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Norm Kelly

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Norm Kelly
Kelly in 2009
Toronto City Councillor for Ward 40 Scarborough—Agincourt
In office
December 1, 2000 – December 1, 2018
Preceded bySherene Shaw
Succeeded byJim Karygiannis
Deputy Mayor of Toronto[nb 1]
In office
August 21, 2013 – November 30, 2014
Preceded byDoug Holyday
Succeeded byDenzil Minnan-Wong
Chair of the Scarborough Community Council
In office
December 1, 2006 – December 1, 2008
Preceded byMichael Thompson
Succeeded byMichael Del Grande
Toronto City Councillor
for Ward 14 Scarborough Wexford
In office
January 1, 1998 – November 30, 2000
Preceded byWard Created
Succeeded byWard Abolished
Metro Toronto City Councillor
for Ward 14 Scarborough Wexford
In office
December 1, 1994 – January 1, 1998
Preceded byMaureen Prinsloo
Succeeded byCity Amalgamated
Member of Parliament
for Scarborough Centre
In office
February 18, 1980 – September 4, 1984
Preceded byDiane Stratas
Succeeded byPauline Browes
Personal details
Norman Kelly

(1941-08-11) August 11, 1941 (age 82)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Political partyLiberal
SpouseCharlotte Kelly
Residence(s)Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Norman Kelly (born August 11, 1941) is a retired Canadian politician. He represented Ward 40 Scarborough—Agincourt from 2000 to 2018 and served as deputy mayor of Toronto from 2013 to 2014. Kelly was a City of Scarborough councillor from 1974 to 1980 and 1988 to 2000 and served as the member of Parliament (MP) for Scarborough Centre from 1980 to 1984.


Kelly is a trained historian. He studied Canadian political history at the University of Western Ontario and attended Carleton University, earning an M.A., and Queen's University, where he began, but did not complete, a Ph.D. Among his most important accomplishments, Kelly undertook a two-year research project for the two best-selling books in the field of Canadian history: The National Dream and The Last Spike, written by Pierre Berton.

Kelly won the Governor General's Award for his work in The National Dream,[1] which was transferred to television by the CBC as a popular, award-winning documentary series of the same name.[2] Kelly was also a history teacher at Upper Canada College, a private school and A. Y. Jackson Secondary School, in Toronto.

Early political career[edit]

When he first entered politics as an alderman for Ward 3 on the borough council of Scarborough, then a suburb of Toronto. Kelly served from 1974 to 1980.[3]

Federal politics[edit]

He was elected as a federal Member of Parliament for Scarborough Centre in the 1980 election, defeating Progressive Conservative (PC) incumbent Diane Stratas. Kelly was twice appointed Parliamentary Secretary: first, to the ministry of Supply and Services and then to the president of the Treasury Board. In this latter capacity, Kelly was given the responsibility of guiding the government's reorganization of its Crown Corporations, Bill C-124, through the House of Commons and its Committees. Kelly was also appointed in 1983 to the Special Committee on Visible Minorities in Canadian Society. This committee was charged with the responsibility of doing research on the status of visible minorities in Canadian society.[4]

The report, Equality Now, contained 80 ground breaking recommendations aimed at protecting visible minority cultures in Canada while integrating their members into the Canadian mainstream.[5] Kelly lost in the 1984 election, to PC candidate Pauline Browes. He attempted to win the Liberal nomination prior to the 1988 election, but quit the race when Odysseus Katsaitis emerged as the front runner. Prior to the 1993 federal election, he again tried for a Liberal nomination, but this time lost to John Cannis.[citation needed]

Campaign for mayor[edit]

In 1985, he ran for mayor of Scarborough, but lost to incumbent Gus Harris. Out of office, he worked as a real estate agent, first for Royal LePage and then for his own company. In 1988, he decided to again run for mayor, but this time lost by over 4,000 votes to Joyce Trimmer, the first woman elected mayor of Scarborough.

Return to Council[edit]

In the 1994 municipal elections, he was elected to the Metro Toronto council from ward 14 Scarborough Wexford, defeating Michael Thompson. He emerged as one of the most right-wing members of the council, most noted for his attempt to eliminate all funding for multiculturalism programs during a mock council. Kelly took this stance as he views multicultural programs to further segregate rather than integrate diverse members of the Canadian community. The National Post newspaper once endorsed him, perhaps somewhat in jest, as "a solid anti-communist. Toronto needs his representation as a bulwark against the left." He also became one of the earliest advocates for merging the City of Toronto with five of its suburbs, an idea he pushed as Chair of the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee.[citation needed]

When the "megacity" was created, he was elected to the new Toronto city council. In the 2000 municipal election, redistricting merged Kelly and Mike Tzekas' wards, leading to a bitter election battle between the two, which Kelly easily won. A firm ally of the new city's first mayor, Mel Lastman, his relations with Lastman's successor, David Miller, were less friendly. Kelly was one of five Councillors removed from the Toronto Transit Commission board by council in March 2012 because of his support of mayor Rob Ford's subway plan as opposed to council's preferred LRT plan.[6]

Deputy mayor of Toronto[edit]

Kelly was made deputy mayor of Toronto, succeeding Doug Holyday in 2013 after Holyday resigned from Council to contest a by-election for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Following the controversy surrounding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's admitted substance abuse and further allegations of inappropriate conduct, the Toronto City Council voted on November 15, 2013,[7] and November 18, 2013,[8] to remove the non-statutory mayoral powers from Ford and grant them to Kelly for the remainder of Ford's term. This was unprecedented as the deputy mayor's role is typically largely ceremonial.[9]

On May 1, 2014, Kelly took over the remainder of Ford's duties when Ford entered drug rehabilitation and started a leave of absence from Toronto City Council.[10] These powers were returned when Ford returned to his job on July 1. Even though Kelly had all the powers of the mayoral office for 3 months, Ford still technically held the title of Mayor, while Kelly was still referred to as the Deputy Mayor.[11]

2018 election[edit]

Kelly ran for re-election in the 2018 Toronto election in the newly constituted Ward 22 Scarborough—Agincourt and lost to fellow incumbent councillor for former Ward 43, Jim Karygiannis.[12]

Internet popularity[edit]

In the summer of 2015, Norm Kelly became an international internet sensation when he weighed in on the feud between Canadian rapper Drake and American rapper Meek Mill via Twitter. He has become the figure of several internet memes and has reached fame in the hip-hop community for his involvement in the feud.[13] Through supporting Drake and posting humorous content to his account, Kelly gained a sizable Twitter following of well over 720,000.[14] In September 2015, the nonprofit organization HackerNest presented Kelly with the "Nerd Champion" award for his support of the city's technology community.[15]

Kelly was voted Canada's Most Valuable Tweeter for 2015 in a tournament held by Twitter Canada.[16]

In addition to being a Twitter sensation, Kelly, also known as "6Dad," has his own line of clothing. It includes T-shirts, hoodies, and sweatpants featuring images of Kelly, the word "Dad" in different languages, and slogans such as "Too lit to politic." A portion of the proceeds are donated to charity.[17]

Election results[edit]

2018 Toronto election, Ward 22
Council Candidate Vote[18] %
Jim Karygiannis 12,593 46.80
Norm Kelly 9,944 36.96
Roland Lin 2,789 10.37
Michael Korzeniewski 660 2.45
Vincent Lee 597 2.22
Jude Coutinho 234 0.87
Jason Woychesko 90 0.33
2014 Toronto election, Ward 40
Council Candidate Vote[19] %
Norm Kelly 16,052 85.97
Borenstein Josh 1,347 7.21
Internicola Anthony 1,273 6.82
2010 Toronto election, Ward 40
Council Candidate Vote[20] %
Norm Kelly 12,458 74.00
Ken Sy 1,935 11.49
Bryan Heal 1,862 11.06
Cheng-Chih Tsai 580 3.45
1984 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Pauline Browes 19,968 46.7 +10.2
Liberal Norm Kelly 14,229 33.3 −7.1
New Democratic Michael Prue 8,240 19.3 −3.2
Libertarian Mathias Blecker 345 0.8 +0.2
Total valid votes 42,782 100.0
1980 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Norm Kelly 16,595 40.3 +7.0
Progressive Conservative Diane Stratas 14,995 36.4 −7.0
New Democratic Michael Prue 9,237 22.4 +0.3
Libertarian Mathias Blecker 238 0.6 +0.1
Marxist–Leninist Judith Killoran 97 0.2 +0.1
Total valid votes 41,162 100.0



  1. ^ Certain powers usually assigned to the mayor were transferred to Kelly during a special meeting of city council on November 15, 2013.


  1. ^ thestar.com, retrieved June 8, 2009
  2. ^ Metrolinx; retrieved June 8, 2009
  3. ^ "Bio and Timeline: Who Is Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly". City News. Rogers Digital Media. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  4. ^ Toronto, City of (22 August 2017). "Councillor Norm Kelly". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  5. ^ Squires, Judith. "Is Mainstreaming Transformative? Theorizing Mainstreaming in the Context of Diversity and Deliberation," Social Politics. Oxford Journals. (2005); accessed June 8, 2009.[1]
  6. ^ 5 councillors removed from TTC Board, thestar.com; accessed February 8, 2014.
  7. ^ "Rob Ford stripped of key powers in council vote". CBC News. November 15, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  8. ^ "Rob Ford promises 'outright war' as powers further restricted". CBC News. November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  9. ^ Dale, Daniel (June 9, 2014). "Norm Kelly took on Rob Ford's duties, but not his style". The Toronto Star. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  10. ^ "Ford scandal: Mayor takes leave after lewd audio, alleged drug video emerge". 680 News. Toronto, Ontario. May 1, 2014.
  11. ^ Warnica, Richard (June 10, 2014). "Toronto's acting mayor/deputy mayor Norm Kelly wants to appoint a deputy-deputy mayor". National Post. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  12. ^ Patton, Jessica (October 13, 2018). "Toronto election 2018: Ward 22 Scarborough–Agincourt". Global News. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  13. ^ "Norm Kelly: deputy mayor of the internet | Toronto Life". Toronto Life. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  14. ^ Stevenson, Verity (2015-11-06). "@norm hits another milestone after meeting Drake, attending live rap battle and being a Halloween costume". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  15. ^ McBride, Jason (16 December 2015). "The Norm Show". Toronto Life. Toronto Life Publishing Company Limited. Retrieved 16 Dec 2015.
  16. ^ "What were Norm Kelly's best Twitter posts of 2015? - CBC News". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Meet '6 Dad', The Drake-Loving, Twitter-Beefing, Surrogate Father of Toronto". Fatherly. 2017-06-07. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  18. ^ "Declaration of Results" (PDF). City of Toronto. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 25, 2018. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  19. ^ "Poll By Poll report for: COUNCILLOR Ward: 40" (PDF). www.toronto.ca. City of Toronto. Retrieved 11 July 2023.
  20. ^ "Declaration of Results of Voting" (PDF). City of Toronto. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 24, 2021. Retrieved December 27, 2020.

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