Paul Calandra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Paul Calandra

Paul Calandra.png
Ontario Government House Leader
Assumed office
June 20, 2019
PremierDoug Ford
Preceded byTodd Smith
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Markham—Stouffville
Assumed office
June 7, 2018
Preceded byHelena Jaczek[a]
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (Energy)
In office
June 29, 2018 – June 20, 2019
Preceded byHan Dong
Succeeded by?
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Oak Ridges—Markham
In office
October 14, 2008 – October 19, 2015
Preceded byLui Temelkovski
Succeeded byriding abolished
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister of Canada and for Intergovernmental Affairs
In office
September 19, 2013 – November 3, 2015
Preceded byDean Del Mastro
Succeeded byCelina Caesar-Chavannes, Adam Vaughan (Intergovernmental Affairs), Peter Schiefke (Youth)
Personal details
Born (1970-05-13) May 13, 1970 (age 49)
Markham, Ontario
Political partyConservative
ResidenceStouffville, Ontario
Professioninsurance broker[citation needed]

Paul A. Calandra (born May 13, 1970) is a Canadian politician, who served in the House of Commons of Canada from 2008 to 2015 and in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario since 2018. He currently serves as Ontario's Government House Leader since June 20, 2019 when he was promoted during cabinet reshuffle.

He was first elected to represent the electoral district of Oak Ridges—Markham in the 2008 Canadian federal election. He is a member of the Conservative Party of Canada and in the past has been involved in the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario and the Canadian Alliance. He was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister of Canada and for Intergovernmental Affairs.[1]

In the 2015 federal election, he was a candidate in the Markham—Stouffville riding, created as a result of the federal electoral redistribution of 2012 and was defeated by Jane Philpott. In the 2018 Ontario General Election, Calandra defeated Helena Jaczek by 11,905 votes to represent the riding of Markham-Stouffville as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.[2]


Calandra studied History with a minor in Political Science at Carleton University.[3] His claim on his campaign website in 2007 to have "complet(ed) full-time university studies" was controversial[4] since, at that time he had not graduated.[5] In an interview with WhiStle Radio on September 29, 2015 he stated that he left school in the early '90s before completing his degree and had later obtained the remaining credits required to graduate by correspondence course.[6] He obtained his BA from Carleton in November 2008.[3]

Early career[edit]

Prior to entering politics, Calandra was an insurance broker, from 1995 to 2003[citation needed]. He then served as chief of staff to Steve Gilchrist, who served as the Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP for Scarborough East in the government of Mike Harris.[7]

Family dispute[edit]

In 2005, Calandra was involved in a family dispute. In the early 2000s, he had power of attorney to manage his mother's affairs. In a lawsuit filed by his sisters, it was claimed the power of attorney had been revoked by his mother months before her death in August 2005, but Calandra had invoked it for personal gain.[5] In his statement of defence, Calandra said that the charges had been authorized.[8] A document filed on September 8, 2008, the first full day of the 2008 federal election campaign, said that the parties had settled the case out of court.[8]


Calandra ran as the Canadian Alliance candidate in the 2000 federal election in the riding of Toronto riding of Scarborough East. He was defeated by Liberal incumbent John McKay by 16,460 votes.[9] He ran eight years later in the 2008 federal election as the Conservative candidate in the York Region riding of Oak Ridges—Markham. He defeated Liberal incumbent Lui Temelkovski by 545 votes.[10] He was re-elected in 2011 defeating Temelkovski again, this time by 20,680 votes.[11]

Following his election in 2008, in Calandra’s first term he sat on the Access to Information, Privacy, and Ethics Committee, Citizenship and Immigration Committee, and the Government Operations and Estimates Committee.

During this term he also introduced two private member's bills. On June 19, 2009 he introduced ‘An Act to Change the Name of the Electoral District of Oak Ridges—Markham’,[12] and on March 11, 2011 he introduced ‘An Act Respecting the Establishment of a National Strategy for the Purchase and Sale of Second-Hand Precious Metal Articles'.[13] Neither of these bills proceeded past first reading.[14]

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages[edit]

He was re-elected in the 2011 election and was subsequently appointed parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages where he sat on the Standing Committee for Canadian Heritage and formerly the Standing Committee on Bill C-11. In 2012 Calandra was forced to repay $5,000 that his riding association had received in donations at a fundraiser held at the home of Kirupalini Kirupakaran, at which he had been present. Kirupakaran was the sister of the CEO of WorldBand Media Inc., which was one of the firms lobbying the CRTC for the 88.1 FM frequency allocation in the Toronto area. She had pledged to the CRTC that she would invest up to $2,000,000 in WorldBand Media should it win the competition. The CRTC at the time reported to the Department of Canadian Heritage thereby giving rise to allegations of a conflict of interest. Following questions from the Globe and Mail, and despite initially denying any donations had been received from anyone associated with the bid, Calandra eventually repaid donations made by five people listed with the CRTC as proposed WorldBand investors.[15]

In the same year a controversial $500 donation was made to Calandra’s riding association by Stanislaus Antony at another fundraising event. Antony was leading a competing bid for 88.1 FM with the CRTC for a station to be called STAN FM. Immediately prior to the Globe and Mail’s publication of the article questioning the WorldBand donations Calandra confirmed that his riding association was reviewing the Antony contribution.[16] The donation was not returned.[17]

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister[edit]

In September 2013 Paul Calandra was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

As the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Calandra often fielded questions on behalf of the Prime Minister during the Senate Scandal (2013). This brought Calandra under a great deal of scrutiny for his perceived non-answers, deflections, and attacks, and prompted widespread backlash in the form of media articles,[18] social media postings, vandalization of his Wikipedia page,[19] and being covered on the Rick Mercer Report.[20] On 23 September 2014, Calandra's repeated refusal to acknowledge questions about Canada's involvement in Iraq led Thomas Mulcair to question the integrity of the Speaker of the House, who did not intervene. Instead of giving an answer on Iraq, Calandra insisted on reiterating Canada's commitment to Israel, prompting Global News to describe the exchange as "unreal", and the Globe and Mail published an editorial stating "to call Mr. Calandra a clown is to do a disservice to the ancient profession of painted-face buffoonery".[21] On 26 September 2014, Calandra gave a tearful speech in Parliament in order to "unconditionally, unreservedly apologize to the House".[22]

2015 general election[edit]

Following an interview on CBC's Power & Politics about the Duffy trial, Peter Mansbridge referred to Calandra's responses as being "The Full Calandra", as he felt that he was answering different questions from those posed. This led to a Twitter hashtag of the same name[23][24] Following this, the comedian Mark Critch tweeted that Calandra was "a slippery tool". Subsequently, Calandra blocked Critch from accessing his posts on Twitter. Critch then offered to donate money to charity for any user who tweeted similar messages to Calandra.[25][26] Other people blocked by Calandra on Twitter included parliamentary press gallery reporters Alex Boutilier, Lee Berthiaume, along with reporter Jeremy Nuttall and Jim Mason, the editor (@stouffeditor) of the Stouffville Sun-Tribune, the local newspaper in Calandra's riding, who had been blocked in 2014. Calandra later said that blocking of Mason had been accidental and subsequently unblocked him.[27] The habit of Conservative party members blocking those who disagreed with them on social media became referred to as #conblocked.[28][29]

Calandra entered the debate on the future of the Pickering Airport lands that had previously been expropriated by the Government of Canada. He expressed support for a Buttonville sized airport on the lands in contrast to the position taken by all his opponents.[30]

He was defeated by Jane Philpott in the Markham—Stouffville riding, created as a result of the federal electoral redistribution of 2012.[31] In a CBC interview he blamed his loss on the Conservative Party's focus on identity issues, specifically the Niqāb issue, the stripping of citizenship from dual nationals and the launching of a barbaric cultural practices hot line, claiming that voters were "confused" about the application of Bill C-24.[32]

Entry into provincial politics[edit]

In September 2016 Calandra announced that he would be seeking the Ontario PC nomination for the provincial riding of Markham-Stouffville.[33] On November 11, it was announced that Calandra won the nomination and would represent the PCs in the 2018 provincial election.[34]

Calandra had claimed to be a "big fan"[35] and "good friend"[33] of erstwhile leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, Patrick Brown, since 2008 but, following Brown's sudden resignation on January 25, 2018 due to allegations of sexual misconduct, Calandra threw his support behind Caroline Mulroney in the subsequent leadership contest[36][37] despite Brown's re-entry into the race.[38] Three weeks later, however, when it appeared Mulroney's bid was struggling,[39] he switched allegiances once again to back Christine Elliott.[40]

In the 2018 Ontario Election, Calandra won the riding of Markham-Stouffville, defeating Liberal Incumbent Helena Jaczek. On June 29, 2018, Calandra was appointed as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (Energy).[41]

Electoral record[edit]

2018 Ontario general election: Markham—Stouffville
Party Candidate Votes %
Progressive Conservative Paul Calandra 25,912 48.12
Liberal Helena Jaczek 14,007 26.01
New Democratic Kingsley Kwok 10,997 20.42
Green Jose Etcheverry 2,153 4.00
Libertarian Paul Balfour 660 1.23
Ontario Moderate Party Yuri Duboisky 117 0.22
Total valid votes 53,846 100.0  
Source: Elections Ontario[42]
2015 Canadian federal election: Markham-Stouffville
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Jane Philpott 29,416 49.21 +20.26 $112,011.35
Conservative Paul Calandra 25,565 42.77 -7.72 $164,609.85
New Democratic Gregory Hines 3,647 6.10 -10.88 $7,176.28
Green Myles O'Brien 1,145 1.92 -0.81 $1,395.62
Total valid votes/Expense limit 59,773 100.00   $225,802.37
Total rejected ballots 189 0.32
Turnout 59,962 68.56
Eligible voters 87,460
Liberal notional gain from Conservative Swing +13.99
Source: Elections Canada[43][44]
2011 Canadian federal election: Oak Ridges—Markham
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Paul Calandra 46,241 51.12 +8.88 $133,192
Liberal Lui Temelkovski 25,561 28.26 -13.26 $108,951
New Democratic Janice Hagan 15,229 16.84 +7.45 $4,650
Green Trifon Haitas 2,349 2.60 -4.23 $0.00
Progressive Canadian John Sicilano 1,080 1.19 $564
Total valid votes/Expense limit 90,460 100.00 $134,351
Total rejected ballots 430 0.47
Turnout 90,890 59.96 +4.30
Eligible voters 151,584
Conservative hold Swing +11.07%
2008 Canadian federal election: Oak Ridges—Markham
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Paul Calandra 32,028 42.2% + 3.7%
Liberal Lui Temelkovski 31,483 41.5% - 5.5%
New Democratic Andy Arifin 7,126 9.4% - 0.5%
Green Richard Taylor 5,184 6.8% + 2.2%
Total valid votes 75,821 +1.80%
Turnout 61.26%
2000 Canadian federal election: Scarborough East
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
Liberal John McKay 24,019 59.82 $37,639
Alliance Paul Calandra 7,559 18.83 $32,135
     Progressive Conservative Paul McCrossan 6,284 15.65 $26,016
New Democratic Denise Lake 1,884 4.69 $4,973
Canadian Action Dave Glover 292 0.73 none listed
Marxist–Leninist France Tremblay 113 0.28 $8
Total valid votes 40,151 100.00
Total rejected ballots 155
Turnout 40,306 55.91
Electors on the lists 72,092
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.

Cabinet Positions[edit]

Ontario Provincial Government of Doug Ford
Special Parliamentary Responsibilities
Predecessor Title Successor
Todd Smith Government House Leader
June 20, 2019-present




  1. ^
  2. ^ Ontario, Elections. "Markham—Stouffville". Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  3. ^ a b "Full text of "133rd Convocation, Nov 8 2008"". Internet Archive (Carleton University). Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  4. ^ "None too bright". Accidental Deliberations. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Lives of candidates must be open book". Newmarket Era. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Stouffville Morning Show" (Interview). WhiStle Radio. 29 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Paul Calandra will be federal Conservative candidate in Oak Ridges - Markham" Archived 2008-10-12 at the Wayback Machine. King Township Sentinel, March 14, 2007.
  8. ^ a b McGregor, Glen (9 January 2014). "Paul Calandra court documents point to family dispute over money, assets". Ottawa Citizen.
  9. ^ "Election Results". Star - Phoenix. Saskatoon, SK. November 28, 2000. p. A8.
  10. ^ "Greater Toronto Area Results". The Toronto Star. October 15, 2008. p. U2.
  11. ^ "Riding results from across Canada". Edmonton Journal. May 3, 2011. p. A6.
  12. ^ "MP wants riding name to better reflect towns". Georgina Advocate, June 22, 2009.
  13. ^ "An Act respecting the establishment of a National Strategy for the Purchase and Sale of Second-hand Precious Metal Articles". Government of Canada Publications. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  14. ^ "LEGISinfo". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Competing bidders for radio spot donated money to Tory MP". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  16. ^ "Stan FM confirms $500 donation to Heritage ParlSec Calanda's riding association". CBC. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  17. ^ "Contributions - Details". Elections Canada. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Paul Calandra's non-answer period week in videos". Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  19. ^ "Bizarre Conservative MP Paul Calandra's Wikipedia Page Vandalized". THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  20. ^ "Rick Mercer Report: Paul Calandra's Fragrance Would Be Called 'Obfuscation'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  21. ^ "Unreal exchange in House of Commons over Canada's involvement in Iraq". Global News. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  22. ^ O'Malley, Kady. "Paul Calandra apologizes for non-answers as sources pin blame on PMO". CBC. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  23. ^ "#fullcalandra". Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  24. ^ "The Full Calandra". Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  25. ^ "Mark Critch Pledges $1 For Every Tweet Calling Paul Calandra A Tool". Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  26. ^ "Mark Critch launches 'u are a tool' campaign against Paul Calandra". Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  27. ^ "Stouffville editor unblocked today". Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  28. ^ "CPC accused of banning conservative C-51 protesters from social media". iPolitics. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  29. ^ "#conblocked". Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  30. ^ "Pickering airport won't fly with Liberals, NDP: Markham-Stouffville election meeting". Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  31. ^ Maloney, Ryan (20 October 2015). "6 Controversial Tory Incumbents Who Lost (And 2 Who Didn't)". Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  32. ^ "Paul Calandra says it was a 'mistake' to focus on niqab, barbaric practices". CBC. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  33. ^ a b "Former MP Paul Calandra seeks Ontario PC nomination for Markham-Stouffville". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  34. ^ "Paul Calandra is Markham-Stouffville's Ontario PC nominee for next election". Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  35. ^ "Patrick Brown: Once-obscure MP rises from the ranks with Ontario PC leadership bid". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  36. ^ "Rickford endorses Mulroney to lead Ontario PCs". TBNewsWatch. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  37. ^ "MULRONEY LAUNCHES HER CAMPAIGN IN FRONT OF A FRIENDLY CROWD". QPBriefing. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  38. ^ "Patrick Brown buoyed by supporters as he launches comeback bid". Toronto Star. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  39. ^ "Signs suggest Caroline Mulroney leadership bid is struggling". CBC. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  40. ^ "Calandra switches allegiance from Mulroney to Elliott in PC leadership race". Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  41. ^ "Premier Ford Announces Parliamentary Assistant Assignments as Part of Ontario's Government for the People". Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  42. ^ "Summary of Valid Votes Cast for each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. p. 5. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  43. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Markham—Stouffville, 30 September 2015; Elections Canada, Electoral Districts
  44. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]