etobicoke Centre in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party[3] and is serving as the province's first Associate Minister of Transportation (Ontario) (GTA).

Early life[edit]

Surma was born in Poland and moved with her family to Canada when she was four years old, and was raised in Ottawa.[2]

Surma attended the University of Guelph majoring in Public Policy & Administration, and spent a year in France studying Economics. After graduation, Surma relocated to Toronto.[2]

Political life[edit]

Surma worked for former Toronto City Councillor Peter Milczyn, and at the same time was the President for the Etobicoke-Lakeshore PC riding association. Surma worked on the Etobicoke—Lakeshore 2013 by-election for PC candidate. Following the election she was fired from her job with at Toronto City Hall.[4]

Surma ran for City Councillor in Ward 5 in the 2014 Toronto municipal election and placed second with 13.9% of the vote.[5]

Surma won the contested Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario nomination in the riding of Etobicoke Centre in November 2016. It was alleged that then former City Councillor Doug Ford intimidated her opponent in favour of Surma.[6][4] Further controversies regarding the election followed, as Ford was accused of breaking party rules by purchasing party memberships to secure voters for the election of Surma.[4] This came after the release of an audio recording of Ford recruiting members with Surma, claiming memberships are free.[7] Voting is only open to party members who pay a membership fee.[7] Although the accusations were allegedly not fully investigated by the party, Ford was cleared by the PCs of wrongdoing in 2018.[7]

Surma ran in the 2018 Ontario general election, and won her riding of Etobicoke Centre with 42.67% of the vote.

Following her election, Surma did not introduce any private members bills during her first year as an MPP.[8] Surma presented a motion in her first year in government in support of the International Languages Program. The ILP is a program run by the Toronto Catholic School Board where languages are taught in school. Currently there are 7 international languages taught in catholic schools in Toronto. The motion was supported unanimously in the Legislature.[9]

On June 27, 2019, Surma was appointed as the Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA). She is the youngest female member of Executive Council of Ontario.[10]

Surma is committed to expanding subways in the GTA and implementing the province's "New Subway Transit Plan for the GTHA" which includes the Ontario Line, Line 2 Bloor–Danforth extension further into Scarborough, the western extension of Line 5 Eglinton to Toronto Pearson International Airport and the extension of Line 1 Yonge–University to Richmond Hill, Ontario.[11]

Surma is also committed to expanding the provincial GO Transit rail network to provide two-way, all-day service on key segments of the network.[12]

As part of an economic recovery package from COVID-19, Surma introduced legislation to fast track construction on the province's new subway projects.[13]

On April 26, 2021 Surma introduced the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act (MOMS Act) to take strong action to protect young drivers and vulnerable road users by combating street racing/stunt driving, speeding, aggressive and unsafe driving on Ontario's roads. This legislation includes measures  to further protect highway construction workers, improve truck safety and strengthen provincial oversight of the towing sector. A lower threshold for stunt driving/street racing was included for roads and highways 80 Kilometers and lower.[14][15]

As an MPP, Surma is an advocate for many community programs such as the Daily Bread Food Bank,[16] Haven on the Q,[16] and the Basketeers program.[17]

Political positions[edit]

Surma supports the underground tunnelling of the western extension of the Eglinton Crosstown. She is also very concerned with the state of local schools, traffic and congestion along with support for seniors and people with disabilities.[18]

Surma sought funding for a new Toronto Catholic District School Board school in her riding.[19] On August 27, 2020 Surma had the opportunity to announce provincial funding to build a new elementary school at the Buttonwood hill school site. This new school will have 88 new childcare spaces and have space for 600 elementary school students.[20]

On October 30, 2020 Surma announced a 26.4 million investment to build a brand new Catholic Secondary School in Etobicoke Centre. Funding for Bishop Allen was also included in the announcement, Bishop Allen will be receiving 35 million in funding to rebuild and expand the school.[21]

These are the first new schools to be announced in Etobicoke since St. Eugene, which opened in 1970.[22]

She is also an advocate for a community centre in Etobicoke Centre.[23]

Election results[edit]

2018 Ontario general election: Etobicoke Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Kinga Surma 24,432 42.67 +9.95
Liberal Yvan Baker 19,708 34.42 -15.86
New Democratic Erica Kelly 10,311 18.01 +5.87
Green Shawn Rizvi 1,329 2.32 -0.32
Canadians' Choice Paul Fromm 631 1.10
Independent Wallace Richards 591 1.03
Libertarian Basil Mummery 252 0.44 -0.67
Progressive Conservative gain Swing
Total valid votes 57,254 100.0  
Source: Elections Ontario[24]
2014 Toronto election, Ward 5[5]
Candidate Votes %
Justin Di Ciano 15,362 54.2
Kinga Surma 3,936 13.9
Guy Bowie 2,744 9.7
Walter Melnyk 1,399 4.9
Raymond Desilets 1,365 4.8
Tony D'aversa 1,307 4.6
Nikola Samac 1,019 3.6
Magda Chelminska 645 2.3
George Lehto 565 1.9
Total 28,342 100

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.kingasurma.com/about
  2. ^ a b c https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InLFRG5b8aw&t=373s "Kinga Surma Christmas PCParty" YouTube video uploaded by GoniecTV Toronto, Surma reveals she was born in Poland, moved to Canada when she was 4, which was 25 years from Feb. 2017
  3. ^ Shephard, Tamara (June 7, 2018). "Kinga Surma wins Etobicoke Centre for PCs". Toronto Star.
  4. ^ a b c "Young candidate embroiled in controversy with Doug Ford has long history with PC leader and Tory politics". National Post. Retrieved 2020-10-12.
  5. ^ a b "City of Toronto Official Results" (PDF).
  6. ^ https://ipolitics.ca/2018/05/23/campaign-notebook-liberal-candidate-asks-wynne-to-stay-away-then-invites-her-back/
  7. ^ a b c Kennedy, Brandon (May 25, 2018). "PCs say Ford cleared of membership-buying allegations in 2016". Toronto Star. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  8. ^ "Private members' motions | Legislative Assembly of Ontario". www.ola.org. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  9. ^ "Votes and Proceedings 2018-Nov-22 | Legislative Assembly of Ontario". www.ola.org. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  10. ^ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-cabinet- shuffle-list-1.5183542
  11. ^ https://www.baytoday.ca/more-local/285-billion-plan-for-toronto-transit-unveiled-1751304
  12. ^ https://www.inhalton.com/province-says-two-way-all-day-service-in-the-works-for-go-train-line-that-runs-through-halton-hills
  13. ^ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-coronavirus-ontario-july-6-courts-reopen-1.5638694
  14. ^ "Ontario Newsroom". news.ontario.ca. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  15. ^ "Ford government toughens penalties for stunt drivers". BlackburnNews.com. 2021-04-27. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  16. ^ a b Surma, Kinga [@KingaSurmaMPP] (2020-08-04). "When COVID-19 first hit, people were generous in giving to our food banks. While many parts of our economy have re-opened, the demand for food banks is still there. Please consider making a food or monetary donation to your local food bank. @DailyBreadTO @HavenontheQ t.co/OL7x7uvHAx" (Tweet). Retrieved 2020-12-29 – via Twitter.
  17. ^ Surma, Kinga [@KingaSurmaMPP] (2019-11-22). "This holiday season spread some cheer by helping those who need it. #EtobicokeCentre #Etobicoke #teamsurma t.co/MmIWbAGfnT" (Tweet). Retrieved 2020-12-29 – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Shephard, Tamara (2018-06-18). "Q&A: The MPP-elect for Etobicoke Centre sets out her priorities". Toronto.com. Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  19. ^ Shephard, Tamara (2019-04-29). "Etobicoke is getting a new Catholic elementary school to reduce crowding". Toronto.com. Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  20. ^ Shephard, Tamara (2020-08-25). "Ontario invests $16M in new Catholic elementary school in central Etobicoke". Toronto.com. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  21. ^ "Ontario Newsroom | Salle de presse de l'Ontario". news.ontario.ca. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  22. ^ "School History And Tradition | St. Eugene Catholic School". www.tcdsb.org. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  23. ^ Surma, Kinga (2019-04-04). "Opinion | Etobicoke Centre only riding in Toronto without community centre". Toronto.com. Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  24. ^ "Summary of Valid Votes Cast for each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. Retrieved 16 January 2019.

External links[edit]