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Art Eggleton

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Art Eggleton

The Honourable
Arthur C. Eggleton
Senator for Ontario
Assumed office
March 24, 2005
Appointed by Paul Martin
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for York Centre
In office
1993 federal election – 2004 federal election
Preceded by Bob Kaplan
Succeeded by Ken Dryden
59th Mayor of Toronto
In office
December 1, 1980 – November 30, 1991
Preceded by John Sewell
Succeeded by June Rowlands
Personal details
Born (1943-09-29) September 29, 1943
Toronto, Ontario
Nationality Canadian
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Camille Bacchus
Children Stephanie Vass
Residence Toronto
Occupation Accountant
Cabinet Minister of National Defence (1997-2002)
Minister for International Trade (1996-1997)
Minister responsible for Infrastructure (1993-1996)
President of the Treasury Board (1993-1996)

Arthur C. "Art" Eggleton, PC (born September 29, 1943) is a former Canadian Cabinet minister and Mayor of Toronto, and is currently a Senator representing Ontario.

City council

Eggleton, an accountant by profession, was first elected to Toronto city council in 1969. He served as budget chief in the council elected in 1973 under David Crombie. He was the Liberal Party of Canada's candidate in the October 16, 1978 federal by-election held in Toronto's west-end Parkdale electoral district.[1] He was defeated by Progressive Conservative candidate Yuri Shymko.[1] He then ran for Toronto City Council in Ward 4.[2] On November 13, 1978, he finished first amongst a field of 10 candidates and became Ward 4's senior alderman on council (at the time, two alderman were elected from each ward).[2]

As Mayor of Toronto

Mayor Eggleton in 1987 addressing the audience at the 200th anniversary of the birth of Vuk Stefanović Karadžić.

In 1980, he ran against mayor John Sewell, and was elected. During his time as Mayor, the City moved forward on implementing its new official plan which resulted in several new significant buildings in the downtown west, or railway lands area - the Convention Centre, Skydome, the CBC Broadcast Centre, to name a few. The City administration under his leadership also produced a record level of social housing projects for low income people; 50 acres (20 ha) of new parks; innovative new responses to the problems of the homeless and emotionally troubled with projects like Street City, the Singles Housing Opportunities Program, and the Gernsteins Centre. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund and other environmental programs that resulted in the City receiving a United Nations award. He established the Mayor's Committee on Community and Race Relations to help bring about the successful integration of people from different cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. At the same time, however, Eggleton continually refused to acknowledge the city's gay and lesbian community by declining to officially recognize Toronto's Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade each June. Eggleton was finally outvoted by his fellow council members in 1991, his last year in office. In 1985, he withstood a challenge from city councillor Anne Johnston, a fellow Liberal, who ran against Eggleton for the mayoralty in that year's civic election. He retired from municipal politics in 1991 as the longest serving mayor in Toronto history. In recognition of his service to the City, Mr. Eggleton received Toronto's highest honour, the Civic Award of Merit in 1992.

Federal politics

Eggleton ran in the 1993 election in the suburban Toronto riding of York Centre, again as a Liberal, and won election. He was appointed to the position of President of the Treasury Board and Minister for Infrastructure in the new cabinet.

From January 1996 to June 1997, he served as Minister for International Trade. Eggleton retained his seat in the 1997 election, and was appointed Minister of National Defence. In 1999, Eggleton supported Canada's involvement in NATO's campaign in Kosovo.

He was re-elected again in the 2000 election, and continued as Minister of Defence, focusing on sweeping changes to the National Defence Act which implemented changes to the military justice system, including the set up of several oversight entities including a Military Ombudsman and a Military Police Complaints Commission. He also improved compensation and benefits for Canadian Forces personnel and their families. In January 2002, Chrétien and Eggleton were accused of misleading Parliament. Both Chrétien and Eggleton when asked in Question Period if Canadian troops had handed over captured Taliban and al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan to the American forces amid concerns about the treatment of POWs at Guantanamo Bay, replied that was in Chrétien's words only a "hypothetical question" and that the Canadians had taken no POWs.[3] Critics of the government such as Joe Clark then proceeded to point out that in the previous week, the Globe & Mail had run on its frontpage a photo of Canadian soldiers turning over POWs to American troops.[3] Eggleton maintained that he and the rest of the Cabinet had been kept unaware that the Canadian Forces were taking POWs in Afghanistan and turning them over to the Americians, claiming that he had only learned of the policy of handing over POWs several days after the photo had appeared in the Globe.[3]

Eggleton was fired from the cabinet in May 2002, after he had hired his former girlfriend to do some research, creating an uproar over non-tendered contracts and conflict-of-interest scandals. The ethics commissioner Howard Wilson ruled that Eggeleton had broken the conflict-of-interest rules.[4] This happened during the growing leadership turmoil between Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, who left the cabinet the following week in disputed circumstances.[5] Eggleton was a supporter of Martin, which one of the reason why Chrétien sacked him.[6]

Eggleton then became a member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade. On May 13, 2004, Eggleton announced he would not be a candidate in the 2004 federal election, making way for the nomination of Ken Dryden as the Liberal candidate in York Centre.

Appointment to the Senate

He was appointed to the Senate by Paul Martin on March 24, 2005. He is currently the Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, and a member of the Senate Committee on National Finance. He was co-opted to the Bureau of Liberal International as a Vice President at the 185th Executive Committee in Cape Town, South Africa in November 2010.

See also List of Ontario senators.

On January 29, 2014, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau announced all Liberal Senators, including Eggleton, were removed from the Liberal caucus, and would continue sitting as Independents.[7] According to Senate Opposition leader James Cowan, the Senators will still refer to themselves as Liberals even if they are no longer members of the parliamentary Liberal caucus.[8]


  1. ^ a b Claridge, Thomas (1978-10-16). "Eggleton beaten but unbowed as Shymko cites Polish papacy". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). p. 9. 
  2. ^ a b City Staff (1978-11-14). "Metro Elections, How You Voted, City of Toronto". The Toronto Star (Toronto). p. A12. 
  3. ^ a b c "Eggleton confirms JTF2 has taken prisoners in Afghanistan". CBC News. January 30, 2002. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  4. ^ "Eggleton resigns amid allegations of conflict". CBC News. May 27, 2002. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  5. ^ CBC News Indepth: Paul Martin
  6. ^ Martin, Lawrence Iron Man, Toronto: Viking 2003 page 361.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Trudeau’s expulsion catches Liberal senators by surprise". Globe and Mail. January 29, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 

External links

  • Liberal Senate Forum
  • Official Website
  • Art Eggleton – Parliament of Canada biography
Parliament of Canada
26th Ministry – Cabinet of Jean Chrétien
Cabinet Posts (3)
Predecessor Office Successor
Doug Young Minister of National Defence
John McCallum
Roy MacLaren Minister for International Trade
Sergio Marchi
Jim Edwards President of the Treasury Board
Marcel Massé
Special Cabinet Responsibilities
Title Successor
position created Minister responsible for Infrastructure
Marcel Massé
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