Terence Young (politician)

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Terence Young
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Oakville
Assumed office
Preceded by Bonnie Brown
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded by Barbara Sullivan
Succeeded by Riding abolished
Constituency Halton Centre
Personal details
Born Terence Hart Young
(1952-07-24) July 24, 1952 (age 63)
Toronto, Ontario
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Gloria Young
Children 2
Residence Oakville, Ontario
Profession Business Manager
Religion Anglican

Terence Hart Young[1] (born July 24, 1952) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is a Conservative member of the Canadian House of Commons who was elected in 2008. He represents the riding of Oakville. Previously, Young was a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario between 1995 and 1999.


Young was the fourth of five sons of Canon George V. Young, Rector at St. Anne's Anglican Church in Toronto's west end. In his youth Young was a member of ACTRA for nine years, performing on radio and TV commercials and at age thirteen shared billing with Canadian icon William Hutt and Frances Hyland at the Manitoba Theatre Centre in the William Kinsolving play Nicholas Romanoff. Young's mother Judith is a member of the Massey family, prominent business leaders and philanthropists in the Toronto area. His great uncle Denton Massey represented the riding of Greenwood in Toronto in parliament from 1935 until 1949, and cousin Raymond Massey was Canada's first Canadian born Governor General.

He received his B.A. in Political and Social Science from York University in 1975 and attended Osgoode Hall Law School for one year, before choosing to pursue a business career. He worked for Ford Motor Company in sales, was a General Motors Sales Master and was licensed by the American Federation of Musicians to book Canadian musicians through Music Shoppe International, with Canadian booking legend Ron Scribner. Before politics Young also worked as a manager for Bell Canada. He lives in Oakville with wife Gloria whom he dated at Bloor Collegiate from 1970 and married in 1980. They have two living children: Madeline (b. 1982) who teaches voice and directs opera based in Calgary, and Hart (b. 1986) a landscape architect with Nak Design in Toronto.

Drug advocacy[edit]

Young's fifteen-year-old daughter Vanessa died in 2000 after taking the Johnson & Johnson prescription drug cisapride (Prepulsid). Young became a consumer advocate after this incident, and has been fighting for a more stringent and protective drug-monitoring system in Canada. He founded Drug Safety Canada to advocate for safe prescription drugs, and also initiated a hundred million dollar class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and Health Canada in 2000, and an individual lawsuit, later settled after a six-year court battle. This story is told in detail in Young's book Death by Prescription, available on line and now in its second edition with Mosaic Press of Oakville, Ontario. In June 2013 at a pharmacy in Etobicoke, Ontario. Canada's Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq and Young announced that the government of Canada would introduce plain language labelling for prescription and over-the-counter drugs similar to the risk communications provided to patients and doctors in the US and UK to help reduce adverse drug reactions, the fourth leading cause of death in Canada. This was a culmination of thirteen years advocacy by Young to provide Canadian patients with the same type of warnings that US patients received for years.

In April 2009, Young's book Death by Prescription was published by independent publisher Key Porter in hardcover format, and has now[when?] sold over 2500 copies in English. On April 20, 2009, Young placed a Private Member's Motion on the Order Paper of the Parliament of Canada that would create an independent drug agency for Canada similar to the Nuclear Safety Agency or Transportation Safety Board, focussing solely on prescription drug safety. Young also began a cross-Canada tour promoting his motion that took him from Ottawa and Oakville to Winnipeg, Vancouver, St. John's Newfoundland and Iqaluit. Death by Prescription was translated into French for publication by Ecosociete in Quebec in the spring of 2010 by as Mourir sur ordonnance. Death by Prescription is being published in a second edition by Mosaic Press of Oakville Ontario in the spring of 2014 in the US by Bookmasters Inc. of Ashland, Ohio, to be distributed by the largest book distributor in the US, Blake & Taylor. It will also be available in four ebook formats. Ballinran Entertainment of Stratford Ontario is adopting the book Death by Prescription into a documentary film.

Young conceived and promoted Bill C-17, Vanessa's Law, named after his daughter Vanessa which was passed by the House of Commons and Senate unanimously, and was signed into law by Governor General David Johnston on November 6, 2014. Vanessa's Law makes the most significant changes to the Food and Drugs Act in fifty years, empowering Health Canada to order drug companies to provide clearly worded safety warnings to patients and doctors for all drugs in plain language, to change drug labels for drugs on the market to clearly reflect new safety information, to conduct new studies on drugs that have shown safety concerns, to take unsafe drugs off the market and the supply chain within 48 hours, and compel health care institutions to report all serious adverse drug reactions to Health Canada. It also, amongst other powers, allows the Minister of Health to compel drug companies to make confidential business information (CBI) on their drugs available to specific entities such as the provinces and researchers, when patients are at risk of serious harm, a measure that Rx&D representatives asked Senate committee members reviewing the bill to amend to make the powers available only if the risk is "imminent". Vanessa's Law also provides unlimited fines for criminal negligence that harms patients.

Provincial politics[edit]

Terence was elected for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario to the provincial legislature in the 1995 election, defeating incumbent Liberal Barbara Sullivan by 16,644 votes in Halton Centre amid a PC Party of Ontario sweep of the region.[2] He served as a backbench supporter of the Mike Harris government. He served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education for three years with responsibility for Colleges and Universities; and then as Parliamentary Assistant to Finance Minister.[3]

Young was part of a "family values caucus" in the Progressive Conservative Party, a group of right-wing members which included Jim Brown, Jack Carroll and Frank Klees. They wanted to legislate their own set of moral values on Ontario society.[4] In 1997 and 1998, Young twice sponsored a private members bill called the Zero Tolerance for Substance Abuse Act which would have required school principals to automatically suspend students if they were caught with cigarettes, alcohol or drugs.[5] Both times the bill didn't make it past second reading.[6][7]

Young criticized the Halton School Board for approving Joyce Carol Oates's novel, Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, for Grade Twelve English. Young admitted he had not read the book but had seen excerpts which he characterized as pornographic and obscene.[8]

In 1996, the Harris government reduced the number of provincial ridings from 130 to 103. As a result, some MPPs from the same party were forced to compete against one another for re-nomination. Young ran for the Progressive Conservative nomination in the new constituency of Oakville, but lost to fellow MPP Gary Carr, 651 votes to 432.[9]

Young endorsed Frank Klees's bid to become leader of the PC Party of Ontario in 2004,[citation needed] who lost to John Tory; Christine Elliott in 2009,[10] who lost to Tim Hudak; and Christine Elliot again in 2015,[11] who lost to Patrick Brown.

Federal politics[edit]

Young ran for the House of Commons of Canada as an independent candidate in the 1974 federal election, in the Toronto riding of Parkdale. He received 144 votes, finishing well behind winner Stanley Haidasz of the Liberal Party.[12]

He was elected to the House of Commons in the 2008 federal election, defeating Liberal incumbent Bonnie Brown in Oakville.[13] On May 2, 2011, Young was reelected in Oakville with a larger majority of 12,178 votes, defeating local Oakville councillor Liberal Max Khan.[14] Since 2008 he has served as a backbench supporter of Stephen Harper's government.

In December 2014, Young introduced a Private Member's Bill called An Act Respecting the Prevention of Potential Health Risks from Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation. The act which was co-written by Canadians for Safe Technology would have forced manufacturers of devices emitting electronic signals to place warning labels on the packaging. The bill did not get past first reading.[15][16]

As a member of the Standing Committee on Health, Young has devoted much of his time in Parliament to speaking out about the dangers of marijuana and the deaths it is directly responsible for. Young contends that marijuana legalization will merely normalize its use among Canadian youth, who currently lead the developed world in marijuana consumption.[17] Young has expressed support for bringing back the prohibition of alcohol and tobacco based on comments he has made in the House of Commons.[18] According to Young, the legalization and regulation of tobacco and alcohol has proved a failure since neither has prevented every single underage Canadian from accessing them—a unique position amongst his colleagues.

Young was acclaimed as the Conservative candidate in Oakville riding for the October 19, 2015 election.[19]


  1. ^ "Affidavit of Terence Hart Young" (PDF). Ontario Superior Court of Justice. August 3, 2006. 
  2. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 8, 1995. 
  3. ^ "Halton Centre MPP named aide to Eves". The Hamilton Spectator. November 10, 1997. p. A5. 
  4. ^ "Harris won't miss group". Kingston Whig - Standard. June 22, 1999. p. 18. 
  5. ^ Walker, William (June 13, 1997). "Cigarette students face suspension But planned law runs into Liberal criticism". Toronto Star. p. A11. 
  6. ^ Young, Terence (June 12, 1997). "Bill 134, Zero Tolerance for Substance Abuse Act, 1997". Legislative Assembly of Ontario. 
  7. ^ Young, Terence (June 18, 1998). "Bill 30, Zero Tolerance for Substance Abuse Act, 1998". Legislative Assembly of Ontario. 
  8. ^ Van Luven, Lynne (May 10, 1997). "Good Idea Gone to Seed: Joyce Carol Oates may have strayed into ``dangerous terrain once again -- at least to the minds of overprotective parents". The Windsor Star. p. E4. 
  9. ^ Boyle, Theresa (April 14, 1999). "Carr wins nomination in Oakville". Toronto Star. p. 1. 
  10. ^ Akin, David (2014-06-26). "The Ontario PC Party leadership race: Where do MPPs and MPs stand?". Canoe.ca. Retrieved 2015-05-12. 
  11. ^ Fekete, Jason (2015-01-02). "Conservative MPs take sides in Ontario PC leadership race". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2015-05-12. 
  12. ^ "How the party candidates fared across the country". The Toronto Star. July 9, 1974. p. A12. 
  13. ^ "Greater Toronto Area Results". The Toronto Star. October 15, 2008. p. U2. 
  14. ^ "Riding results from across Canada". Edmonton Journal. May 3, 2011. p. A6. 
  15. ^ Young, Terence (December 11, 2014). "An Act Respecting the Prevention of Potential Health Risks from Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation". Government of Canada. 
  16. ^ Garbutt, Herb (January 2, 2015). "Oakville MP introduces bill to require warnings on cell phones". Oakville Beaver. p. 1. Retrieved July 17, 2015. 
  17. ^ http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canadian-teens-lead-developed-world-in-cannabis-use-unicef-report/article11221668/
  18. ^ http://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/justin-trudeau-safe-injection-facilities-and-scary-drugs/
  19. ^ Nolan, Daniel (July 25, 2014). "Tory candidates lined up for 2015 federal election". Hamilton Spectator. 

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