Erskine-Smith at a Canada Day Parade in 2018
|Member of the Canadian Parliament|
for Beaches—East York
|Assumed office |
October 19, 2015
|Preceded by||Matthew Kellway|
|Born||June 15, 1984|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Residence||The Beaches, Toronto|
|Alma mater||Queen's University|
Nathaniel Erskine-Smith MP (born June 15, 1984) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is a Liberal member of the House of Commons of Canada who was elected in 2015 to represent the Toronto riding of Beaches—East York. He is the youngest Member of Parliament in the Greater Toronto Area. Before politics, Erskine-Smith practised as a lawyer.
Early life and career
Erskine-Smith was born on June 15, 1984 in Toronto, Ontario, to two local teachers and was given a hyphenated surname composed of Smith from his father and Erskine from his mother. He graduated from Malvern Collegiate Institute. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science and a Juris Doctor in 2010 from Queen's University. When he was a student at Queen's, he was an unsuccessful candidate for city council for Sydenham District in Kingston, Ontario in the 2006 municipal elections.
Erskine-Smith studied political philosophy and constitutional law at Oxford, where he earned a Master of Laws (BCL). He also worked pro bono with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. At the time of his election, Erskine-Smith was practicing at Kramer Simaan Dhillon LLP, a commercial litigation firm in downtown Toronto.
In the 2015 federal election Erskine-Smith ran as the Liberal candidate in the riding of Beaches—East York. He defeated New Democrat incumbent Matthew Kellway by 10,345 votes. Erskine-Smith became the youngest MP elected from the Greater Toronto Area.
Erskine-Smith is a member of the Public Safety and National Security Committee, as well as the Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics committee. Over the first six months of the 42nd Parliament, he voted against his governing Liberal party 11 times out of 90 votes, significantly higher than the most rebellious MP of the previous Parliament, Michael Chong, who voted against his party 14 times out of 935 votes.
In January 2016, he was acclaimed as the president of the Canadian group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union for a one-year term. In that capacity, he delivered a speech about youth in politics at an IPU meeting in Zambia.
In February 2016, Erskine-Smith represented the Canadian government's pro-marijuana legalization views to a joint United Nations/Inter-Parliamentary Union conference reviewing how different countries were dealing with illegal drugs. He partnered with Mexican Senator Laura Rojas in a debate against Herman Adranacus, an Indonesian MP, and Ibrahim Omer, the speaker of the National Assembly of Sudan, to argue that countries should seek alternatives to incarceration in cases where individuals have drugs solely for personal use.
On February 22, 2016 he introduced a private member's bill, Bill C-246, that seeks to ban the import of shark fins and make Canada's animal cruelty laws tougher. Critics, such as Conservative MP Robert Sopuck, opposed it on the grounds that reclassifying animal cruelty laws by moving them into the public morals section of the Criminal Code from the property section would hurt groups such as farmers, hunters, and medical researchers. The bill won support from the typically-Conservative leaning hockey commentator Don Cherry. On October 6, 2016, the bill was defeated 198 to 84 at second reading. Two years later, a government bill addressing similar concerns was tabled by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.
Erskine-Smith is married to Amelia "Amy" Symington, a prominent Toronto vegan chef and nutritionist, whom he met in an undergraduate film studies course at Queen's University. They have one son together, Mackinlay, born on August 22, 2016 at Toronto East General Hospital.
|Canadian federal election, 2015: Beaches—East York|
|New Democratic||Matthew Kellway||17,113||30.81||-10.83||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||55,530||100.0||$207,738.12|
|Total rejected ballots||216||–||–|
|Source: Elections Canada|
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- Maloney, Ryan (October 6, 2016). "Nathaniel Erskine-Smith's Animal Cruelty Bill Defeated". Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
- Warmington, Joe (September 29, 2016). "Don Cherry throws support behind animal cruelty bill". Toronto Sun. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
- Aiello, Rachel (October 18, 2018). "Feds to ban all forms of bestiality, crack down on animal fighting". CTV News. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
- "Political Blind Date series hopes opposites attract, or at least get along". Toronto Star, November 4, 2017.
- Domise, Andray (February 22, 2016). "Legal Weed is Bad for Poor People". Canadaland Commons (Podcast). Canadaland. Event occurs at 19:42. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
- "Waiting game is over! Nate Erskine-Smith & Amy Syminton have a son". East York Chronicle. August 22, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
- Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Beaches—East York, 30 September 2015
- Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates