Peter Tabuns

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Peter Tabuns
Peter Tabuns - 2009.jpg
Tabuns in 2009
Leader of the Opposition in Ontario
Assumed office
June 28, 2022
Preceded byAndrea Horwath
Interim leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party
Assumed office
June 28, 2022
DeputySol Mamakwa
Doly Begum
Preceded byAndrea Horwath
Succeeded byMarit Stiles (designate)
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Toronto—Danforth
Assumed office
March 30, 2006
Preceded byMarilyn Churley
Personal details
Born
Peter Charles Tabuns

(1951-10-03) October 3, 1951 (age 71)
London, Ontario, Canada
Political partyOntario New Democratic
SpouseShawn Kerwin
Children1
Residence(s)Toronto, Ontario, Canada
OccupationPolitician

Peter Charles Tabuns MPP (born October 3, 1951) is a Canadian politician who has served as the interim leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party and the leader of the Opposition since June 28, 2022. He is a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, first elected in a 2006 by-election to represent the riding of Toronto—Danforth.

In 2009, he entered the party leadership convention but lost to Andrea Horwath. Following Horwath's resignation as leader after the 2022 Ontario general election, the Ontario New Democratic Party caucus unanimously recommended Tabuns' selection as the Ontario NDP's interim leader pending the outcome of its forthcoming leadership election. His appointment was confirmed by the party's provincial council on June 28, 2022.[1][2]

Background[edit]

Tabuns was born in London, Ontario, to Anton Tabuns (Latvian: Antons Tabūns), an auto mechanic, and his wife Sarah, who was born and raised in Liverpool, England. Anton was born and raised in Latvia, though he managed to leave his homeland after the Soviet occupation and immigrate to England. While working on a farm, fixing equipment, he met Sarah, and soon after marrying, the couple immigrated to Canada. Soon after, the family found residence with another recent immigrant. In addition to Peter, Anton and Sarah have two other children, Frank and Anna.[3]

Tabuns attended York University, where he studied political science and was actively involved in York's student council. Tabuns was also president of Citizens for a Safe Environment, a Riverdale environmental group that lobbied the city to end garbage incineration at the Commissioners Street plant in the Port Lands. He became managing director of a housing co-op on Oak Street, and was also vice-chair of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto.[4]

He lives with Shawn Kerwin, who is a theatre designer and professor at York University. They have a son, Anton, from Tabuns' previous relationship.

Municipal politics[edit]

Tabuns was city councillor for Ward 8 - Riverdale - of the former City of Toronto from 1990 to 1997, representing part of the Toronto-Danforth riding he now represents provincially. He was a member of the Board of Health for seven years, and was chair from 1993 to 1997. In 1995 he moved to ban smoking in shopping mall food courts. A year later the city extended the ban to include bars and restaurants.[5][6]

In 1996, he supported a boycott of Harvey's restaurants because its parent company Cara Operations had donated money to the Progressive Conservative Party for the previous three years. The Board of Health initially passed the motion 7-6 but later rescinded it following a storm of protest. Tabuns was unrepentant and said that corporations must be held accountable for supporting Ontario Premier Mike Harris. Tabuns said, "What Mike Harris has done is put greased skids under the economy of this city and pushed it downhill."[7]

In 1997 the amalgamation of Metropolitan Toronto reduced the number of councillor positions. Tabuns was forced to compete with fellow NDP councillors Pam McConnell (who had previously represented Ward 7, adjacent to Tabuns' Ward 8) and Jack Layton (who had held a seat on Metro Council representing the same area as Wards 7 and 8) for one of two council positions returned by the east-end ward. A phantom candidate named "Larry Tabin" also entered the election. It has been alleged that Tabin was enlisted as a candidate by bar and restaurant owners seeking to defeat Tabuns over his anti-smoking initiative; despite his presence on the ballot, Tabin did not actually conduct any visible campaign. In the confusion, Tabin was able to draw enough votes away from Peter Tabuns to cost Tabuns the election.[8] Tabuns came in third, with about 200 fewer votes than McConnell.[9]

Greenpeace[edit]

From 1999 to 2004, Tabuns was executive director of Greenpeace Canada. Under Tabuns' leadership, the organization advocated for environmental protection, including the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol. Tabuns also served as special advisor on climate change to Jack Layton from 2004 to 2005.

Tabuns was criticized by some members of Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) local 343 (now Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union 343) in 2002, when Greenpeace terminated its door-to-door fundraising efforts and transferred foot canvassers to telephone fundraising. No layoffs occurred; however, several workers disputed Greenpeace's assertions that the new positions were of "comparable salary and benefits", and held an information picket outside Greenpeace offices.[10] According to the union, the "circumstances surrounding the closure of the door canvass were amicably resolved".[11]

Federal politics[edit]

Tabuns ran as the NDP candidate in the riding of Beaches—East York during the 2004 federal election. He lost the election to Liberal incumbent Maria Minna by 7,738 votes.[12]

Provincial politics[edit]

Peter Tabuns speaking at an environmental teach-in for Toronto Climate Campaign on Nov. 17, 2007

On February 15, 2006, the Toronto—Danforth NDP riding association nominated Tabuns as the party's candidate in the provincial by-election, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of former NDP Member of Provincial Parliament Marilyn Churley. Churley resigned her provincial seat in order to run in the 2006 federal election as the NDP candidate for Beaches-East York.

Tabuns' opponents in the election were former broadcaster and Liberal candidate Ben Chin, Progressive Conservative candidate Georgina Blanas and Green Party candidate Paul Charbonneau. On March 30, 2006, Tabuns won the by-election with 47.8% support from voters.[13]

Upon being sworn in as an MPP, NDP Leader Howard Hampton reorganized his shadow cabinet and gave the rookie member a long list of portfolios, including Transportation, Environment, Public Infrastructure Renewal, Greater Toronto Area, Culture, Tourism and Recreation, Citizenship and Immigration, and Multicultural Affairs.[14]

In October 2006, Tabuns was voted Best MPP by Now Magazine readers, for his positions on climate change, the Portlands Energy Centre, and early childhood learning centres in his constituency.[15] Tabuns has also been known for his stance on same-sex parental rights, anti-toxics legislation and recognition of foreign credentials. In the same month, Tabuns was recognized for tabling a motion to recognize June 22, 2006 as Chinese Canadian Head Tax Redress Day.[16]

Tabuns was re-elected in the 2007, 2011, 2014, 2018 and 2022 provincial elections.[17][18][19]

He is currently the party's interim leader,[2] after previously serving as the party's critic on energy and climate change[20] and before that critic for Education and Energy issues.[21]

2009 Leadership bid[edit]

Following the resignation of party leader Howard Hampton in June 2008, Peter Tabuns was mentioned in the press as a likely candidate in the emerging campaign for the leadership.[22] On October 27, 2008, Tabuns officially launched his campaign for the leadership.[23] The party's leadership convention was held in March 2009. Tabuns lost to Andrea Horwath by a margin of 60% to 40% on the third ballot following the defeat of contenders Michael Prue and Gilles Bisson in earlier rounds.

Interim Leader[edit]

On June 13, 2022, the 31 members of the Ontario NDP caucus elected in the 2022 Ontario general election met and unanimously endorsed Peter Tabuns to serve as interim party leader pending the outcome of its forthcoming leadership election.[24] Following this recommendation by caucus, his appointment was confirmed by the party's provincial council on June 28, 2022.[2] Marit Stiles is set to become the next leader pending a general election in 2023.[25]

Electoral record[edit]

2022 Ontario general election: Toronto—Danforth
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Peter Tabuns 22,890 55.39 -8.86
Liberal Mary Fragedakis 9,240 22.36 +8.29
Progressive Conservative Colleen McCleery 5,556 13.44 -2.42
Green Marcelo Levy 2,513 6.08 +1.70
New Blue Milton Kandias 515 1.25
Ontario Party George Simopoulos 232 0.56
None of the Above Christopher Brophy 201 0.49
Communist Jennifer Moxon 177 0.43 +0.10
Total valid votes 41,324 99.41 +0.38
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 244 0.59 -0.38
Turnout 41,568 49.04 -12.54
Eligible voters 84,769
New Democratic hold Swing -8.58
Source:Elections Ontario[26]
2018 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Peter Tabuns 32,938 64.25 +19.64
Progressive Conservative Patricia Kalligosfyris 8,131 15.86 +5.85
Liberal Li Koo 7,216 14.07 -23.15
Green Andrew Trotter 2,248 4.38 -1.09
Libertarian Paul Layton 341 0.67 -0.49
Communist Ivan Byard 167 0.33 -0.07
Independent John Kladitis 118 0.23
Independent John Richardson 110 0.21
Total valid votes 51,269 99.03 +0.30
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 503 0.97 -0.30
Turnout 51,772 61.58 +6.28
Eligible voters 84,072
New Democratic hold Swing
Source: Elections Ontario[27]
2014 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Peter Tabuns 19,190 44.61 -9.40
Liberal Rob Newman 15,983 37.16 +6.56
Progressive Conservative Naomi Solomon 4,304 10.01 +0.62
Green Rachel Power 2,351 5.47 +1.83
Libertarian Thomas Armstrong 501 1.16 -0.02
Communist Elizabeth Rowley 172 0.40
Canadians' Choice John Richardson 167 0.40 +0.19
Vegan Environmental Simon Luisi 149 0.35
Freedom Tristan Parlette 121 0.28 -0.01
People's Political Party Ali Azaroghli 79 0.18 -0.20
Total valid votes 43,017 98.73 -0.67
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 553 1.27 +0.67
Total turnout 43,570 55.30 +6.00
Total electors 78,787
New Democratic hold Swing -7.92
Source: Elections Ontario[28]
2011 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Peter Tabuns 20,062 54.01 +8.16
Liberal Marisa Sterling 11,369 30.60 +1.40
Progressive Conservative Rita Jethi 3,488 9.39 -1.89
Green Tim Whalley 1,354 3.64 -7.51
Libertarian John Recker 440 1.18 +0.01
People's Political Party Kevin Clarke 143 0.38  
Independent Neil Mercer 110 0.30  
Freedom Stéphane Vera 107 0.29  
Independent John Richardson 75 0.20  
Total valid votes 37,148 99.40 +0.41
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 226 0.60 -0.41
Turnout 37,374 49.30 -3.88
Eligible voters 75,815
New Democratic hold Swing +3.38
Source: Elections Ontario[29]
2007 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Peter Tabuns 17,975 45.85 -1.95
Liberal Joyce Rowlands 11,448 29.20 -9.72
Progressive Conservative Robert Bisbicis 4,423 11.28 +1.35
Green Patrick Kraemer 4,372 11.15 +9.02
Libertarian Mark Scott 460 1.17  
Family Coalition Michael Kidd 273 0.70 +0.22
Communist Shona Bracken 253 0.65  
Total valid votes 39,204 98.99 -0.59
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 401 1.01 +0.59
Turnout 39,605 53.18 +13.29
Eligible voters 74,479
New Democratic hold Swing
Source: Elections Ontario


Ontario provincial by-election, March 26, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Peter Tabuns 13,054 48.26 +0.66
Liberal Ben Chin 10,636 38.93 +7.29
Progressive Conservative Georgina Blanas 2,740 10.03 -6.99
Green Paul Charbonneau 582 2.13 -1.4
Family Coalition Wictor Borkowski 104 0.38 -0.08
Freedom Franz Cauchi 93 0.34  
Independent Carol Wielhorski 63 0.23  
Independent Mehmet Ali Yagiz 50 0.18 -0.01
Total valid votes 27,322 99.58 +0.34
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 115 0.42 -0.34
Turnout 27,437 39.89 -15.97
Eligible voters 68,782
New Democratic hold Swing
Source: Elections Ontario
2004 Canadian federal election: Beaches—East York
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Maria Minna 22,494 47.92 -4.9
New Democratic Peter Tabuns 15,156 32.29 +11.3
Conservative Nick Nikopoulos 6,603 14.06 -8.5
Green Peter Davison 2,127 4.53 +3.1
Marijuana Daniel Dufresne 365 0.77 -0.8
Independent Edward Slota 80 0.17
Communist Miguel Figueroa 62 0.13 -0.1
Marxist–Leninist Roger Carter 46 0.09 0.0
Total valid votes 46,933 100.00
Total rejected ballots 204 0.43
Turnout 47,137 64.02
Conservative vote is compared to the total of the Canadian Alliance vote and Progressive Conservative vote in 2000 election.

1997 Toronto Municipal Election: Ward 25 – Don River

Council Candidate Vote %
    Jack Layton 15,045 29.97
    Pam McConnell 8,359 16.65
    Peter Tabuns 8,141 16.21
    Soo Wong 7,212 14.36
    Spiros Papathanasakis 6,590 13.13
    Terry Brackett 1,546 3.08
    Mike Armstrong 1,429 2.85
    Wendy Forrest 947 1.89
    Larry Tabin 939 1.87

1994 Toronto Municipal Election: Ward 8 – Riverdale

Council Candidate Vote %
    Peter Tabuns 6,134 46.61
    Arthur Potts 4,319 32.82
    Dan Salapoutis 1,991 15.13
    Michael Green 716 5.44

1991 Toronto Municipal Election: Ward 8 – Riverdale

Council Candidate Vote %
    Peter Tabuns 5,974 46.63
    John Roy 5,709 44.56
    Michael Green 1,129 8.81

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jackson, Hannah; D'Mello, Colin; Bingley, Matthew (June 13, 2022). "Ontario NDP to recommend long-time MPP Peter Tabuns as interim leader: party source". Global News. Retrieved June 13, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ndp-interim-leader-contest-rules-1.6504059[bare URL]
  3. ^ "About Pete. Meet Pete Tabuns. Ontario NDP leadership biography". Peter Tabuns Leadership Campaign. December 24, 2008. Archived from the original on February 26, 2009.
  4. ^ Hurst, Lynda (April 20, 1997). "Toronto's chief tobacco fighter: Hero or crackpot?". Toronto Star. p. A2.
  5. ^ Small, Peter (October 18, 1995). "Toronto to end smoking in mall food courts 1996 ban may cover all restaurants". Toronto Star. p. A1.
  6. ^ Moloney, Paul (October 9, 1996). "City softens smoke ban, satisfies few". Toronto Star. p. A1.
  7. ^ Moloney, Paul (March 22, 1996). "Health board zaps its beef with burger chain". Toronto Star. p. A5.
  8. ^ "The Dirty Tricks Campaign". Canadian Free Press. September 12 – October 3, 2000.
  9. ^ "1997 Election Results". City of Toronto government. November 10, 1997. Archived from the original on June 21, 2003.
  10. ^ Campbell, Heather (November 7, 2002). "Pickets Pound Greenpeace". NOW Magazine. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  11. ^ "COPE Local 343 - Press Release". Canada News Wire. February 24, 2009. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2009.
  12. ^ "Canada Votes, 2004". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
  13. ^ "By-Election 2006: Toronto-Danforth". Elections Ontario. March 30, 2006.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Peter Tabuns: Biography". Ontario NDP. 2006. Archived from the original on May 19, 2007.
  15. ^ "Peter Tabuns voted Best MPP". NOW Magazine. October 26, 2006. Archived from the original on October 24, 2007.
  16. ^ "Canadians Recognize Head Tax Redress". Chinese Canadian National Council. 2006. Archived from the original on October 6, 2007. Retrieved December 27, 2008.
  17. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 10, 2007. p. 16 (xxv). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 7, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  18. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 18. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 30, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  19. ^ "General Election by District: Toronto-Danforth". Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. Archived from the original on September 23, 2014.
  20. ^ "Peter Tabuns (Homepage)". April 10, 2019.
  21. ^ Reevely, David (June 25, 2014). "Horwath sticks around, names NDP shadow cabinet".
  22. ^ Benzie, Robert (June 28, 2008). "Race to succeed Hampton crowded". Toronto Star.
  23. ^ "Tabuns to try for NDP leadership". CBC News. October 27, 2008.
  24. ^ Pinkerton, Charlie; Takagi, Andy (June 13, 2022). "NDP caucus recommending Peter Tabuns as interim leader". QP Briefing. Retrieved June 14, 2022.
  25. ^ Fraser, Kaitie (December 7, 2022). "NDP's next leader needs more face time to gain back lost ground: analyst". CBC. Retrieved December 11, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ "Candidates in: Toronto—Danforth (110)". Elections Ontario. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  27. ^ "Summary of Valid Votes Cast for each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. p. 8. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  28. ^ "Official Past Election Results". Elections Ontario. 2015. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  29. ^ "Official return from the records / Rapport des registres officiels - Toronto—Danforth" (PDF). Elections Ontario. 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2014.

External links[edit]