Nathaniel Erskine-Smith

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Nathaniel Erskine-Smith

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith at the East York Canada Day Parade - 2018 (42256213615) (cropped).jpg
Erskine-Smith at a Canada Day Parade in 2018
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Beaches—East York
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded byMatthew Kellway
Personal details
Born (1984-06-15) June 15, 1984 (age 35)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Amy Symington
ResidenceThe Beaches, Toronto[1][2]
Alma materQueen's University
Oxford 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 and is currently running in the 2019 Federal Election. He is the youngest Member of Parliament in the Greater Toronto Area. Before politics, Erskine-Smith practiced as a lawyer.

Early life and career[edit]

Erskine-Smith was born on June 15, 1984 in Toronto, Ontario,[3] to two local teachers and was given a hyphenated surname composed of Smith from his father and Erskine from his mother.[2][4] He graduated from Malvern Collegiate Institute.[4] He earned a bachelor's degree in political science and a Juris Doctor in 2010 from Queen's University.[5][6] 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.[5]

Erskine-Smith studied political philosophy and constitutional law at Oxford,[7] where he earned a Master of Laws (BCL).[6][8] He also worked pro bono with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.[4][7] At the time of his election, Erskine-Smith was on a leave of absence from Kramer Simaan Dhillon LLP,[9] a commercial litigation firm in downtown Toronto which fully supported his political ambition.[4]


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.[10] Erskine-Smith became the youngest MP elected from the Greater Toronto Area.[7]

Erskine-Smith is a member of the Public Safety and National Security Committee, as well as the Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics committee.[3] 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.[11]

In January 2016, he was acclaimed as the president of the Canadian group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union for a one-year term.[12] In that capacity, he delivered a speech about youth in politics at an IPU meeting in Zambia.[7]

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.[13]

On February 22, 2016 he introduced a private member's bill, Bill C-246,[14] that seeks to ban the import of shark fins and make Canada's animal cruelty laws tougher.[7] 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.[14] The bill won support from the typically-Conservative leaning hockey commentator Don Cherry.[15] On October 6, 2016, the bill was defeated 198 to 84 at second reading.[14] Two years later, a government bill addressing similar concerns was tabled by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.[16]

In a 2017 episode of the television series Political Blind Date, Erskine-Smith and Garnett Genuis discussed their differing perspectives on the legalization of marijuana in Canada.[17]

On June 5, 2019, Erskine-Smith introduced private member bill C-454, titled Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions Act which would require the Government of Canada to ensure that Canada's greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to net zero by 2050.[18][19]

Personal life[edit]

Erskine-Smith was raised vegetarian, and is now vegan.[7] He has Crohn's disease.[20]

Erskine-Smith married Amelia "Amy" Symington, a prominent Toronto vegan chef and nutritionist, on her family farm in Camlachie, Ontario.[7] The two met in an undergraduate film studies course at Queen's University.[5] They have one son together, Mackinlay, born on August 22, 2016 at Toronto East General Hospital.[7][21]

Electoral record[edit]

2015 Canadian federal election: Beaches—East York
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Nathaniel Erskine-Smith 27,458 49.45 +18.7
New Democratic Matthew Kellway 17,113 30.81 -10.83
Conservative Bill Burrows 9,124 16.43 -6.31
Green Randall Sach 1,433 2.58 -2.02
Independent James Sears 254 0.46
Marxist–Leninist Roger Carter 105 0.19 -0.08
Independent Peter Surjanac 43 0.08
Total valid votes/Expense limit 55,530 100.0   $207,738.12
Total rejected ballots 216
Turnout 55,746
Eligible voters 75,169
Source: Elections Canada[22][23]


  1. ^ Lavoie, Joanna (January 2, 2016). "Rookie MPs Julie Dabrusin and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith eager to get to work in 2016". Inside Toronto. Metroland Media. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Six questions for candidates in Beaches-East York". Beach Metro Community News. September 23, 2015. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "ERSKINE-SMITH, Nathaniel". Library of Parliament.
  4. ^ a b c d Hudson, Andrew; Muldoon, Jon; Lameira, Phil (October 20, 2015). "East End joins Liberal sweep in Toronto". Beach Metro Community News. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c MacAlpine, Ian (October 26, 2015). "Council run helps fuel new MP's success". Kingston Whig-Standard. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Queen's Law alumnus named Liberal candidate". Queen's University Faculty of Law. 2014. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Delacourt, Susan (September 6, 2016). "Beaches—East York MP is a different political animal: Delacourt". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  8. ^ Donovan, Dan (March 13, 2015). "Trudeau Needs More "Nate's"". Ottawa Life Magazine. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  9. ^ Yosowich, Miriam (October 19, 2015). "Lawyers reflect on their campaigns on election day". Canadian Lawyer Magazine. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  10. ^ Miller, Adam (October 19, 2015). "Nathaniel Erskine-Smith reclaims Beaches—East York for the Liberals". Global News.
  11. ^ Wherry, Aaron (June 17, 2016). "The least predictable MP highlights a slightly unpredictable Parliament". CBC News. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  12. ^ "Beaches-East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith represents Canada on the Inter-Parliamentary Union". Inside Toronto. March 3, 2016. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  13. ^ "Liberal MP brings government's pro-pot stance to world stage". iPolitics. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  14. ^ a b c Maloney, Ryan (October 6, 2016). "Nathaniel Erskine-Smith's Animal Cruelty Bill Defeated". Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  15. ^ Warmington, Joe (September 29, 2016). "Don Cherry throws support behind animal cruelty bill". Toronto Sun. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  16. ^ Aiello, Rachel (October 18, 2018). "Feds to ban all forms of bestiality, crack down on animal fighting". CTV News. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  17. ^ "Political Blind Date series hopes opposites attract, or at least get along". Toronto Star, November 4, 2017.
  18. ^ "Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions Act". Speaker of the House of Commons. June 5, 2019. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  19. ^ Ballingall, Alex (June 5, 2019). "Liberal MP proposes 'net zero' emissions target for 2050". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ "Waiting game is over! Nate Erskine-Smith & Amy Syminton have a son". East York Chronicle. August 22, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  22. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Beaches—East York, 30 September 2015
  23. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates

External links[edit]