Chris Stockwell
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Chris Stockwell

Chris Stockwell
36th Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

October 3, 1996 - October 19, 1999
PremierMike Harris
Lieutenant GovernorHal Jackman
Hilary Weston
Al McLean
Gary Carr
Member of Provincial Parliament for Ontario

New riding
Donna Cansfield
ConstituencyEtobicoke Centre

Linda LeBourdais
Riding abolished
ConstituencyEtobicoke West
Personal details
Born(1957-03-09)March 9, 1957
London, Ontario, Canada
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Political partyProgressive Conservative
OccupationPolitical consultant

Chris Stockwell (March 9, 1957 - February 10, 2018) was a Canadian politician from Ontario. He was a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1990 to 2003, and served as Speaker of the legislature and cabinet minister in the governments of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves. Before entering provincial politics, he had been a member of Etobicoke City Council and the Metro Toronto Council. Stockwell's father, Bill Stockwell, was also a prominent municipal politician.



Stockwell was elected as a city of Etobicoke Controller in 1982, was defeated in his attempt at re-election in 1985, but was elected to the Metropolitan Toronto council in November 1988 representing Lakeshore-Queensway, in the Etobicoke region, and also served as chair of the Metro O'Keefe Centre for the Performing Arts during this period.[]


Stockwell was elected to the Ontario provincial legislature in the 1990 provincial election, defeating incumbent Liberal Linda LeBourdais by about 4,000 votes in Etobicoke West.[1] The New Democratic Party won the election, and Stockwell sat on the opposition benches for the next five years.[2]

The Tories won a majority in the provincial election of 1995, and Stockwell was easily elected in his own riding.[3] Despite his experience, he was not appointed to cabinet by the new Premier, Mike Harris.[2] He soon developed a reputation as one of the more prominent Red Tories in the Tory caucus.[]

Stockwell was elected Speaker of the Assembly on October 3, 1996. He was not Harris's preferred choice for the position, but won with support from members in all three parties. Stockwell won a reputation for independence in the Speaker's chair, and was not afraid to criticize members of his own party.[2]

Stockwell played a key role in the anti-megacity filibuster of 1997, where the Opposition parties proposed thousands of amendments identical except for a few words. He ruled against the government when they moved that the legislature did not need to vote on each amendment, but in their favor when they suggested that the identical text did not need to be read aloud each time.[]

In the provincial election of 1999, Stockwell's personal popularity was such that he was able to win an easy re-election in the redistributed riding of Etobicoke Centre after defeating fellow MPP Doug Ford, Sr. for then Progressive Conservative nomination.[4][5] On June 17, 1999, he was appointed to cabinet as Minister of Labour.[6]

Despite Stockwell's reputation as a Red Tory[], he implemented a number of right-wing policy directives as Labour Minister. He was largely credited with shepherding through the legislature a bill to increase the maximum work-week to 60 hours, and also promoted the Harris government's "Workplace Democracy Act", which made union organization more difficult. In addition to the Labour portfolio, Stockwell also served as Commissioner of the Board of Internal Economy for a few months in 2001.[]

Stockwell was a candidate to succeed Mike Harris in the 2002 PC leadership campaign. During this campaign, he claimed that the right-wing initiatives of Harris's "Common Sense Revolution" were necessary in 1995, but no longer made sense in 2003.[] He won little support from party insiders, and placed last with four per cent of the vote. He supported Ernie Eves, the winning candidate, on the second ballot.[]

On April 15, 2002, Eves appointed Stockwell as Government House Leader and Minister of Environment and Energy.[7] The Energy and Environment portfolios were broken up on August 22, 2002, with Stockwell keeping Environment.[]

On June 17, 2003, he resigned from cabinet in the wake of a controversy concerning the misuse of expenses.[8] All expenses were referred to the provincial Integrity Commissioner who at that time was the Honourable Coulter A. Osbourne, a former Ontario Supreme Court judge. He undertook an exhaustive review. In his first report dated January 31, 2003, covering the period from June 26, 1995 to December 31, 2002, the Honourable Coulter A. Osbourne concluded: "I am satisfied that the expenses which I have reviewed, net of reimbursements made, are allowable expenses (see section 15 of the Act)." On June 9, 2003 he stated: "I am pleased to report that all expense claims made for the period January 1st to March 31st met with the requirements of the Act and the Rules Governing the Expenses of Cabinet Ministers, Opposition Leaders and other persons." On June 3, 2004 covering the period April 3, 2003 to March 31, 2004 the Commissioner again stated: "I am pleased to report that all requests for reimbursements were complied with and all expense claims reviewed were subsequently approved." [9]

On July 25, 2003, Stockwell announced that he would not run in the 2003 election.[10] He was later employed as a political consultant.[]

Attempted return to Toronto City Council

In 2013, Stockwell was one of several candidates for appointment to Toronto City Council to replace Doug Holyday in Ward 3.[11] The Etobicoke Community Council recommended him to the city council as its preferred candidate for the appointment;[11] however, October 10, 2013 the final city council vote selected Peter Leon.[12] In September 2014, Stockwell registered as a candidate for Toronto City Council in Ward 4 in Etobicoke. He came in fourth place, with 9.24% of the vote, losing to John Campbell.[]


Stockwell died in Toronto of cancer at the age of 60.[4][13]

Cabinet positions

Ontario Provincial Government of Ernie Eves
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Ministry re-established Minister of Environment
August 22, 2002 - October 22, 2003
Jim Wilson
Elizabeth Witmer (Environment)
Jim Wilson (Energy)
Minister of Environment and Energy
April 15, 2002 - August 22, 2002
John Baird (Energy)
Special Parliamentary Responsibilities
Predecessor Title Successor
Janet Ecker Government House Leader
John Baird
Ontario Provincial Government of Mike Harris
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Jim Flaherty Minister of Labour
Brad Clark

Electoral record (partial)

Ward 4 - Etobicoke Centre (October 27, 2014)

Ward 4
Candidate Votes %
John Campbell 8,227 34.44
Niels Christensen 6,847 28.66
Angelo Carnevale 4,968 20.79
Chris Stockwell 2,208 9.24
Adam Slobodian 384 1.60
Tony Chun 286 1.19
William Murdoch 278 1.16
Rosemarie Mulhall 267 1.11
Mario Magno 216 0.90
Oscar Vidal-Calvet 205 0.85
Total 23,886 100
1999 Ontario general election:
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     Progressive Conservative Chris Stockwell 25,518 54.12 $49,034
Liberal Agnes Ugolini Potts 19,035 40.37 $41,081
New Democratic Bonte Minnema 1,309 2.78 $1,896
Family Coalition Dan McCash 389 0.83 $31
Green Christopher J. Morton 375 0.80 none listed
Natural Law Geraldine Jackson 316 0.67 $0
     Ind. (Marxist-Leninist) Elaine Couto 209 0.44 $26
Total valid votes
Rejected, unmarked and declined ballots
Electors on the lists
1995 Ontario general election: Etobicoke West
Party Candidate Votes[14] Vote %
    Progressive Conservative Chris Stockwell 18,349 55.3
    Liberal Michael Brown 9,826 29.6
    New Democrat Judy Jones 4,608 13.9
    Natural Law Laureen G. Amos 399 1.2
Total 33,182
1990 Ontario general election:
Party Candidate Votes %
Progressive Conservative Chris Stockwell 13,711 40.8
Liberal Linda LeBourdais 10,082 30.0
New Democratic Judy Jones 7,988 23.8
Family Coalition Kevin McGourty 1,045 3.1
Libertarian Janice Hazlett 495 1.5
Independent Martin Fraser 303 0.9
Source: "How Metro-Area Voted". The Toronto Daily Star. Toronto. September 7, 1990. p. A10.

Metropolitan Toronto Council, 1988

Lakeshore Queensway
Chris Stockwell - 10,442
Morley Kells - 7,790

Toronto municipal election, 1985

Etobicoke Board of Control, 1985 (4 elected)
Candidate Votes
Dick O'Brien (incumbent) 34,248
Lois Griffin 33,175
Leonard Braithwaite (incumbent) 33,085
Morley Kells 29,817
Chris Stockwell (incumbent) 29,629
Doug Holyday 28,982
James Shawera 5,473




  1. ^ "Ontario election: Riding-by-riding voting results". The Globe and Mail. September 7, 1990. p. A12.
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 8, 1995. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 3, 1999. Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ "Ontario Cabinet". The Spectator. Hamilton, Ont. June 18, 1999. p. C8.
  7. ^ "Ont-Cabinet". Toronto, Ont: Canadian Press NewsWire. April 15, 2002.
  8. ^ "Chris Stockwell resigns from Ontario cabinet". CTV News. June 17, 2003.
  9. ^ (Office of the Integrity Commissioner - Commissioner's Reports)'s-reports
  10. ^ "Ontario Tory Chris Stockwell to quit politics". CTV News. July 25, 2003.
  11. ^ a b "Community council recommends Chris Stockwell for Ward 3 seat". CBC News. October 1, 2013.
  12. ^ "Peter Leon to replace Doug Holyday in Ward 3". Toronto Star. October 10, 2013.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 8, 1995. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved 2012.

External links

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