Michael Coteau

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Michael Coteau

Michael Coteau - 2017 CFC Annual BBQ Fundraiser (36996970172) (cropped).jpg
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
Assumed office
October 6, 2011
Preceded byDavid Caplan
ConstituencyDon Valley East
Personal details
Born1972 (age 47–48)
Huddersfield, England
Political partyLiberal
ResidenceToronto, Ontario, Canada
Alma materCarleton University
OccupationEducator, Small Business Owner

Michael Coteau is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario who, since 2011, has represented the riding of Don Valley East in Toronto. He served in cabinet in the government of Kathleen Wynne from 2013 to 2018. The Liberal party was defeated in the 2018 Ontario general election, and Coteau was one of seven Liberals re-elected. He serves as the MPP for the riding of Don Valley East and is the Ontario Liberal Party Critic for Infrastructure, Energy, Labour, Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. He placed second in the 2020 Ontario Liberal Party leadership election with 16.9% of the vote.[1]


Coteau was born in Huddersfield, England. His father is from Grenada and his mother is British. He came to Canada with his parents in 1976 and grew up in social housing in Flemingdon Park in North York. Coteau's family was low- income and he had to borrow the money needed to cover his university application fee from a friend's father. He applied to Carleton University and graduated with a degree in history and political science.[2]

After graduation, he taught English in South Korea.[3]


Coteau was a Toronto District School Board Trustee for Ward 17, winning elections in 2003, 2006, and 2010.[2] As a trustee, he advocated for student nutrition, community use of space and the use of educational technology.[2] He initiated the 'Community Use of Schools' motion that cut user fees and made schools more accessible to groups that offer programs for children.[2] He helped introduce nutritional changes in schools that supported healthy food programs and increased awareness of student hunger.[2] In addition to his work as a trustee, Coteau served as the executive director and chief executive officer of a national adult literacy firm, and worked as a community organizer in the Malvern area of Scarborough, Ontario with the United Way.[4] He also owned and operated his own small business.

Provincial politics[edit]

In 2011 he ran provincial election in the riding of Don Valley East. He won the election beating PC candidate Michael Lende by 7,645 votes.[5] He was re-elected in 2014.[6]

The Liberals won a minority government and Coteau was appointed as parliamentary assistant to the minister of tourism and culture. In 2013, after Kathleen Wynne replaced Dalton McGuinty as premier, Coteau was named Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.[7] He was one of ten members of the Wynne's cabinet with no prior cabinet experience.[8] In June 2014, Coteau was made Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport by Premier Kathleen Wynne, as well as Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games.[9] He made headlines advocating for children to be able to play street hockey. On February 16, 2016, it was announced that Coteau would add responsibility for anti-racism, responsible for establishing various anti-racism programs.[10] On June 13, 2016, he was appointed Minister of Children and Youth Services, and in particular worked collaboratively with parents to deliver a reformed Ontario Autism Program.[11] He also was subsequently appointed Minister of Community and Social Services, holding down three separate portfolios for the government.

In 2018, Coteau defeated Conservative candidate Denzil Minnan Wong, Toronto's deputy mayor, to win his third election in the North Toronto constituency.[12] He is one of the seven Liberal MPPs in the Legislature.

In June 2019, Coteau entered the race for leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party. Coteau said he had "a different vision" and would "restore decency to our politics".[13] At the leadership convention on March 7, 2020, he received 16.9% of the vote, finishing second behind the winner, Steven Del Duca.[14]

Cabinet positions[edit]

Ontario provincial government of Kathleen Wynne
Cabinet posts (4)
Predecessor Office Successor
Helena Jaczek Minister of Community and Social Services
2018 (January–June)
Position abolished[a]
Tracy MacCharles Minister of Children and Youth Services
Also responsible for Anti-Racism issues
Position abolished[a]
Michael Chan Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Also responsible for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games
Eleanor McMahon
Michael Chan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Michael Chan

Electoral record[edit]

2018 Ontario general election: Don Valley East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Michael Coteau 13,012 35.93% −19.78
Progressive Conservative Denzil Minnan-Wong 11,984 33.09% +6.30
New Democratic Khalid Ahmed 9,937 27.44% +14.41
Green Mark Wong 917 2.53% −1.11
Libertarian Justin Robinson 236 0.65%
Freedom Wayne Simmons 131 0.36% −0.48
Total valid votes 100.0  
Liberal hold Swing −13.04
Source: Elections Ontario[15]
2014 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Michael Coteau 19,253 55.77 +4.69
Progressive Conservative Angela Kennedy 9,227 26.73 -0.46
New Democratic Akil Sadikali 4,492 13.01 -5.59
Green Christopher McLeod 1,264 3.66 +1.47
Freedom Wayne Simmons 287 0.83 +0.48
Total valid votes 34,523 100.0  
Liberal hold Swing +2.58
Source: Elections Ontario[6]
2011 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Michael Coteau 16,342 51.08 -4.54
Progressive Conservative Michael Lende 8,604 26.89 +1.86
New Democratic Bob Hilliard 5,953 18.61 +7.95
Green Aren Bedrosyan 742 2.32 -2.72
Family Coalition Ryan Kidd 188 0.59 +0.03
Freedom Wayne Simmons 164 0.51 +0.23
Total valid votes 31,993 100.00




  1. ^ "Former cabinet minister Steven Del Duca elected new Ontario Liberal leader".
  2. ^ a b c d e https://www.michaelcoteau.com/bio
  3. ^ Benzie, Robert; Ferguson, Rob (November 21, 2011). "Rookie MPPs poised to take their seats as legislature opens". The Guelph Mercury. p. B7.
  4. ^ Peat, Don (October 6, 2011). "Tories fail to break through in GTA". Toronto Sun. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 30, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "General Election by District: Don Valley-East". Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. Archived from the original on July 2, 2014.
  7. ^ "Ontario's new cabinet". Waterloo Region Record. Kitchener, Ont. February 12, 2013. p. A3.
  8. ^ Benzie, Robert (February 11, 2013). "Wynne's Liberal cabinet to include 10 rookie ministers in sweeping shuffle". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  9. ^ Richard Brennan; Robert Benzie; Rob Ferguson (June 24, 2014). "Kathleen Wynne warns financial cupboard is bare". Toronto Star.
  10. ^ "Ontario Establishing an Anti-Racism Directorate". Government of Ontario. February 16, 2016.
  11. ^ "Kathleen Wynne's shuffled cabinet features 40% women". CBC News. June 13, 2016.
  12. ^ https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2018/06/07/in-don-valley-east-liberals-veteran-michael-coteau-leads-longtime-city-councillor-denzil-minnan-wong.html
  13. ^ https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2019/06/16/michael-coteau-enters-race-to-lead-ontario-liberals.html
  14. ^ Gibson, Victoria (March 7, 2020). "Steven Del Duca named Ontario Liberal leader in first-ballot victory". iPolitics. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  15. ^ "Summary of Valid Votes Cast for each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. Retrieved January 16, 2019.

External links[edit]