Paul Calandra

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Paul Calandra
Paul Calandra Portrait.jpg
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Oak Ridges—Markham
Assumed office
Preceded by Lui Temelkovski
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister of Canada and for Intergovernmental Affairs
Assumed office
September 19, 2013
Preceded by Dean Del Mastro
Personal details
Born (1970-05-13) May 13, 1970 (age 45)
Markham, Ontario
Political party Conservative
Residence Stouffville, Ontario
Profession insurance broker[citation needed]

Paul A. Calandra (born May 13, 1970) is a Canadian politician. 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 is currently the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister of Canada and for Intergovernmental Affairs.[1]

In the 2015 federal election, he is a candidate in the Markham—Stouffville electoral district, created as a result of the federal electoral redistribution of 2012.


Calandra studied History with a minor in Political Science at Carlton University.[2] His claim on his campaign website in 2007 to have "complet(ed) full-time university studies" was controversial[3] since, at that time he had not graduated.[4] 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.[5] He obtained his BA from Carleton in November 2008.[2]

Early career

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.[6]

Family dispute

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 In a lawsuit filed by his sisters, it was claimed the power of attorney had been revoked by his mother months before her death in August 2005, but Calandra had invoked it for personal gain.[4] In his statement of defence, Calandra said that the charges had been authorized.[7] 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.[7]


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.[8] 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.[9] He was re-elected in 2011 defeating Temelkovski again, this time by 20,680 votes.[10]

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’,[11] 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'.[12]

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

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.[13]

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.[14] The donation was not returned.[15]

Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

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,[16] social media postings, vandalization of his Wikipedia page,[17] and being covered on the Rick Mercer Report.[18] 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".[19] On 26 September 2014, Calandra gave a tearful speech in Parliament in order to "unconditionally, unreservedly apologize to the House".[20]

2015 general election

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[21][22] 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.[23][24] 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.[25] The habit of Conservative party members blocking those who disagreed with them on social media became referred to as #conblocked.[26][27]

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.[28]

Electoral record

Canadian federal election, 2008
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%

Canadian federal election, 2000: 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.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Full text of "133rd Convocation, Nov 8 2008"". Internet Archive (Carleton University). Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "None too bright". Accidental Deliberations. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Lives of candidates must be open book". Newmarket Era. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Stouffville Morning Show. (Interview). WhiStle Radio. 29 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Paul Calandra will be federal Conservative candidate in Oak Ridges - Markham". King Township Sentinel, March 14, 2007.
  7. ^ a b McGregor, Glen (9 January 2014). "Paul Calandra court documents point to family dispute over money, assets". Ottawa Citizen. 
  8. ^ "Election Results". Star - Phoenix (Saskatoon, SK). November 28, 2000. p. A8. 
  9. ^ "Greater Toronto Area Results". The Toronto Star. October 15, 2008. p. U2. 
  10. ^ "Riding results from across Canada". Edmonton Journal. May 3, 2011. p. A6. 
  11. ^ "MP wants riding name to better reflect towns". Georgina Advocate, June 22, 2009.
  12. ^ "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. 
  13. ^ "Competing bidders for radio spot donated money to Tory MP". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "Stan FM confirms $500 donation to Heritage ParlSec Calanda's riding association". CBC. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "Contributions - Details". Elections Canada. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Paul Calandra's non-answer period week in videos". Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  17. ^ "Bizarre Conservative MP Paul Calandra’s Wikipedia Page Vandalized". THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "Rick Mercer Report: Paul Calandra's Fragrance Would Be Called 'Obfuscation'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  19. ^ "Unreal exchange in House of Commons over Canada’s involvement in Iraq". Global News. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  20. ^ O'Malley, Kady. "Paul Calandra apologizes for non-answers as sources pin blame on PMO". CBC. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  21. ^ "#fullcalandra". Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "The Full Calandra". Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  23. ^ "Mark Critch Pledges $1 For Every Tweet Calling Paul Calandra A Tool". Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  24. ^ "Mark Critch launches 'u are a tool' campaign against Paul Calandra". Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  25. ^ "Stouffville editor unblocked today". Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  26. ^ "CPC accused of banning conservative C-51 protesters from social media". iPolitics. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  27. ^ "#conblocked". Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  28. ^ "Pickering airport won't fly with Liberals, NDP: Markham-Stouffville election meeting". Retrieved 4 October 2015. 

External links