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John Howard Tory (born May 28, 1954 in Torontomarker, Ontariomarker) is a Canadian businessman, political activist, former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, former Member of Provincial Parliament and broadcaster.

Tory is considered by some to be a Red Tory, and holds socially liberal views on a number of issues including same-sex marriage.

In the 2007 provincial election, Tory was defeated in the riding of Don Valley West by Liberal incumbent Kathleen Wynne. He subsequently received the support of 66.9% of attendees at a leadership review meeting following the election and stayed on as party leader. Tory's political future was thrown into doubt when, on March 5, 2009, he failed in his attempt to re-enter the legislature, losing a provincial by-election to Liberal Rick Johnson in the riding of Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock. Tory announced his resignation as party leader the next day and was subsequently replaced as leader by Niagara West—Glanbrook PC MPP Tim Hudak at the 2009 Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership election.


Tory is the son of John A. Tory, president of Thomson Investments Limited and a director of Rogers Communications. He has been married to Barbara Hackett since 1978. From 1972 to 1979, Tory was hired by family friend Ted Rogers as a journalist for Rogers Broadcasting's Toronto radio stations CFTR and CHFImarker.

Before enrolling in university, he attended the University of Toronto Schoolsmarker, a private high school affiliated with the University of Torontomarker.

Tory received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Trinity Collegemarker, University of Torontomarker in 1975. He received his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1978 from Osgoode Hall Law Schoolmarker of York Universitymarker. He was called to the bar in Ontario in 1980.

From 1980 to 1981, and later from 1986 to 1995, Tory held various positions at his father's Toronto law firm Tory, Tory, DesLauriers & Binnington, including partner, managing partner, and member of the Executive Committee.

From 1981 to 1985, Tory served in the Office of the Premier of Ontario, Bill Davis as Principal Secretary to the Premier and Associate Secretary of the Cabinet. In 1985, Davis retired as Premier. Tory joined the Office of the Canadian Special Envoy on Acid Rain, as Special Advisor to the Special Envoy. The Special Envoy had been appointed by the federal government of Brian Mulroney to review matters of air quality with a United Statesmarker counterpart. Tory supported Dianne Cunningham's bid to lead the provincial Progressive Conservative Party in 1990 (Toronto Star, 3 May 1990).

Tory later served as Tour Director and Campaign Chairman to then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and managed the 1993 federal election campaign of Mulroney's successor, Kim Campbell. Tory was criticized for approving a 1993 election ad that mocked Liberal Party leader Jean Chrétien's facial deformity (although the Conservatives denied that was the ad's intention). The Conservatives suffered the most lopsided defeat for a governing party at the federal level in Canadian history, losing half their vote from 1988 and all but two of their 151 seats.

From 1995 to 1999, he returned to Rogers Communications Inc., but this time as president and CEO of Rogers Media which had become one of Canada's largest publishing and broadcasting companies. Rogers has interests in radio and television stations, specialty television channels, consumer magazines, trade magazines and, at the time, the Toronto Sun and the Sun newspaper chain. In 1999, he became president and CEO of Rogers subsidiary Rogers Cable, Canada's largest cable television company and a leading video rental chain and cable Internet provider. He led it through a period of transition from a monopoly environment to an open marketplace, overseeing a significant increase in operating income. Tory stepped down after Ted Rogers announced that he would stay on as President and CEO of parent company Rogers Communications.

Tory also served as commissioner of the Canadian Football League from 1996 to 2000.

Tory continued to have an interest in being a broadcaster throughout his life and, as a Rogers executive, hosted a public affairs program on Rogers Cable's community access channel for many years.

Toronto mayoral election campaign, 2003

After six years as a key backer of retiring Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman, Tory ran in the November 2003 election for Mayor of Toronto. He finished in second place, behind councillor David Miller and ahead of former mayor Barbara Hall, former councillor and Member of Parliament John Nunziata, and former councillor and budget chief Tom Jakobek.

Tory and Miller both entered the race with limited name recognition and support, but each quickly claimed a core base -- Miller among progressives and Tory among more conservative voters. Meanwhile, Hall's initially commanding lead slowly dissipated over the course of the campaign, and the campaigns of both Nunziata and Jakobek were sidelined by controversies.

Tory's campaign came under fire when it was accused by opponent Nunziata of attempting to bribe him into pulling out of the race by offering the Deputy Mayor's position. At first, Nunziata did not reveal who attempted to bribe him but several media sources speculated that it was Tory's campaign. Besides denying these allegations, Tory also made the pledge to drop out from the race if a police investigation found out that any member of his team was charged with wrongdoing. When Tory was cleared of wrongdoing, Nunziata was in turn accused of mischief for making an unsubstantiated smear claim and sunk further in polls.

Tory also accepted an endorsement from the Toronto Police Association.

Tory held the traditional suburban conservative vote that had helped to elect Mel Lastman in the 1997 mayor's campaign, but lost the overall vote to Miller in a close race. After the election, Tory helped Miller and Hall raise funds to repay their campaign debts.

Election results as a mayoral candidate

Leader of the Ontario PC Party

Current Ontario PC Party logo

In March 2004, Tory hinted that he would be seeking the leadership of the provincial Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, after Ernie Eves announced his intention to resign from that post. The provincial PC leadership election was announced for September 18, 2004, and Tory made his candidacy official on May 6, 2004. John Laschinger was appointed to be Tory's campaign manager. Tory won the support of former provincial cabinet ministers Elizabeth Witmer, David Tsubouchi, Jim Wilson, Janet Ecker, Chris Hodgson, Cam Jackson, Phil Gillies and Bob Runciman as well as backbench Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) Norm Miller, Laurie Scott, Ted Arnott and John O'Toole.

Tory's opponents for the leadership post were former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Oak Ridges MPP Frank Klees, both from the right-wing faction of the party. Tory positioned himself as a centrist candidate, and defeated Flaherty 54% to 46% on the second ballot. When Flaherty later left provincial politics to seek a seat in the Canadian House of Commons as a member of the Conservative Party of Canada, Tory endorsed his former rival in the 2006 election; Flaherty was successfully elected and was appointed Finance Minister. Tory also campaigned prominently with Flaherty's wife Christine Elliott in the provincial by-election held March 30, enabling her to win the seat formerly held by her husband.

Tory told the media in November 2004 that he would seek election to the legislature in time for the spring 2005 legislative session. On December 7, 2004, the Ontario Liberal Party announced that it would run a candidate against Tory in a by-election. This caused some controversy as the Liberal and Conservative parties in Canada have historically allowed major party leaders who do not have a parliamentary seat to enter the legislature unopposed, though this has been broken in recent years and the NDP have never followed such an unwritten rule.

On January 31, 2005, after much public speculation and some delay, Ernie Eves resigned his seat and cleared the way for Tory to run in Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, the safest Conservative seat in the province. As a "parachute candidate", Tory faced some criticism about his commitment to the riding. Nevertheless, he easily won the March 17, 2005 by-election with 56% of the vote. Former Premier Davis appeared for Tory's first session in the legislature as Progressive Conservative leader.

2007 Ontario general election

In the 2007 general election, Tory ran in the Toronto riding of Don Valley West, the area where he grew up, raised his family and lived most of his life.

Tory released his platform on June 9, 2007. The platform, A Plan for a Better Ontario, commits a PC government to eliminate the health care tax introduced by the previous government, put scrubbers on coal-fired plants, address Ontario’s doctor shortage, allow new private health care partnerships provided services are paid by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), impose more penalties on illegal land occupations in response to the Caledonia land dispute, fast-track the building of nuclear power plants, and invest the gas tax in public transit and roads. A costing of the platform released in August estimates the PC promises will cost an additional $14 billion over four years.

The PC campaign was formally launched on September 3. Most of the campaign was dominated by discussion of his plan to extend public funding to Ontario’s faith-based schools. Earlier in the year, indications were that the party would have been a strong contender to win the election, but the school funding promise resulted in the Liberals regaining the lead in popular support for the duration of the campaign. Later in the campaign, in the face of heavy opposition, Tory promised a free vote on the issue.

With the beginning of the official campaign period on September 10, the PC campaign made clear its intention to make the previous government’s record a key issue. In particular, Tory focused on the Liberals' 2003 election and 2004 pre-budget promise not to raise taxes and their subsequent imposition of a health care tax.

On election night, Tory was defeated in Don Valley West by the incumbent MPP, Ontario Liberal Education Minister Kathleen Wynne. Although Tory was defeated in both his riding of Don Valley West and the race for the premiership, he said that he would stay on as leader unless the party wanted him to resign.

Leading from outside the legislature

As a result of the election loss, the party decided to hold a leadership review vote at its 2008 general party meeting in London. Tory received 66.9 percent support, lower than internal tracking which showed him in the more comfortable 70 percent range. Three hours after the leadership review vote, Tory announced to the delegates that he would be staying on as leader. He came under heavy criticism from several party members following this delay, with his opponents signalling that they will continue to call for an end to what they called his 'weak' leadership. Other party members supported Tory, saying that his opponents should accept the results and move on.

Throughout 2008, Tory's leadership of the party was perceived to be tenuous, as he faced widespread criticism for his seeming failure to convince a sitting MPP to resign in order to open a seat for him. Most notably, Bill Murdoch called for Tory to resign as party leader in September, resulting in his suspension from the party caucus on September 12. Six days later, Murdoch was permanently expelled from the party caucus. In December 2008, media pundits speculated that Prime Minister Stephen Harper would appoint Progressive Conservative MPP Bob Runciman to the Senate to create a vacancy for Tory, but Harper did not do so.

On January 9, 2009, Progressive Conservative MPP Laurie Scott announced her resignation from the legislature, allowing Tory to run in the resulting by-election in Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock. In exchange for agreeing to resign, Scott will serve as chair of the party's election preparedness committee until the 2011 election. On March 5, Tory was defeated in his bid to re-gain a seat in the Ontario legislature, losing to Liberal Rick Johnson. Tory called a press conference for the next day and announced his intention to resign as soon as his successor is chosen. On March 20 he was succeeded by Bob Runciman on an interim basis. On June 27, 2009, Tim Hudak was elected Tory's permanent successor.

Return to broadcasting

Several weeks following the end of his political career Tory announced that he was returning to his first love, broadcasting, to host a Sunday evening phone-in show on Toronto talk radio station CFRBmarker. The John Tory Show simulcast on CHAM in Hamiltonmarker and CKTB in St. Catharinesmarker. He is also looking for opportunities in business, law or the non-profit sector.

In the fall of 2009, CFRB moved Tory to its Monday to Friday afternoon slot for a new show Live Drive which will air 4pm to 7pm. The show will begin October 5.

Possible 2010 mayoral run

Tory was considering challenging incumbent Mayor of Toronto David Miller in the 2010 municipal election as was Deputy Premier of Ontario George Smitherman. On September 25, 2009, Miller announced he is not running for re-election.

Election results

  |John Tory

  |Bob Duncanson

  |Lynda McDougall

  |Frank de Jong

  |Paul Micelli

  |William Cook

  |Philip Bender

  |John C. Turmel


  1. Tory's dithering likely to draw ridiculeToronto Star, February 22, 2008.
  3. John Tory's profile on the Ontario PC Party website
  4. John Tory's profile on the Ontario PC Party website
  5. John Tory's profile on the Ontario PC Party website
  6. Richard Brennan, Tory unveils $1.3B plan to clean Nanticoke smoke, Toronto Star, September 14, 2007.
  7. Richard Brennan, Liberals haven't fixed MD shortage, says Tory, Toronto Star, September 12, 2007.
  8. Kerry Gillespie Tory sees private health role, Toronto Star, September 19, 2007.
  9. Karen Howlett, Tory vows tougher penalties for occupations, The Globe and Mail, September 23, 2007.
  10. Rob Ferguson, Tory vows to fast-track nuke plants, Toronto Star, September 23, 2007.
  11. Canadian Press, Tory: 'Millions' for transit, Toronto Star, September 14, 2007.
  12. Richard Brennan, Tories release cost figures for 'prudent' platform, Toronto Star, August 30, 2007.
  13. Canadian Press, Ontario's Tory boards the blue bus, The Globe and Mail, September 3, 2007
  14. Caroline Alphonso, Ontario campaign starts with verbal attacks, The Globe and Mail, September 10, 2007.
  15. - McGuinty only leader not facing leadership questions
  16. Progressive Conservatives to soften position on faith-based schools: report
  17. Shawn McCarthy, Tories slam health tax as ‘granddaddy of broken promises', The Globe and Mail, September 11, 2007.
  18. - McGuinty wins massive majority, Tory loses seat
  19. "Will provincial leaders stay, or go?", Toronto Star, October 15, 2007.
  20. "Conservative Leader John Tory to remain after 67 per cent in leadership vote" — Canadian Press, February 23, 2008.
  21. "Critics assail 'weak' Tory", National Post, February 24, 2008.
  22. MPP suspended for suggesting John Tory quit, Toronto Star, September 12, 2008.
  23. "Tory gets a chance at last", Toronto Star, January 9, 2009.
  24. "Ont. P.C. Leader John Tory loses byelection bid", CTV News, March 5, 2009.
  25. John Tory to host show on CFRB, Toronto Star, April 24, 2009

External links

Rick Johnson
John Tory
Mike Schreiner
Lyn Edwards
Jason Taylor
Jake Pothaar
Bill Denby
John C. Turmel
Paolo Fabrizio
Kathleen Wynne
John Tory
Adrian Walker
Mike Kenny
Daniel Kidd

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