Patrick Lawlor (politician)

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For other people named Patrick Lawlor, see Patrick Lawlor (disambiguation).
Pat Lawlor
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded by Alan Eagleson
Succeeded by Al Kolyn
Constituency Lakeshore
Personal details
Born (1923-11-16)November 16, 1923
Edmonton, Alberta
Died March 28, 1993(1993-03-28) (aged 69)
Toronto, Ontario
Political party New Democrat
Spouse(s) Leslie
Children 4
Occupation Lawyer

Patrick Daniel Lawlor (November 16, 1923 – March 28, 1993) was a Canadian politician who served as the Ontario NDP Member of the Ontario legislature for the Toronto riding of Lakeshore from 1967 to 1981.


Lawlor was born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1923.[1] He and his family moved to Toronto, Ontario when he was 7 years old.[2] He graduated from the University of St. Michael's College[3] at the University of Toronto and then earned a law degree from the University of Toronto Law School and opened a law practice in Long Branch, Ontario,[2] which later became part of Etobicoke. He earned his PhD in the 1960s.[2]

In 1979, he published a book of poetry called the psychotic personality of our time,[note 1][4] and also wrote an unpublished play. He and his wife Leslie raised four children. They lived in New Toronto.[3]

the psychotic personality of our time[edit]

Lawlor's book of poetry consists of 50 poems named and numbered Canto I - Canto L using Roman numerals. Lawlor characterized the book as philosophical poetry. He said in the preface, "The world of symbols... that pre-reflective almost inarticulate knowledge found in myth - those ancient stories of our coming to ourselves; the dense, opaque, wonder-full sometimes terrifying world, which we all inhabit, but have lost or forgotten."[5] In a book dedication he called the writing of the book, "a distillation of a peculiar experience - a learning - an end which is also a beginning."[5]


Lawlor ran for the federal NDP in the 1962 federal election and again in 1963 in the riding of Peel. He was defeated both times placing third behind Liberal incumbent Bruce Beer.[6]

In 1967 he ran again, this time at the provincial level, and was successful by defeating Progressive Conservative MPP Alan Eagleson to win the Lakeshore seat in the 1967 provincial election.[7] He was subsequently re-elected in the 1971,[8] 1975[9] and 1977 provincial elections.[10] Lawlor served as the NDP's justice critic and, briefly, finance critic.[3] He retired at the 1981 provincial election but attempted to return to politics three years later running as the federal NDP candidate in Etobicoke—Lakeshore but was defeated, placing third behind Progressive Conservative Patrick Boyer.[11]

Lawlor was friends with Ontario Premier John Robarts despite their different political allegiances.[3]

Stephen Lewis, who led the NDP for part of Lawlor's tenure, described him as having an "analytical, insightful and outrageous style."[2]

Later life[edit]

After leaving the legislature, Lawlor was commissioned to investigate legal reforms surrounding hate speech by attorney-general Roy McMurtry. His report, issued in 1984, advocated allowing parties to seek relief in court or before the Ontario Human Rights Commission by using a class action.[2]

After suffering a heart attack, Lawlor was rushed to St. Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto where he died shortly after.[2]



  1. ^ Book title was published with all lower case letters.


  1. ^ P.G. Normandin, ed. (1979). The Canadian Parliamentary Guide. pp. 775–6. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Pat Lawlor lawyer, MPP and poet". Toronto Star. March 31, 1993. 
  3. ^ a b c d Hansard, Legislative Assembly of Ontario, April 14, 1993
  4. ^ the psychotic personality of our time. Sunbird Publishing Co. 1979. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Lawlor, Pat (1979). the psychotic personality of our time. Sunbird Publishing Co. p. ix. 
  6. ^ History of Federal Ridings since 1867, Riding of Peel, Ontario (1867-1966).
  7. ^ Canadian Press (October 18, 1967). "Tories win, but...". The Windsor Star. Windsor, Ontario. p. B2. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  8. ^ "Riding-by-riding returns in provincial election". The Globe and Mail. October 23, 1971. p. 10. 
  9. ^ "Table of vote results for all Ontario ridings". The Globe and Mail. September 19, 1975. p. C12. 
  10. ^ "Ontario provincial election results riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. June 10, 1977. p. D9. 
  11. ^ "How Canada voted". The Globe and Mail. September 5, 1984. pp. 14–15. 

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