Mark Holland

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Mark Holland
Liberal MP Mark Holland speaks during a news conference in Toronto (cropped).jpg
Holland in 2011
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Assumed office
October 26, 2021
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byPablo Rodríguez
Chief Government Whip
In office
August 31, 2018 – October 26, 2021
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byPablo Rodríguez
Succeeded bySteven MacKinnon
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
In office
January 30, 2017 – August 31, 2018
MinisterRalph Goodale
Preceded byMichel Picard
Succeeded byKaren McCrimmon
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions
In office
October 19, 2015 – January 30, 2017
MinisterMaryam Monsef
Preceded byTom Lukiwski
Succeeded byAndy Fillmore
Member of Parliament
for Ajax
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded byConstituency established
Member of Parliament
for Ajax—Pickering
In office
June 28, 2004 – May 2, 2011
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byChris Alexander
Personal details
Born (1974-10-16) October 16, 1974 (age 48)
Pickering, Ontario, Canada
Political partyLiberal
ResidenceAjax, Ontario
Alma materUniversity of Toronto (BA)
ProfessionHealth Executive, investment advisor, politician

Mark Holland PC MP (born October 16, 1974) is a Canadian politician who serves as the current leader of the Government in the House of Commons. In the 2004 federal election he was elected to the House of Commons of Canada as a candidate of the Liberal Party in the Ontario riding of Ajax-Pickering. Holland was subsequently re-elected in the 2006, 2008, and the 2015 federal elections. He was defeated in the 2011 election and became the director of health promotion and public affairs with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. He also served as the Heart and Stroke Foundation's executive director for the Ontario Mission and national director of children and youth, before returning to federal politics in 2015. In August 2018, he was promoted to the position of Chief Government Whip.[1]


Holland was born on October 16, 1974, in Pickering, Ontario.[2] Holland majored in political science and history at the University of Toronto and graduated in 1996. He worked as an assistant to Member of Parliament Dan McTeague and at the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. He also worked for the Royal Bank of Canada and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

A lifelong resident of west Durham, Holland lives in Ajax.

Municipal politics[edit]

Holland served as a city councillor for the city of Pickering from 1997 to 2004, and as a councillor for the Regional Municipality of Durham from 2000 to 2004.[3]

Holland created the Millennium Waterfront Committee in Pickering in 1998 and led the redevelopment of Pickering's waterfront. He also founded the Region of Durham's Youth Partnership Initiative, the City of Pickering's Winterfest and was a member of the board of directors for Veridian Corporation. Holland was also a member of the Durham Region Police Services Board, past vice-chair of both the Ajax-Pickering Social Development Council and the Ajax-Pickering Block Parent program and a past member of Durham Region's finance and administration committee. He continues to be a member of the Durham West Arts Centre and was one of their founding members.

Federal politics[edit]

Holland is a member of the Liberal Party of Canada in the House of Commons of Canada, representing the riding of Ajax-Pickering from 2004 to 2011, and representing Ajax since 2015. He has served as vice-chair of the Public Accounts Committee, vice-chair of the Public Safety and National Security Committee, critic for Natural Resources, critic for Public Works and Procurement, critic for the Canada Border Services Agency, associate critic for Treasury Board, as a member of the Finance Committee, Industry Committee, Public Accounts Committee, Government Operations Committee and on the Cities and Communities Caucus.

In Parliament, Holland brought up a private members bill to advocate for the cause of lowering the voting age. The bill stipulated that 16- to 18-year-olds be allowed to vote in federal elections encouraged provincial and municipal jurisdictions to allow the same. He asked that an elections unit be taught in high schools before elections take place, to inform students on current events and issues at debate. By raising this interest in youth first, at the election they will make more informed choices. Furthermore, voting would take place in schools, raising voter turnout.[4][5][6] In October 2006, Holland re-introduced as a private members bill a former Liberal government bill to reform the animal cruelty sections of the Criminal Code of Canada, which have changed little since 1892.

Holland speaking at a Toronto news conference.

Holland has been named by The Globe and Mail as a member of the new 'Rat Pack' and was voted by the Hill Times as the most effective Opposition MP in Question Period and the 'Best Up-And-Comer' four times from 2006–2008. Conservative Minister Stockwell Day has referred to Holland as 'Perry Mason on Steroids' and 'the Caped Crusader' during their sometimes heated exchanges in the Public Safety and National Security meetings. CTV called Holland "a one-man rat pack on a mission to change the hill". Macleans has labelled Holland – 'Part Attack Dog – Part King Maker' for his going after Conservatives and for his role in the 2006 leadership campaign.

Aaron Wherry of Maclean's Magazine spoke of Holland saying "If you saw Kennedy in Montreal, Holland was inevitably not far behind. Already a favourite of some on Parliament Hill for his oratory skills and his impressive head of hair, Holland is a mere 32 years old – making him a potential leadership candidate for the next 30 years."

Holland supported Gerard Kennedy's leadership bid for the federal Liberal Party and was Kennedy's Ontario campaign chair. When Kennedy dropped off after the second ballot to support former Environment Minister Stéphane Dion, Holland went with him and was seen as key in building a bridge between the two camps. Holland was the Ontario co-chair of Michael Ignatieff's 2008 leadership campaign.

On January 18, 2007, Holland was named the critic for Natural Resources in Dion's shadow cabinet.[7] He was subsequently named critic for Public Safety and National Security, a post he held until his defeat in 2011. In that capacity, he led the opposition criticism over handling of the G8 Summit, efforts to save the gun registry and opposition to the Conservative Party's crime agenda. As a sharp and vocal critic of the government, the Conservatives dubbed him "Public Enemy Number 1" prior to the 2011 election, a fact Holland wore as "a badge of honour" citing other prominent Canadians the government targeted for disagreeing with their agenda.[8] Holland was unseated by Chris Alexander, a former diplomat who ran as a Conservative. Holland has recently admitted that he attempted suicide after that defeat, saying ""I was told that I was toxic. The Conservatives hated me. No organization would hire me. My marriage failed. My space with my children was not in a good place and most particularly my passion — the thing I believed so ardently in ... the purpose of my life — was in ashes at my feet."[9][10]

In 2015, Holland was nominated the Liberal candidate for the new riding of Ajax, essentially the southern portion of his old riding, thus positioning him for a rematch against sitting MP Chris Alexander. As part of the Liberal surge in southern Ontario, he won back his seat with 56 percent of the vote, defeating Alexander by almost 12,000 votes.[11]

In December 2015, Holland was announced as the parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Democratic Institutions.[12] In January 2017, he was shifted to Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. In August 2018, he was promoted to the position of chief government whip,[13] succeeding the previous whip, Member of Parliament for Honoré-Mercier Pablo Rodriguez.

Electoral record[edit]

2021 Canadian federal election: Ajax
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Mark Holland 28,279 56.83 –0.85
Conservative Arshad Awan 13,237 26.60 +0.60
New Democratic Monique Hughes 6,988 14.04 +2.51
Green Leigh Paulseth 1,254 2.52 –0.82
Total valid votes/expense limit 49,658 100.00 $120,937.77
Total rejected ballots 525 1.04 +0.25
Turnout 50,283 54.12 –11.86
Eligible voters 92,907
Liberal hold Swing –0.73
Source: Elections Canada[14][15]
2019 Canadian federal election: Ajax
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Mark Holland 35,198 57.68 +1.81 $64,483.26
Conservative Tom Dingwall 15,864 26.00 -8.41 $102,214.59
New Democratic Shokat Malik 7,033 11.53 +3.30 $9,641.03
Green Maia Knight 2,040 3.34 +1.94 $1,882.83
People's Susanna Russo 588 0.96 $3,679.53
Independent Allen Keith Hadley 186 0.30 $1,441.93
Independent Intab Ali 111 0.18 none listed
Total valid votes/expense limit 61,020 99.21
Total rejected ballots 487 0.79 +0.43
Turnout 61,507 65.98 -0.31
Eligible voters 93,215
Liberal hold Swing +5.11
Source: Elections Canada[16][17]
2015 Canadian federal election: Ajax
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Mark Holland 31,460 55.7 +17.77
Conservative Chris Alexander 19,488 34.5 −9.73
New Democratic Stephanie Brown 4,639 8.2 −6.80
Green Jeff Hill 791 1.4 −1.32
United Bob Kesic 57 0.1
Total valid votes/expense limit 100.0     $221,131.96
Total rejected ballots
Turnout 56,435 66.72
Eligible voters 84,584
Liberal notional gain from Conservative Swing +13.75
Source: Elections Canada[18][19][20]
2011 Canadian federal election: Ajax—Pickering
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Chris Alexander 24,797 44.07 +6.12
Liberal Mark Holland 21,569 38.33 -6.20
New Democratic Jim Koppens 8,284 14.72 +5.64
Green Mihkel Harilaid 1,621 2.88 -4.40
United Bob Kesic 72 0.13
Total valid votes/Expense limit 56,268 100.00
Total rejected ballots 187 0.33 -0.05
Turnout 56,455 61.22
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +6.16
2008 Canadian federal election: Ajax—Pickering
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Mark Holland 21,675 44.53 -4.9 $53,225
Conservative Rick Johnson 18,471 37.95 +5.2 $87,925
New Democratic Bala Thavarajasoorier 4,422 9.08 -3.6 $1,541
Green Mike Harilaid 3,543 7.28 +3.1 $3,531
Christian Heritage Kevin Norng 398 0.82 0.0 $1,171
Libertarian Stephanie Wilson 167 0.34 N/A $20
Total valid votes/Expense limit 48,676 100 $89,065
Total rejected ballots 186 0.38
Turnout 48,862
Liberal hold Swing -5.05
2006 Canadian federal election: Ajax—Pickering
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Mark Holland 25,636 49.38 -0.39 $43,781
Conservative Rondo Thomas 16,992 32.73 -0.90 $77,308
New Democratic Kevin Modeste 6,655 12.82 +0.70 $8,405
Green Russell Korus 2,199 4.24 -0.23 $948
Christian Heritage Kevin Norng 435 0.84 n/a $7,950
Total valid votes/Expense limit 51,917 100.00 $77,681
Liberal hold Swing +0.51
2004 Canadian federal election: Ajax—Pickering
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Mark Holland 21,706 49.77 -7.67
Conservative René Soetens 14,666 33.63 -3.83
New Democratic Kevin Modeste 5,286 12.12 +8.10
Green Karen MacDonald 1,951 4.47
Total valid votes 43,609
Liberal notional hold Swing -3.84


  1. ^ Smith, Joanna (2017). "Trudeau names nine new parliamentary secretaries". Retrieved 2017-08-21.
  2. ^ "HOLLAND, Mark, B.A". Library of Parliament. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  3. ^ "City wants greater voice; Pickering supports plan for more representation at Durham Region". Ajax News Advertiser, January 14, 2004.
  4. ^ "Voting age should be reduced to 16". Durham Region. 11 November 2004. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  5. ^ Monsebraaten, Laurie (6 December 2005). "Get them early, advocates urge; Young not developing sense of civics High schools can play an essential role". Toronto Star. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  6. ^ "Stop him before he votes". Maclean's Magazine. 16 January 2006. Archived from the original on 27 May 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  7. ^ "McGuinty, Goodale take key roles in Liberal shadow cabinet". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 18 January 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Meet Mark Holland, public enemy No. 1 for Tories". The Globe and Mail. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
  9. ^[bare URL]
  10. ^ "'I was in a really desperate spot': MP Mark Holland opens up about heavy toll politics can take". Toronto Star. 25 October 2022.
  11. ^ Ballingall, Alex (19 October 2015). "Liberal candidate Mark Holland wins in Ajax". The Toronto Star.
  12. ^ "Ajax MP appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Democratic Institutions". Durham Radio News. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  13. ^ "The Prime Minister of Canada announces Chief Government Whip". 19 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Election Night Results — Ajax". Elections Canada. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
  15. ^ "Final Election Expenses Limits for Candidates — 44th Canadian Federal Election". Elections Canada. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
  16. ^ "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  17. ^ "Official Voting Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  18. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Ajax, 30 September 2015
  19. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Election Night Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved 20 October 2015.

External links[edit]