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Michael Chong

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Michael Chong
Chong in 2017
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
In office
February 6, 2006 – November 26, 2006
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Preceded byLucienne Robillard
Succeeded byPeter Van Loan
Minister of State for Sport
In office
February 6, 2006 – November 26, 2006
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Preceded byStephen Owen
Succeeded byPeter Van Loan
Member of Parliament
for Wellington—Halton Hills
Assumed office
June 28, 2004
Preceded byConstituency established
Personal details
Michael David Chong

(1971-11-22) November 22, 1971 (age 52)
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Political partyConservative (2003–present)
Other political
Progressive Conservative (before 2003)[1]
SpouseCarrie Davidson
Residence(s)Elora, Ontario, Canada
Alma materTrinity College, Toronto (BA)
ProfessionIT consultant
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese莊文浩
Simplified Chinese庄文浩

Michael David Chong PC MP (born November 22, 1971) is a Canadian politician who has represented the Ontario riding of Wellington—Halton Hills in the House of Commons since 2004. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Sport, as well as the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada from February 6, 2006 to November 27, 2006. On September 8, 2020, Chong was appointed the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs.[2]

Chong began his career on Bay Street before entering politics. He ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 2017, coming in fifth place out of fourteen candidates.

Early life and career


Chong was born on November 22, 1971, in Windsor, Ontario, the oldest son of Cornelia de Haan and Paul Chong. His father was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Canada in 1952, becoming a doctor. His mother arrived in Canada in 1960 from the Netherlands, and worked as a nurse. Chong has three siblings; Peter, Andrew and Joanna.[3] He was raised near Fergus in Wellington County, a small town in rural Southern Ontario, and attended Centre Wellington District High School.[4] In 1978, when Chong was six years old, his mother was killed in a car accident at an intersection near Fergus. Two years after her death his father married Adriana, who raised him and his three siblings as if they were her own. In 1999, Chong's father was also killed in a car accident at the same intersection where his mother had been killed 21 years earlier.[5]

Chong attended Trinity College at the University of Toronto where he studied philosophy, history and politics.[3] In his final year at university he landed a job with Canadian Tire as an assistant to a senior executive.[5] He has worked in information technology for Barclays Bank and Research Capital Corporation. Chong worked as a senior technology consultant to the Greater Toronto Airports Authority for the redevelopment of Pearson International Airport and prior to entering politics he worked for the National Hockey League Players’ Association.[3]

Chong was a founding member of The Dominion Institute.[6] He served on the board of the Groves Memorial Hospital from 2002 to 2004, later serving on the board of the Elora Festival and Elora Festival Singers as well as the Corporation of Trinity College.

Chong is married to Carrie Davidson, whom he met while at university. She has roots in both Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. Her great-great grandfather was William Whiteway, a pro-Confederation politician and three-time premier of the colony of Newfoundland in the late 19th century. Another great-great grandfather, Charles Peers Davidson, was chief justice of the Superior Court of Quebec in the early 1910s. The couple live near Fergus, which is located on the Grand River about 85 kilometres from Toronto, and have three sons; William, Alistair, and Cameron.[3]



Chong joined the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in the late 1980s.[7] He ran for parliament in the 2000 federal election as a Progressive Conservative, and finished third Waterloo—Wellington against incumbent Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) Lynn Myers. Chong supported Peter MacKay for the leadership of the federal PC party in 2003.[8]

38th Parliament


In early 2004, the Progressive Conservatives merged with the Canadian Alliance to create the Conservative Party of Canada. Chong joined the new party, and in March 2004 defeated Marty Burke to win its nomination for Wellington—Halton Hills.[9] He was elected in the 2004 federal election, defeating Liberal Bruce Hood by over 2,000 votes.

Chong declared his personal support for the Kyoto Protocol during the 2004 federal election, despite his party's opposition to the measure.[10] He supported Elizabeth Witmer's bid to lead the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in 2001–02, and supported John Tory for the same position in 2004.[11]

Chong wrote an opinion editorial for The Globe and Mail newspaper in late 2004 entitled "Canadians without hyphens", criticizing John Barber's suggestion that there were not enough Chinese-Canadian MPs representing areas with large Chinese populations. Chong noted he was elected in a riding with a 97% Caucasian population, while John McCallum was elected in Markham—Unionville, which is more than 60% Asian. Chong argued that these results reflected his idea of Canada, adding that he favoured the creation of a "common Canadian identity that will allow for greater understanding among ethnic groups".[12]

Like most Conservative MPs, Chong voted against the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in Canada in 2005. A majority of MPs from other parties supported the measure, however, and same-sex marriages were granted legal recognition. In December 2006, Chong reversed his previous position and became one of thirteen Conservative MPs to vote against re-opening the marriage debate.[13]

Chong has opposed using the Great Lakes as a water source for inland communities. He has expressed concern about depopulation in rural Ontario, and supports continued door-to-door rural mail service programs.[14]

39th Parliament: Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Sport


Chong was re-elected in the 2006 federal election. In February 2006, he was appointed to the cabinet in Stephen Harper's government as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, and Minister of Sport. He was the second Chinese-Canadian cabinet minister in Canadian history, after Raymond Chan.

In the buildup to the 2006 federal budget, Chong met with various provincial representatives to discuss ways of approaching Canada's equalization formula between the federal government and the provinces. Prior to the budget's release, he described the existing system as "a mess".[15] Some politicians in Ontario expressed concern that the deal would be unduly favourable to Quebec and unfavourable to their province.[16] Later in the year, Harper government indicated that it would automatically transfer future surpluses to the provinces.[17]

In September 2006, the Canadian media reported that the Harper government was considering a plan to transfer $3 billion to the provinces each year. Every province except Newfoundland and Labrador would gain revenue, with Quebec gaining the most at $1.1 billion.[18]

In early 2006, Chong said that his government would fulfill an election pledge to devote 1% of federal health spending (about $350 million) to health promotion and amateur sports.[19] He represented the Harper government as a representative at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.[20] This funding did not appear in the 2006 budget, although the Harper government introduced an annual sports tax credit of $80 per child.[21]

In June 2006, Chong indicated that the federal government would not provide federal funding to the "Out Games", a gay-and-lesbian themed athletic competition held in Montreal, Quebec.[22] The following month, Chong provided $395,000 to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, to make its collection accessible online.[23] He has also discussed the possibility of restarting Canada's ParticipACTION program, which encourages ordinary citizens to become more involved in sports and athletic events.[24] The program was restarted in February 2007, after Chong resigned from cabinet.[25]

Chong pledged $3.5 million to the 2008 North American Indigenous Games in early November 2006.[26] Later in the same month, he announced the creation of Podium Canada to consolidate Canada's medal strategies for the Summer and Winter Olympics.[27]

Chong unexpectedly resigned from cabinet on November 27, 2006, to express his opposition to a motion before the House of Commons, put forward by Prime Minister Harper, which recognized "the Québécois as a nation within a united Canada". Chong said that the motion was akin to ethnic nationalism, which he opposes. During the press conference he held to announce his decision, he said "I believe in one nation, undivided, called Canada".[28]

41st Parliament: Reform Act


As a backbench MP, Chong proposed the Reform Act (An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Parliament of Canada Act (candidacy and caucus reforms)) in order to increase the power of party caucuses.[29] The Act ultimately passed the House of Commons and Senate, with amendments, and was given royal assent in 2015. Under the act, each caucus votes at the beginning of each parliament on whether or not it will adopt the Act's procedures giving the caucus the power to review and, if it wishes, remove the party leader, for the election and review of the caucus chair, the expulsion and re-admission of caucus members, and the election of the interim leader.[30]

42nd Parliament and 2017 leadership election

Chong in Vancouver

The Conservative Party was defeated in the 2015 federal election, and Harper immediately resigned as party leader. Despite not having served in Harper's cabinet for nine years, Chong's name was among those mentioned in the media as a potential candidate for party leader. When asked about a leadership bid in November 2015, Chong responded "let's wait and see."[31] In early 2016, the Conservative Party announced that the leadership election would be held on May 27, 2017. On May 16, 2016, Chong launched his campaign at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, becoming the third candidate to enter the race.[32]

Chong's leadership bid was endorsed by MP and former Environment Minister Peter Kent, as well as MP David Tilson. Chong also received the support of Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Ted Arnott and former MPs Chungsen Leung and Mike Wallace.[33][34]

Chong is in favour of implementing what he describes as a revenue-neutral carbon tax.[35]

Chong stated publicly that he supports Motion 103, which calls on the government to condemn Islamophobia in Canada and all other forms of religious and racial discrimination.[36] Chong was one of two Conservative MPs, the other being Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton, and the only leadership candidate to vote for the motion.[37]

43rd–44th Parliaments


On February 22, 2021, Chong lead a successful opposition motion in the House of Commons to recognize the human rights abuses against Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region of China as genocide.[38] Chong also served as the vice chair of the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (FAAE), whose Subcommittee on International Human Rights presented a report in March 2021 that concluded that crimes against humanity and genocide had taken place in Xinjiang. That month, Canada imposed sanctions on individuals and entities in connection with what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called "gross and systemic human rights violations in the Xinjiang region". In response, the government of the People's Republic of China deployed countermeasures, which included imposing sanctions on Chong and the FAAE's Subcommittee on International Human Rights. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau condemned the sanctions.[39]

After the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Chong was similarly sanctioned by government of the Russian Federation after the Canadian government sanctioned many Russian officials close to Vladimir Putin over the Ukrainian invasion.[40] In a March 2022 op ed, Chong said Canada should seek to "isolate Russia internationally" and called for censorship of RT (Russia Today) from Canadian networks.[41]

It was reported in May 2023 that Chong's family in Hong Kong was targeted following the Uyghur genocide vote, including by a Chinese diplomat named Zhao Wei. Wei was later declared persona non grata by Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly.[42][43] The Royal Canadian Mounted Police subsequently opened an investigation into efforts to Chinese government election interference efforts in Canada.[44][45] In August 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Chong and his family had been the target of an online disinformation operation by the Chinese government.[46]

Electoral record

2021 Canadian federal election: Wellington—Halton Hills
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Michael Chong 35,257 52.1 +4.7 $85,518.39
Liberal Melanie Lang 18,384 27.2 -1.2 $81,741.49
New Democratic Noor Jahangir 7,050 10.4 +1.1 $4,753.21
People's Syl Carle 4,359 6.4 +4.2 $18,769.54
Green Ran Zhu 2,606 3.9 -8.8 none listed
Total valid votes/expense limit 67,656 99.3 $127,586.25
Total rejected ballots 448 0.7
Turnout 68,104 67.3
Eligible voters 101,212
Conservative hold Swing +3.0
Source: Elections Canada[47]

2019 Canadian federal election: Wellington—Halton Hills
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Michael Chong 33,044 47.4 -3.2 $78,757.50
Liberal Lesley Barron 19,777 28.4 -8.18 $70,168.78
Green Ralph Martin 8,851 12.7 8.61 none listed
New Democratic Andrew Bascombe 6,499 9.3 0.86 none listed
People's Syl Carle 1,509 2.2 - $6,565.51
Total valid votes/expense limit 69,680 100.0   $122,383.64
Total rejected ballots 359
Turnout 70,039 70.8
Eligible voters 98,901
Conservative hold Swing +2.49
Source: Elections Canada[48][49][50]

2015 Canadian federal election: Wellington—Halton Hills
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Michael Chong 32,482 50.90 -12.83 $114,808.31
Liberal Don Trant 23,279 36.48 +20.16 $82,917.29
New Democratic Anne Gajerski-Cauley 5,321 8.34 -4.66 $11,740.16
Green Brent Allan Bouteiller 2,547 3.99 -2.41 $2,190.90
Canadian Action Harvey Edward Anstey 183 0.29 -0.27 $381.96
Total valid votes/expense limit 63,812 100.00   $230,272.85
Total rejected ballots 185 0.28
Turnout 63,977 71.36 +4.09
Eligible voters 89,653
Conservative hold Swing -16.5
Source: Elections Canada[51][52]
2011 Canadian federal election: Wellington—Halton Hills
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Michael Chong 35,132 63.70 +6.07
Liberal Barry Peters 9,034 16.38 -5.95
New Democratic Anastasia Zavarella 7,146 12.96 +3.59
Green Brent Bouteiller 3,527 6.37 -3.47 9,592.53
Christian Heritage Jeffrey Streutker 316 0.57 -0.24
Total valid votes/Expense limit 55,155 100.00 $89,278.64
Total rejected ballots 154 0.28
Turnout 55,309 67.27
Eligible voters 82,215
Conservative hold Swing +6.01
2008 Canadian federal election: Wellington—Halton Hills
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Michael Chong 29,191 57.63 +6.97 $67,429
Liberal Bruce Bowser 11,312 22.33 -6.83 $71,000
Green Brent Bouteiller 4,987 9.84 +3.74 $1,497
New Democratic Noel Duignan 4,747 9.37 -2.94 $800
Christian Heritage Jeffrey Streutker 414 0.81 -0.29 $416
Total valid votes/Expense limit 50,651 100.00 $85,604
Conservative hold Swing +6.9

2006 Canadian federal election: Wellington—Halton Hills
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Michael Chong 27,907 50.75 +7.95 $73,993
Liberal Rod Finnie 16,065 29.22 -8.99 $55,605
New Democratic Noel Duignan 6,785 12.34 +0.43 $5,496
Green Brent Bouteiller 3,362 6.11 +0.68 $1,102
Christian Heritage Carol Ann Krusky 606 1.10 -0.54 $4,944
Independent Mike Wisniewski 355 0.65 $1,174
Total valid votes/expense limit 55,080 100.00 $78,546
Total rejected ballots 162 0.29 +0.13
Turnout 55,242 71.05 +4.02
Eligible voters 77,756
Conservative hold Swing +8.47
2004 Canadian federal election: Wellington—Halton Hills
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Michael Chong 21,479 42.81 $64,026
Liberal Bruce Hood 19,173 38.21 $73,831
New Democratic Noel Duignan 5,974 11.91 $13,594
Green Brent Bouteiller 2,725 5.43 $799
Christian Heritage Pat Woode 826 1.65 $2,304
Total valid votes 50,177 100.00 $75,799
Total rejected ballots 205 0.16
Turnout 50,382 67.03
Eligible voters 75,160
2000 Canadian federal election: Waterloo—Wellington
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Lynn Myers 19,619 43.66 -0.34 $64,568.53
Alliance John Reimer 14,797 32.93 +1.6 $47,962.31
Progressive Conservative Michael Chong 7,999 17.80 -0.31 $24,282.50
New Democratic Allan Douglas Strong 1,845 4.11 -2.45 $1,588.58
Green Brent Bouteiller 432 0.96   $206.62
Christian Heritage Peter Ellis 249 0.55   $2,148.45
Total valid votes/expense limit 44,941 100.00      
Total rejected ballots 156 0.28
Turnout 45,097 58.11  
Eligible voters 77,610
Liberal hold Swing -0.97

All electoral information is taken from Elections Canada. Italicized expenditures refer to submitted totals, and are presented when the final reviewed totals are not available.


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  2. ^ "Erin O'Toole Announces Conservative Shadow Cabinet". 8 September 2020.
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  13. ^ Janice Tibbetts, "Same-sex debate's over, Harper says", Montreal Gazette, 8 December 2006, A1.
  14. ^ Greg Mercer, "Water protection high on Chong's list", Guelph Mercury, 17 February 2006, A1; Vic Kirsch, "Ont. MP promises Tories will fight move to end rural home mail delivery", Canadian Press, 17 October 2006, 20:49 report.
  15. ^ Elizabeth Thompson, "Federal Throne Speech must address fiscal imbalance", Montreal Gazette, 28 March 2006, A14; "Parliament is back, but don't panic", Winnipeg Free Press, 3 April 2006, A11.
  16. ^ Tonda MacCharles and Robert Benzie, "Officials deny deal made with Quebec", Toronto Star, 29 July 2006, A4.
  17. ^ Bill Curry, "Ottawa offers provinces surplus money", The Globe and Mail, 11 August 2006, A13.
  18. ^ John Ivison, "$3B more for provinces in plan payments", National Post, 21 September 2006, A1.
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  20. ^ James Christie, "Canadian team falls short of 100-medal goal", The Globe and Mail, 27 March 2006, S6.
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  22. ^ Susan Riley, "Liberals: please call home", Ottawa Citizen, 9 June 2006, A14.
  23. ^ "Grant of $395,000 to put Canada's Sports Hall of Fame info on Internet", Canadian Press, 26 July 2006, 15:16 report.
  24. ^ "What government is doing to fight obesity", CTV Question Period, 3 September 2006.
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  26. ^ Jeff Rud, "Ottawa puts $3.5 million in Games", Vancouver Sun, 4 November 2006, B8.
  27. ^ James Christie, "New Podium Canada body created", The Globe and Mail (Breaking News), 24 November 2006.
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  36. ^ Spencer, Christina (February 17, 2017). "Spencer: Islamophobia motion has been reduced to an exercise in cynicism". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  37. ^ "House of Commons passes anti-Islamophobia motion". CBC News. March 23, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  38. ^ "Vote Detail - 56 - Members of Parliament - House of Commons of Canada". www.ourcommons.ca. Retrieved 2023-10-14.
  39. ^ "Garneau slams China's sanctions, says they are an 'attack on transparency'". Global News.
  40. ^ "Local MPS Chong, Nater not bothered by Russian travel sanctions". 21 March 2022.
  41. ^ Chong, Michael. "Michael Chong: The world has changed. Canada needs a serious foreign policy".
  42. ^ Major, Darren (May 8, 2023). "Canada expelling diplomat accused of targeting MP Michael Chong's family". CBC News. Retrieved June 14, 2023.
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  46. ^ Singh, Kanishka (2023-08-09). "Canada says China likely targeted lawmaker in disinformation campaign". Reuters. Retrieved 2023-08-09.
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  48. ^ "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
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  51. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Wellington—Halton Hills, 30 September 2015
  52. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates
28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
Peter Van Loan
Lucienne Robillard Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Peter Van Loan
Special Cabinet Responsibilities
Predecessor Title Successor
Stephen Owen Minister for Sport
Peter Van Loan
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
riding created in 2004
Member of Parliament for Wellington—Halton Hills
Succeeded by