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Peter Shurman


Incumbent
Assumed office 
October 30, 2007
Preceded by Mario Racco

Born 1947
Montreal, Quebec
Political party Progressive Conservative
Occupation broadcaster

Peter Shurman (born 1947 in Montreal) is a Progressive Conservative Member for Thornhill in the Ontario Legislature. Prior to his election, he was a radio talk show host on CFRB in Toronto.

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Professional life

After 22 years in the radio broadcasting business, Shurman became CEO and principal shareholder in 1991 of Universal TeleResponse Corporation (UTR), a call centre in North Toronto. Born in Montreal in 1947, Shurman attended Sir George Williams University, now Concordia University, and apprenticed in communications with Standard Broadcasting, holding various positions with the company's Montreal AM and FM stations, CJAD and CJFM. Originally hired as a technical maintenance man, his career ranged from program announcing to reporting, to sales and management culminating in his being appointed Radio Division President at 36.

Shurman left Standard Broadcasting in 1987. His activities immediately thereafter included buying 14 radio stations for a total of $22.5 million in less than one year for third parties; undertaking an assignment to grow a minor Toronto paging company, into one of the area's largest and most important operators in only eighteen months; applying for an FM radio licence in Toronto in 1990. When the licence was not granted, he purchased an ailing telephone answering service, The Receptionists Ltd., and re-named it Universal TeleResponse Corporation. UTR became a multi-million dollar enterprise handling 7x24 communications for FP/Fortune 500 companies.

In 2003, Shurman sold UTR and remained for one year as part of the sale agreement before returning to his first love, broadcasting. He was a talk radio host for CFRB until announcing his intention to run in the 2007 Ontario provincial election.

Personal life

Shurman is married and lives in midtown Toronto with his wife, Carole. They have two adult sons, neither living in Ontario. They have been married since 1971.[1]

Political career

In 2007, Shurman successfully campaigned as a Progressive Conservative candidate in the Ontario general election, 2007 becoming the MPP for the riding of Thornhill. His election provided focus for the issue surrounding public funding of faith-based schools, a major issue in Thornhill which has a large Jewish (35%) population.

Towards the end of 2008, York University (a university that is close to Shurman's political riding) was effectively shut down due to a call for a strike from CUPE 3903. Shurman became extremely involved with a student group, York Not Hostage, and was successful in bringing significant pressure to bear on the McGuinty Government. Back-to-work legislation was presented to the Legislature which was recalled from winter break to pass it and bring an end to the strike...Shurman was credited for his work. That episode brought Peter Shurman and campus life into a sharp dual focus and in mid-2009, Shurman brought a resolution to the floor of the Ontario Legislative Assembly condemning Israeli Apartheid Week on Ontario campuses. The resolution, debated in late February 2010, passed unanimously and focused attention on Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) around the world and other jurisdictions followed suit. Shurman's goal had been to move the discussion from apartheid as a 'given' to a point of discussion and he succeeded.

Peter Shurman is Opposition Critic for Economic Development & Trade; for Francophone Affairs; and he is Vice-Chair of the Legislature's Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

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