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Glen Murray

Glen Murray campaining to become MPP for Toronto Centre in 2010

Incumbent
Assumed office 
2010
Preceded by George Smitherman

In office
1998–2004
Preceded by Susan Thompson
Succeeded by Sam Katz

Born October 26, 1957 (1957-10-26) (age 52)
Montreal, Quebec
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Rick Neves
Children Michael
Residence Toronto, Ontario
Signature

Glen Murray (born October 26, 1957) is a Canadian politician and urban issues advocate. He served as mayor of Winnipeg, Manitoba from 1998 to 2004, and was the first openly gay mayor of a large North American city.[1] He subsequently moved to Toronto, Ontario, and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as MPP for Toronto Centre in 2010.[2]

Contents

Biography

Murray was born in Montreal, Quebec and attended John Abbott College and Concordia University. Prior to entering politics, he was active in human rights and community healthcare. He led, with Margie Coghill, the successful campaign to include sexual orientation in the Manitoba Human Rights Code. He helped establish Winnipeg's Village Clinic the first integrated community based prevention, care and treatment centre for HIV/AIDS in Canada. He was became the Clinic's Director of Prevention and Outreach programs working street involved and homeless people at high risk for HIV infection. He was a founding member of the Canadian AIDS Society and worked as part of a team through the World Health Organization that developed an international strategy for the delivery community HIV prevention initiatives and coordinated the work of AIDS Service Organizations. A 1992 documentary film, A Kind of Family, followed the relationship of Murray with his foster son, a 17-year-old street kid.[3]

Municipal career

Murray entered the 1989 Winnipeg municipal election as a city councillor candidate of the Winnipeg into the '90s alliance.[4] He was elected a city councillor at Fort Rouge ward in 1989 then re-elected twice.[5] In the 1995 election, he defeated Terrence Halligan.[6] He lobbied the provincial government to create a municipal property tax credit program for heritage buildings, a program which was approved with all-party support at the Manitoba legislature.[7]

In 1998, Murray left his councillor position to campaign as a Winnipeg mayoral candidate. He was elected mayor on October 28, 1998 with 50.5% of the vote in a close race against grocer Peter Kaufmann, who received 45% of the vote. Murray was re-elected in 2002 over former councillor Al Golden. Murray claimed that his sexual orientation was not an issue in the mayoral election.[8]

Significant Winnipeg events during Murray's term included the 1999 Pan American Games and the C5 Summit, an initiative of urbanist Jane Jacobs and Allan Broadbent which gathered the mayors of five major Canadian cities.[9] The summit led to proposals that cities receive new and improved revenue streams, particularly from federal and provincial governments. The effort to achieve this "New Deal" for cities was unsuccessful.[10]

Murray was succeeded by Sam Katz, who won the mayoralty vote over councillor Dan Vandal by a margin of around 43,000 votes.[11]

Federal candidacy

On May 7, 2004, Murray announced that he would run in the 2004 Canadian federal election after several months of denying rumours to this effect. He ran as a candidate for the Liberal Party in the riding of Charleswood—St. James. On May 11, 2004, Murray announced his resignation as mayor of Winnipeg. He was one of the city's five longest serving mayors.

On June 28, 2004, Murray was defeated in his attempt to become a member of the Canadian House of Commons by Conservative Steven Fletcher. Murray had won a significant majority of the votes in the Charleswood and St. James communities in the previous mayoralty election but could not translate that support what was a close race against the rising popularity of the recently reunited Conservative Party. The Liberals had held the seat by small margins in tight three way races with the right wing Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties.

Career in the non-profit sector

In 2004 Murray moved to Toronto and became a visiting fellow at Massey College.[12] Murray became president and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute in 2007.[13]

Murray was appointed by Prime Minister Paul Martin as chair of a National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy in March 2005.[14][15] In 2006, the Round Table released a report stating that Canada could reduce greenhouse gas emissions using existing technology. Murray led the development of a series of research papers that offered the government of Prime Minister Steven Harper a strategy to achieve a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.[16]

Member of the Ontario Legislature

In fall 2009, Murray began to be mentioned as a potential candidate for Mayor of Toronto in the 2010 municipal election.[17] However, after provincial MPP George Smitherman confirmed his own intention to run for mayor, Murray announced in December that he would instead seek the Ontario Liberal nomination for the February 4, 2010 by-election to succeed Smitherman in Toronto Centre.[18][19]

Murray was acclaimed as the Liberal candidate at their nomination meeting on January 6, 2010.[20] His stated priorities are building healthy, sustainable communities; providing quality, accessible health care; ensuring access to affordable housing; proposing innovative solutions to climate change; advancing human rights; and reducing the tax burden.[21] Accused by his opponents of lacking roots in Toronto,[22] Murray pointed out that nearly half of Torontonians weren't born in Canada, and launched ProudToronto.ca to allow Torontonians, whether born in the city or recent arrivals, to share their stories. Winnipeg-based political commentator Kaj Hasselriis claims that Murray told him he "still considers himself a Winnipegger, and says he'll return one day to run for MP again" commenting "I have no doubt that Murray sincerely wants to serve the people — he's just always keeping his options open about which people to serve."[23]

Murray retained the seat for the Liberals winning 47% of the vote. He defeated New Democrat candidate Cathy Crowe who came in second with 33% and Progressive Conservative Pamela Taylor (15%).[24]

References

  1. ^ Girard, Daniel (2007-07-11), "Reverse brain drain brings urban expert to U of T", Toronto Star, http://www.thestar.com/News/article/234612, retrieved 2007-07-15 
  2. ^ "Liberals keep Toronto Centre in hard-fought by-election". The Globe and Mail, February 4, 2010.
  3. ^ "A Kind of Family" National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved on April 4, 2008
  4. ^ Christopher Leo and Mathew Mulaire (2005),Glen Murray,Former Mayor of Winnipeg: A Biographical Note. Encyclopedia of Manitoba. Retrieved on April 4, 2008
  5. ^ Spence, Alex. [http://library2.usask.ca/srsd/perceptions/1668.html "Perceptions: the first twenty-two years 1983-2004 (MURRAY, GLEN (Winnipeg politician)"]. University of Saskatchewan. http://library2.usask.ca/srsd/perceptions/1668.html. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Historical Results (Winnipeg 1995) - Office of Councillor City Centre Community". City of Winnipeg. http://www.winnipeg.ca/clerks/election/history.htm#hist_6. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  7. ^ "Standing Committee on Municipal Affairs". Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. 1999-12-14. http://www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/hansard/1st-37th/ma01/ma01.html. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Orientation no issue, gay mayor says". CBC News, November 13, 1998.
  9. ^ Ideas That Matter. volume 2, number 1. http://www.ideasthatmatter.com/quarterly/itm-2-1/. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  10. ^ Ternette, Nick (2004-09-02). "Glen Murray’s Failed New Deal". Canadian Dimension. http://canadiandimension.com/articles/1961/. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  11. ^ "Katz wins mayoral race". cbc.ca, June 23, 2004.
  12. ^ "Glen Murray eyes Toronto mayor's chair". CBC News. 2009-09-28. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2009/09/28/mb-glen-murray-mayor-toronto-winnipeg.html. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  13. ^ "Glen Murray's uphill run to be Toronto's mayor". Toronto Star. 2009-10-01. http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/703534. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  14. ^ Staff writer (2010-01-07). "Liberals select Glen Murray for Ontario riding race". Winnipeg Free Press. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/Glen-Murray-acclaimed-as-Liberal-80910237.html. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  15. ^ "Minutes of Proceedings - Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development". Parliament of Canada. http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=1704239&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=38&Ses=1. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  16. ^ "Emissions cuts possible without damaging economy: study". cbc.ca, June 21, 2006.
  17. ^ "Glen Murray eyes Toronto mayor's chair". cbc.ca, September 28, 2009.
  18. ^ "Glen Murray seeks Liberal nomination for Toronto Centre". Inside Toronto, December 4, 2009.
  19. ^ Canadian Press (2010-01-06). "Byelection to replace Smitherman". Toronto Star (Toronto: Torstar). http://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/article/746809--byelection-to-replace-smitherman-called-for-feb-4?bn=1. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  20. ^ Benzie, Robert (2010-01-07). "Murray front and centre". Toronto Star (Toronto: Torstar). http://www.thestar.com/news/ontario/article/747287--glen-murray-front-and-centre. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  21. ^ "Elect Glen Murray MPP for Toronto Centre - biography". Elect Glen Murray MPP for Toronto Centre (official website), retrieved January 6, 2010.
  22. ^ "Send message in by-election, Tory candidate urges" Toronto Star, January 13, 2010
  23. ^ "A queer's-eye view of Glen Murray - From a Winnipegger who knows him well", Kaj Hasselriis, Xtra, December 4, 2009
  24. ^ "Liberals keep Toronto Centre in hard-fought by-election". Globe and Mail. February 5, 2010.

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