Michael Laxer

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Michael Laxer
Michael Laxer2.jpg
Born1970 (age 48–49)
Political party

Michael Laxer (born 1970) is a Canadian political activist and the former chairperson of the Socialist Party of Ontario.


Laxer lives in the Toronto neighbourhood of Long Branch, in Etobicoke, where he and his wife own and operate a used book store, the only independent used bookstore in south Etobicoke until it closed its bricks and mortar operation at the end of 2015, becoming an online bookstore.[1][2] He is the son of writer, political scientist, professor, and former NDP leadership candidate James Laxer[3] and grandson of Robert Laxer.


He was a candidate for the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the 2000 federal election in the riding of Scarborough—Agincourt, and for the Ontario NDP during the 2003 provincial election in Scarborough Centre. Laxer was also an unsuccessful candidate for Toronto City Council in Ward 6 (Etobicoke-Lakeshore) in the 2010 municipal election.[4]

In 2008, he criticized the $15,000 entrance fee for the Ontario NDP leadership election as being too high saying, "What you get by doing that is you manifestly limit the number of people who are outside the party establishment, and who have available big backers of one kind or another."[5]

Laxer subsequently began the Ginger Project calling for the Ontario NDP (ONDP) to issue a comprehensive manifesto of policies and build support for their ideas rather than put all their resources into winning marginal ridings. In an open letter to ONDP leader Andrea Horwath, Laxer wrote:

Many party members had reservations relating to the "push to win" strategy that prioritized certain ridings for party resources at the expense of others. We feel that this strategy should be abandoned, as it has failed to produce any tangible results during an election. The NDP should instead adopt a policy that ensures each riding association has the ability to reach every household in their riding at least once during an election campaign. We should force the other parties to have to engage us seriously in every riding in the province.[6]

He and the Ginger Project left the NDP in 2011 due to its cancellation of a policy convention and what they viewed as the silencing of left-wingers telling the Toronto Star, "I was surprised that they would not have a policy convention prior to an election."[3] Laxer was one of two official spokespersons of the Socialist Party of Ontario from 2011 to 2012 and is currently the party's chairperson.

In 2010 and 2014 Laxer ran for City Councillor in Toronto's Ward 6 Etobicoke—Lakeshore receiving 717 votes in his first effort and 305 in his second.

Laxer is a social activist who opposes men's rights groups because he believes men's rights movement is a vocal opponent of feminism.[7] In 2015, he told the Toronto Star he had been encouraging people to fight the Canadian Association for Equality's inclusion at the LGBT Pride parade, because he believed allowing men’s rights groups to walk would "legitimize them and mainstream misogyny".[7]

Election results[edit]

2014 Toronto election, Ward 6
Candidate Votes %
Mark Grimes 11337 43.96
Russ Ford 8791 34.08
Tony Vella 2718 10.54
Miroslaw Jankielewicz 1114 4.32
Sean O'Callaghan 501 1.94
Peggy Moulder 398 1.54
Michael Laxer 305 1.18
Everett Sheppard 221 0.86
Ruthmary James 169 0.66
Robert Sysak 90 0.35
John Letonja 84 0.33
Dave Searle 64 0.25
Total 25,792 100.00
2010 Toronto election, Ward 6[8]
Candidate Votes %
Mark Grimes 12,228 60.4
Jem Cain 5,847 28.9
Michael Laxer 717 3.5
Wendell Brereton 605 3.0
Cecilia Luu 466 2.3
David Searle 375 1.9
Total 20,238 100%

In popular culture[edit]

Video games[edit]

In the Hearts of Iron 4 mod, Red World , Michael Laxer is a potential far-left Cabinet minister for Canada. As a "Second in Command" advisor, he takes a role akin to those of a head of government in socialist nations.[9]


  1. ^ "A day at the lakeshore". Daily XTRA. February 20, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  2. ^ http://theleftchapter.blogspot.ca/2015/12/a-farewell-to-bookstore.html
  3. ^ a b Cohn, Martin Regg (2011-06-19). "Ontario NDP preens for power — and prorogues dissenters". Toronto Star. Toronto. Archived from the original on 2011-09-17. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  4. ^ "Candidates". Vote 2010. Toronto: City of Toronto. 2010. Retrieved 2011-09-17.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Critic says NDP leadership race too expensive". CBC News. Toronto. 2008-07-17. Archived from the original on 2011-09-17. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  6. ^ Steele, Andrew (June 10, 2009). "Lessons from Nova Scotia". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on September 17, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Pride faces controversy over application from men's rights group to march in parade". Toronto Star. June 7, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  8. ^ City of Toronto elections page Archived 2010-10-26 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Steam Workshop :: Red World". steamcommunity.com. Retrieved 2018-04-08.

External links[edit]