Mark Gerretsen

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Mark Gerretsen
Gerretsen as Mayor of Kingston, 2014.
Member of the Canada Parliament
for Kingston and the Islands
Assumed office
November 12, 2015
Preceded byTed Hsu
Mayor of Kingston, Ontario
In office
December 1, 2010 – December 1, 2014
Preceded byHarvey Rosen
Succeeded byBryan Paterson
Personal details
John Mark Gerretsen

(1975-06-05) June 5, 1975 (age 48)[1]
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Political partyLiberal
SpouseVanessa Gerretsen
ParentJohn Gerretsen (father)
Residence(s)Kingston, Ontario
Alma materQueen's University
St. Lawrence College

Mark Gerretsen MP (born June 5, 1975) is a Canadian politician who is the Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada. He was first elected in the 2015 federal election, and re-elected in 2019 and 2021.[2] He currently serves on the Standing Committee for Procedure and House Affairs and is the former Chair of the Ontario Liberal Caucus.[3]

Gerretsen currently serves as Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. He previously served as the Parliamentary secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, a position he held effective December 3, 2021. Prior to his election to the House of Commons, Gerretsen served as Mayor of Kingston from 2010 to 2014.


Born in Kingston, Ontario, Gerretsen holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Queen's University and studied computers at St. Lawrence College. Gerretsen was first elected to Kingston City Council in 2006, where he represented the Portsmouth District. After completing his four-year term as City Councillor, Gerretsen served as Mayor of Kingston from 2010 to 2014.

Municipal politics[edit]

As Mayor, Gerretsen worked alongside the City of Kingston and municipal leaders across Ontario, advancing issues such as payments in lieu of taxes, the integration of social services, and increased investment in local infrastructure and affordable housing. Gerretsen also oversaw the creation of the Mayor's Task Force on Development to improve customer service for residents, and the development of an Age-Friendly Plan focused on making Kingston more senior-friendly.

In 2012, Gerretsen was elected to represent the City of Kingston on the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Board of Directors. As a member of the Large Urban Mayor's Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO), Gerretsen worked with municipal leaders across Ontario advocating for increased investments in local infrastructure and affordable housing.

Gerretsen gained some notoriety in 2013 when he voiced his displeasure regarding the street partying that occurs during Queen's University's Homecoming. The event had taken a five-year hiatus due to rowdy behaviour and significant costs to the municipality for policing and clean up, and Gerretsen had reservations about the event's return. Gerretsen visited Aberdeen Street that weekend to assess the situation. He tweeted directly to Queen's Principal Daniel Woolf: “I am standing at William and Aberdeen. I have two words for you: NOT GOOD”. The “NOT GOOD” phrase was, in turn, used by Queen's University students and publicized in a number of memes at the Mayor's expense.[4]

Federal politics[edit]

Gerretsen was first elected as a Member of Parliament in the 2015 federal election, replacing first-term Liberal MP Ted Hsu, who chose not to seek re-election. Gerretsen defeated Conservative candidate Andy Brooke by over 21,000 votes and earned 55.37% of the ballots cast.

In his first term in federal office, Gerretsen served on the Standing Committee for National Defense, and was elected as Chair of the Ontario Liberal Caucus. Gerretsen was also a member of the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development for two and a half years.

Throughout 2015–2019, Gerretsen was able to obtain federal funding for many initiatives in Kingston and the Islands. Some of these investments included $1 million for Breakwater Park and Gord Downie Pier,[5] $42 million for public transit, $31 million for new ferry vessels and $60 million for the Third Crossing.[6]

Gerretsen's Private Members Bill, Bill C-243, The National Maternity Assistance Program Strategy, aimed to introduce amendments to the Employment Insurance Act to create a national maternity assistance program for women who are unable to work during their pregnancy and was based on the first-hand experience of a constituent in his riding.[7] Gerretsen's Private Members Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on February 26, 2016. After passing second and third reading in Parliament, on October 26 and June 14, 2017, respectively, Gerretsen's Private Members Bill was brought to the Senate for first reading on June 14, 2017. When Parliament dissolved in the summer of 2019, Bill C-243 was at the Senate for third reading.[8]

Gerretsen supports many Liberal policies, but sometimes voices his concerns with the direction the government takes on various files. As a strong environmental proponent, Gerretsen openly spoke against the Government's decision to expand the Kinder Morgan pipeline. In June 2018, Mark was one of three Liberal MPs who voted in favour of a motion proposed by the New Democratic Party to stop the project.[9]

In 2019, Gerretsen was re-elected as Member of Parliament.[10] Currently, Gerretsen is Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (Senate), as well as a member of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. [11]

Personal life[edit]

Gerretsen and his wife Vanessa live in Kingston's east end with their three children Mason, Francesco and Vivian. Mark is the son of John Gerretsen, former Mayor of Kingston and MPP for Kingston and the Islands who held several positions in the cabinets of Premier Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne.


While Mayor of Kingston, Gerretsen oversaw the launch of Sustainable Kingston, an organization launched by the city as a non-profit to support Kingston in achieving the vision of becoming Canada's most sustainable city. Gerretsen was also Mayor of Kingston when the City converted all street lights to LED.[12]

Personally, Gerretsen was an early participant in the province of Ontario's Microfit program aimed at encouraging homeowners to install solar panels to feed electricity back into the grid. Gerretsen and his wife, Vanessa, have been driving electric vehicles since 2012.

Electoral record[edit]


2019 Canadian federal election: Kingston and the Islands
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Mark Gerretsen 31,205 45.8 -9.37 $61,590.05
New Democratic Barrington Walker 15,856 23.3 +6.39 none listed
Conservative Ruslan Yakoviychuk 13,304 19.5 -3.5 none listed
Green Candice Christmas 6,059 8.9 +4.19 none listed
People's Andy Brooke 1,769 2.6 none listed
Total valid votes/expense limit 68,193 100.0
Total rejected ballots 484
Turnout 68,677 70.5
Eligible voters 97,364
Liberal hold Swing -7.88
Source: Elections Canada[13][14]
2015 Canadian federal election: Kingston and the Islands
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Mark Gerretsen 36,421 55.37 +15.35 $146,934.43
Conservative Andy Brooke 14,928 22.70 -11.36 $97,596.78
New Democratic Daniel Beals 11,185 17.01 -4.61 $44,779.89
Green Nathan Townend 2,933 4.46 +0.15 $7,750.70
Libertarian Luke McAllister 305 0.46
Total valid votes/Expense limit 65,772 100.00   $230,365.62
Total rejected ballots 242 0.37
Turnout 66,014 73.36
Eligible voters 89,990
Liberal hold Swing +13.36
Source: Elections Canada[15][16]


Kingston Mayoral Election, 2010 [1] Vote %
Mark Gerretsen 17,096 56.41
Rob Matheson 6,905 22.78
Barrie Chalmers 5,486 18.10
John Last 377 1.24
Nathaniel Wilson 227 0.75
Kevin Lavalley 215 0.71


  1. ^ Greetings From Kingston Mayor Mark Gerretsen Archived 2014-11-05 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Whig-St, The; Whig-St, ard More from The; October 22, ard Published on; October 22, 2019 | Last Updated; Edt, 2019 11:42 Am (2019-10-22). "Gerretsen wins again in Kingston and the Islands". The Kingston Whig-Standard. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  3. ^ "Mark Gerretsen - Member of Parliament - Members of Parliament - House of Commons of Canada".
  4. ^ "Kingston mayor's tweets draw attention from Queen's students | the Charlatan, Carleton's independent newspaper". 15 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Ground breaks on $5.4 million waterfront park upgrade".
  6. ^ "Federal Government Commits $60-Million for Third Crossing".
  7. ^ "Kingston woman inspires private member's bill".
  8. ^ "LEGISinfo - Private Member's Bill C-243 (42-1)".
  9. ^ "Queen's students rally against climate change in Kingston".
  10. ^ "Mark Gerretsen wins Kingston and the Islands". CBC News. Ottawa. October 21, 2019. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  11. ^ "Mark Gerretsen - Member of Parliament - Members of Parliament - House of Commons of Canada".
  12. ^ "New LED Fixtures to Halve Street Lighting Energy Costs - City of Kingston".
  13. ^ "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  14. ^ "Election Night Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  15. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Kingston and the Islands, 30 September 2015
  16. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived 2015-08-15 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]