Mark Holland

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For the Native American flute musician, see Mark Holland (musician).
Mark Holland
Mark podium.PNG
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Ajax
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded by Chris Alexander
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Ajax—Pickering
In office
June 28, 2004 – May 2, 2011
Preceded by Riding created
Succeeded by Chris Alexander
Personal details
Born (1974-10-16) October 16, 1974 (age 41)
Pickering, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Cindy Fournier
Children 3
Residence Ajax, Ontario
Profession Health Executive, investment advisor, politician

Mark Holland, MP (born October 16, 1974) is a Canadian politician. In the 2004 federal election he was elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a candidate of the Liberal Party in the Ontario riding of Ajax-Pickering. Holland was subsequently re-elected in the 2006 and 2008 federal elections.[1] Holland served as the critic for Public Safety and National Security in the shadow cabinet up until 2011, when he lost his seat to Conservative candidate Chris Alexander.

In August 2011, he became the Director of Health Promotion and Public Affairs with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and was subsequently promoted to the roles of Executive Director for the Ontario Mission and National Director of Children and Youth. He is a regular panelist on both CBC and CTV News Channel. For the 2015 general election, Holland returned as the Liberal candidate for the riding of Ajax, retaking his seat by more than 12,000 votes and with 56% of the vote.[2]


Holland was born on October 16, 1974 in Pickering, Ontario.[3] 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 with his wife Cindy Fournier and has three children — Braeson, Maia, and Riley.[4]

Municipal politics[edit]

He served as a city councillor for the city of Pickering from 1997 till 2004 as well as a councillor for the Regional Municipality of Durham from 2000 to 2004. In 2004 Holland served as the acting Mayor of Pickering.[5]

Holland created the Millennium Waterfront Committee in Pickering in 1998 and led the redevelopment of the City 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 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 was a member of the Liberal Party of Canada in the Canadian House of Commons, representing the riding of Ajax-Pickering, Ontario, from 2004 to 2011. 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 Canadian 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.[6][7][8] 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 Macleans 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 2nd 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.[9] He was subsequently named Critic for Public Safety and National Security, a post he held until being defeated 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'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.[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 Alexander. He overwhelmed Alexander by almost 12,000 votes as part of the Liberal surge in southern Ontario.

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2015: 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[11][12][13]
Canadian federal election, 2011: 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
Canadian federal election, 2008: 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
Canadian federal election, 2006: 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
Canadian federal election, 2004: 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. ^ Riding Profile – Ajax – Pickering
  2. ^ Ballingall, Alex (19 October 2015). "Liberal candidate Mark Holland wins in Ajax". The Toronto Star. 
  3. ^ "HOLLAND, Mark, B.A.". Library of Parliament. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  4. ^ Raphael, Mitchel (28 August 2009). "Wedding bells ring in Ottawa as Liberal MP Mark Holland ties the knot". Maclean's. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  5. ^ Smiley, Brian (15 December 2009). "'Best up-and-comer' speaking tonight". Brantford Expositor. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Voting age should be reduced to 16". Durham Region. 11 November 2004. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "Stop him before he votes". MacLeans Magazine. 16 January 2006. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "McGuinty, Goodale take key roles in Liberal shadow cabinet". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 18 January 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "Meet Mark Holland, public enemy No. 1 for Tories". The Globe and Mail. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  11. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Ajax, 30 September 2015
  12. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates
  13. ^ "Election Night Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 

External links[edit]