Michael Colle

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Mike Colle
Colle web 2 - Sep 00.jpg
Toronto City Councillor
for Ward 8 Eglinton—Lawrence
Assumed office
December 1, 2018
Preceded byWard created
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Eglinton—Lawrence
(Oakwood; 1995–1999)
In office
June 8, 1995 – June 7, 2018
Preceded byTony Rizzo
Succeeded byRobin Martin
Personal details
Born (1945-02-01) February 1, 1945 (age 78)
Foggia, Italy
Political partyLiberal
ChildrenJosh Colle

Michael Colle (/kl/ (listen) "Cole"; born February 1, 1945) is a Canadian politician who has represented Ward 8 Eglinton—Lawrence on Toronto City Council since the 2018 election. Colle served in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1995 to 2018 and was a Cabinet minister during Premier Dalton McGuinty's tenure. He was formerly a York city councillor and Metro Toronto councillor, where he sat as the chair of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) from 1991 to 1994.


Colle moved to Canada at a young age, and was educated at Carleton University. He worked as a teacher of history and economics for eighteen years, including several years at Michael Power High School and St. Michael's College School in Toronto, Ontario.[citation needed]

His son Josh was a member of Toronto City Council between 2010 and 2018.


Early political career[edit]

Colle served on the City of York council for Ward 2 from 1982 to 1985, and on the Metro Toronto Council representing York Eglinton from 1988 to 1994. He was also chair of the Toronto Transit Commission from 1991 to 1994.

Provincial politics[edit]

Colle was elected to the Ontario legislature in the 1995 provincial election, defeating incumbent Tony Rizzo in the riding of Oakwood.[1] In 1996, Colle supported Dwight Duncan's unsuccessful bid to become Ontario Liberal Party leader. In the 1999 provincial election, Colle defeated incumbent John Parker in the redistributed riding of Eglinton—Lawrence.[2] The Ontario Progressive Conservative (PC) Party won both elections, and Colle sat in opposition during this period.


Colle championed environmental causes during his time in the legislature including the protection of the Oak Ridges Moraine. He was a co-chair of Mel Lastman's 1997 bid to become Mayor of Toronto.

2003 election[edit]

The Liberals won the 2003 election. Colle was re-elected in Eglinton—Lawrence.[3]


Colle was named to cabinet on June 29, 2005 as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.[4] From October 2007 to February 2010 he was Chief Government Whip.

He was criticized for his role in giving out $32 million in government grants to immigrant and cultural groups without official applications or formal statements of purpose. In one case that the auditor general highlighted, the Ontario Cricket Association received $1 million when it asked for $150,000.[5] Premier McGuinty agreed to commission a special report on the matter, to be released in July 2007.[6] Colle was to appear before the Standing Committee on Estimates before the Legislature was prorogued by the premier. Some believe this was arranged to prevent his testimony from going public.[7] On July 26, 2007, Colle resigned as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Gerry Phillips was sworn in as the new Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, in addition to his responsibilities as Minister of Government Services.[8]

2007 election[edit]

In the 2007 provincial election, Colle was re-elected to serve his fourth term to represent Eglinton—Lawrence.[9]

On February 24, 2009, Colle introduced the Zero Tolerance to Violence on Public Transit Act, 2009 in an attempt to address the growing incidence of gun violence on Toronto public transit.[10]

On March 25, 2009 Colle appeared to buck his own party by introducing Bill 160: The Caregiver and Foreign Worker Recruitment Act, 2009. This was in response to a Toronto Star report on the abuse of foreign nannies.[11] After some initial reluctance by the government, Colle was able to convince the labour minister and the government to intervene.[12] The government committed to introducing legislation to license "nanny brokers", ban placement fees, and post licensed placement agencies on an online registry.

The McGuinty government introduced Bill 210, Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (Live-in Caregivers and Others), 2009 (EPFNA) on October 21, 2009 and passed the "Nanny Protection Act" on December 15, 2009.

In 2010, Colle took on the issue of bedbugs eventually convincing Health Minister Deb Matthews to provide $5 million to fight the scourge with a bedbug strategy.[13]

Colle also spent most of his fourth term advocating to get the Eglinton Crosstown LRT built. The provincial government has committed $8 billion for the new Eglinton line that runs along the southern border of his riding. Colle had advocated for the construction of the LRT following the Mike Harris government cancellation of the construction of the Eglinton West Line in 1996.[14]

2011 election[edit]

In October 2011 he was re-elected to serve his fifth term to represent Eglinton—Lawrence.[15] He was appointed as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation and the Minister of Infrastructure. During this term Colle organized a petition requesting the addition of Oakwood station on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line.[16][17]

2014 election and 2018 defeat[edit]

In June 2014 he was re-elected to serve his sixth term to represent Eglinton—Lawrence.[18] He served as parliamentary assistant to the minister of transportation. He was also appointed as deputy government whip.

In March 2016 Colle tabled the Tomato Act, proclaiming the tomato as the official vegetable of Ontario and designating July 15 as Tomato Day.[19][20] The bill died on the order paper.

He was defeated in the 2018 provincial election.

Return to municipal politics[edit]

2018 election[edit]

Weeks after the provincial election, Colle registered as a candidate for Toronto City Council's Ward 13 (which was essentially Ward 15 from the 2014 election, with some boundary adjustments) in the 2018 Toronto municipal election, after his son Josh Colle, the incumbent Ward 15 city councillor, announced his retirement from politics.[21]

In the last-minute redistricting imposed by the provincial government, Wards 13 and 14 (essentially corresponding to 2014 Wards 15 and 16) became the new Ward 8, so that Colle was now running against Christin Carmichael Greb, incumbent councillor from the former Ward 16. Colle won with 14,094 votes (41% of votes in the ward) to 7,395 for Carmichael Greb.[22]

Work on council[edit]

In April 2019, Colle announced that he is going to introduce a motion that would ask the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to suspend the liquor licence of bars where gun violence happens frequently.[23][24]

In September 2020, Colle has requested that protected bike lanes be installed along Yonge Street from south of St. Clair Avenue to north of Lawrence Avenue in conjunction with on-street patios and other traffic-calming measures.[25] The motion was approved by the city council on October 29 in a 19 to 3 vote, Councillor Stephen Holyday, one of the councillors voting against the motion, argued that approving this will create a bottleneck on an already congested thoroughfare that also serves as a vital backup artery for TTC subway replacement. Colle defended the plan claiming that the city’s goal is to move beyond people using cars to travel around the city’s core.[26][27][28]

On October 7, 2020, Colle tabled a motion to rename Locksley Avenue, from Eglinton Avenue West to Hopewell Avenue, to Jimmy Wisdom Way. Jimmy Wisdom was a local community icon and renowned musical performer as a young man in Montego Bay, Jamaica.[29]


Colle advocates for the reintroduction of a speculation tax as part of a solution to address the rising price of housing in Toronto. Colle asked the province in December 2021 to introduce a tax on the sale of homes that are not principal residences in an effort to discourage speculators and "home flippers."[30] Ontario previously had such a tax under the government of Bill Davis in the 1970s.[30]

Colle has been described as one of "three Toronto councillors hopelessly exacerbating the housing crisis" by More Neighbours Toronto.[31]

Electoral record[edit]

2018 Toronto municipal election, Ward 8 Eglinton—Lawrence
Candidate Votes Vote share
Mike Colle 14,094 41.34%
Christin Carmichael Greb 7,395 21.69%
Dyanoosh Youssefi 5,253 15.41%
Beth Levy 3,122 9.16%
Jennifer Arp 2,404 7.05%
Lauralyn Johnston 992 2.91%
Josh Pede 420 1.23%
Darren Dunlop 210 0.62%
Randall Pancer 134 0.39%
Peter Tijiri 72 0.21%
Total 34,096
Source: City of Toronto[32]
2018 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Robin Martin 19,999 40.38 +6.62
Liberal Michael Colle 19,042 38.45 -16.35
New Democratic Robyn Vilde 8,985 18.14 +10.80
Green Reuben Anthony DeBoer 1,190 2.40 -0.73
Libertarian Michael Staffieri 211 0.43
Trillium Lionel Wayne Poizner 100 0.20
Total valid votes 49,527 99.03
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 484 0.97 +0.08
Turnout 50,011 60.11 +6.12
Eligible voters 83,202
Progressive Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +11.49
Source: Elections Ontario[33]
2014 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Mike Colle 22,825 54.8
Progressive Conservative Robin Martin 14,069 33.7
New Democratic Thomas Gallezot 3,044 7.3
Green Lucas McCann 1,314 3.2
Freedom Michael Bone 265 0.6
Independent Jerry Green 144 0.3
2011 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Mike Colle 20,752 54.1
Progressive Conservative Rocco Rossi 12,857 33.5
New Democratic Gerti Dervershi 3,763 9.8
Green Josh Rachlis 575 1.5
Freedom Michael Bone 152 0.4
Independent Jerry Green 146 0.4
Independent Sujith Kumar Reddy 79 0.2
2007 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Mike Colle 17,324 43.1
Progressive Conservative Bernie Tanz 15,098 37.5
New Democratic Karin Wiens 4,135 10.3
Green Andrew James 2,899 7.2
Libertarian Tom Gelmon 296 0.7
Family Coalition Rina Morra 253 0.6
Freedom Franz Cauchi 128 0.3
Independent Joseph Young 107 0.3
2003 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Mike Colle 23,743 56.89 +0.11
Progressive Conservative Corinne Korzen 12,402 29.72 -5.53
New Democratic Robin Alter 43,51 10.43 +6.12
Green Mark Viitala 1,236 2.96 +1.86
1999 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberal Mike Colle 24,151 56.78
Progressive Conservative John Parker 14,994 35.25
New Democratic Jay Waterman 1,835 4.31
Family Coalition Frank D'Angelo 821 1.93
Green Shelly Lipsey 470 1.1
Natural Law Neil C. Dickie 263 0.62
1995 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberal Mike Colle 8,599
New Democratic (x)Tony Rizzo 7,624
Progressive Conservative Courtney Doldron 3,298
Independent Joseph Flexer 821
Green Constantine Kritsonis 269
Natural Law Doug Storey 135
Libertarian Nunzio Venuto 100


  1. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. 8 June 1995. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. 3 June 1999. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. 2 October 2003. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Cabinet shuffle focuses on health care, education; McGuinty to head new Research and Innovation ministry". The Kitchener Record. 30 June 2005. p. A5.
  5. ^ Ferguson, Rob (6 June 2007). "Summer break starting early at Queen's Park". Toronto Star. Retrieved 26 July 2007.
  6. ^ Howlett, Karen. "McGuinty asks auditor to probe multicultural grants". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2007.
  7. ^ Howlett, Karen (5 June 2007). "Ontario legislature prorogued". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  8. ^ Cohen, Tobi and Puxley, Chinta (26 July 2007). "Minister quits over grants". Toronto Star. Retrieved 26 July 2007.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. 10 October 2007. p. 4 (xiii). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 October 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  10. ^ Coorsh, Karolyn (19 March 2009). "New bill proposes $50,000 and more jail time". Town Crier (Leaside-Rosedale). Archived from the original on 6 July 2011.
  11. ^ Brazao, Dale; Cribb, Robert (14 March 2009). "Nannies trapped in bogus jobs". Toronto Star.
  12. ^ Brazao, Dale; Cribb, Robert (3 April 2009). "Star nannies series inspired MPP to demand action". Toronto Star.
  13. ^ Ferguson, Rob (10 January 2011). "Ontario declares $5 million war on bedbugs". The Toronto Star.
  14. ^ "Despite Being Almost A Decade Away, Eglinton Celebrates Transit Line". National Post. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. 6 October 2011. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  16. ^ Rahul Gupta (29 August 2012). "Oakwood Avenue light rail station closer to reality". Inside Toronto. Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. That's the contention of local city councillor Josh Colle, who believes provincial transit planning agency Metrolinx will eventually add an Oakwood stop to the station map for the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown LRT line scheduled for completion in 2020.
  17. ^ Rahul Gupta (26 October 2012). "Modified LRT master agreement puts Oakwood station on the map: Colle". Inside Toronto. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Provincial Minister of Transportation Bob Chiarelli also indicated Friday in a tweet directed at Toronto Community News' TOinTransit and Colle that an Oakwood stop on the Crosstown LRT is confirmed.
  18. ^ "General Election by District: Eglinton-Lawrence". Elections Ontario. 12 June 2014. Archived from the original on 23 September 2014.
  19. ^ "Queen's Park This Week: Will new carding rules make a difference?". TVO. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  20. ^ "Tomato Act, 2016". Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  21. ^ "TTC chair Josh Colle leaving politics — and his father is seeking his council seat". Toronto Star, July 25, 2018.
  22. ^ Molly Hayes, Joe Friesen, Victoria Gibson (22 October 2018). "A look at the 2018 Toronto election results, ward by ward". Globe and Mail.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  23. ^ Nickle, David (12 April 2019). "Bars where gun violence occurs shouldn't sell booze: Coun. Mike Colle". Toronto.com. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  24. ^ "Councillor asks for liquor licences to be revoked from 'gun bars'". toronto.citynews.ca. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  25. ^ "City council looks to create a protected bike lane on Yonge Street in midtown". TRNTO.com. 1 October 2020. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  26. ^ "Toronto City Council approves midtown bike lane plan". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  27. ^ "Toronto council OKs plan that could see bike lanes on Yonge Street by summer 2021 | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  28. ^ "Yonge Street in Toronto could have bike lanes by next summer". www.blogto.com. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  29. ^ Draaisma, Muriel (2 November 2020). "Toronto artist paints mural to honour barber and musician Jimmy Wisdom | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  30. ^ a b Merali, Farrah (6 December 2021). "Toronto councillor pushes for speculation tax to cool 'insanity' of escalating real estate prices". CBC News.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  31. ^ "Three Toronto councillors hopelessly exacerbating the housing crisis". www.moreneighbours.ca. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  32. ^ "Declaration of Results" (PDF). Toronto City Clerk's Office. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 October 2018. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  33. ^ "Summary of Valid Votes Cast for each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. Retrieved 28 December 2018.

External links[edit]

Ontario provincial government of Dalton McGuinty
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Marie Bountrogianni Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Gerry Phillips
Preceded by Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission
Succeeded by