Tim Murphy (Canadian politician)

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Tim Murphy
10th Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister
In office
December 2003 – January 2006
Prime Minister Paul Martin
Preceded by Eddie Goldenberg
Succeeded by Ian Brodie
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded by Ian Scott
Succeeded by Al Leach
Constituency St. George—St. David
Personal details
Born (1959-08-07) August 7, 1959 (age 58)
Barrie, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Jane Thompson
Children 1
Residence Toronto, Ontario
Occupation Lawyer

Timothy John Murphy (born August 7, 1959) is a former Canadian politician and was the chief of staff of the Prime Minister's Office under Paul Martin's government.


Murphy was born in Barrie, Ontario. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen's University in 1982 and a law degree from the University of Toronto. He practiced law with Blake, Cassels & Graydon and also served as a special advisor to Attorney General Ian Scott and a senior advisor to Ontario Minister of Education Sean Conway. In 1989-90, he ran the Ontario Campaign during Paul Martin's first unsuccessful bid for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.[1] He lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter.


When Ian Scott resigned his legislative seat in late 1992, a by-election was called for April 1, 1993 to replace him. Murphy ran to succeed Scott as the Liberal member for St. George—St. David, and was successful, defeating Progressive Conservative Nancy Jackman by 2,232 votes.[2]

St. George—St. David, which is now part of Toronto Centre, included the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood, the largest gay village in Ontario. Although Murphy is not himself gay, he soon emerged as a leading spokesperson in the Ontario legislature for progressive legislation pertaining to the rights of same-sex couples, introducing a private member's bill in 1993 which would have partially extended spousal benefits.[3] He was one of only three Liberal MPPs, along with Jean Poirier and Dianne Poole, to support Bill 167, the Bob Rae government's more sweeping same-sex benefits package in 1994, and was critical of Liberal leader Lyn McLeod's decision to oppose the bill.[3]

Murphy was defeated in the 1995 provincial election, losing his seat to Progressive Conservative Al Leach by 337 votes while New Democratic candidate Brent Hawkes was a close third.[4]

Later life[edit]

He returned to practicing law with McCarthy Tétrault, and served for a time as president of the Ontario Liberal Party. He supported Dwight Duncan's bid for the Ontario party leadership in 1996.

On June 28, 2001, Murphy was hired by Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin as a senior political advisor. When Martin became Prime Minister in late 2003, he appointed Murphy as his chief of staff.[5] Murphy was considered to be one of the most influential figures in the Canadian Prime Minister's Office, helping formulate policy matters as well as coordinating meetings with ministers and departments and with foreign heads of state.

After the Martin government was defeated in the 2006 federal election, Murphy returned to Toronto where he joined the law firm of McMillan Binch Mendelsohn.[6] Murphy served as a political panelist on Global's coverage of the 2006 Liberal leadership convention.


  1. ^ Kennedy, Mark (June 19, 2003). "Mini Profiles of The Board". CanWest News. Don Mills, Ont. p. 1. 
  2. ^ Walker, William (April 2, 1993). "NDP candidates crushed". Toronto Star. p. A1. 
  3. ^ a b David Rayside, On the Fringe: Gays & Lesbians in Politics.
  4. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 8, 1995. Retrieved 2014-03-02. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Kennedy, Mark (December 12, 2003). "Martin makes 11 key PMO appointments". The Ottawa Citizen. p. A3. 
  6. ^ Best, Patricia (September 6, 2006). "McBinch stocks up on chiefs". The Globe and Mail. p. B2. 

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