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Peter A. Stollery

Incumbent
Assumed office 
July 2, 1981
Appointed by Pierre Trudeau

Born November 29, 1935 (1935-11-29) (age 74)
Toronto, Ontario
Political party Liberal

Peter Alan Stollery (born November 29, 1935) is a Canadian politician and businessman.

Contents

Background

An old Yorkville family, the Stollerys owned a famous furnishings store named Frank Stollery’s, which opened in 1901 in downtown Toronto. Peter Stollery, the founder’s grandson, worked on and off at the haberdashery for 24 years, first as a furnishings’ man and eventually as a manager from 1965 to 1968 after his father, Alan Stollery, died suddenly. His attachment to these roots explain his later designation in the Canadian Senate as Senator for "Bloor and Yonge", the store's address.

Before entering public life, Stollery also worked as a teacher in Algeria and travel writer for Maclean's. In addition, he worked as a cab driver in Toronto.

Career in Parliament

Peter Stollery was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a Liberal candidate in the 1972 election for Spadina riding in Toronto defeating incumbent MP Perry Ryan who had left the Liberals and crossed the floor to the Progressive Conservatives. He was re-elected in the 1974, 1979 and 1980 elections. He served for a time as chairman of the Liberal Caucus (1976-1978), and as parliamentary secretary to the Secretary of State and to the Minister of Communications (1980-1981).

In 1981, Stollery was appointed to the Canadian Senate on the recommendation of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Trudeau wanted to open Stollery's Spadina riding so his aide James Coutts could be elected to Parliament in a by-election.[1] The voters rebelled, and in the subsequent by-election Coutts was defeated in what had been a safe Liberal seat by Dan Heap of the New Democratic Party.

In the Senate, Stollery has served on several committees. His deep-seated interest in international affairs and humanitarian aid have led him to take part in numerous overseas delegations and to assume the position of chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs (1999-2007).[2]

Controversy

On May 29, 2006 during a session of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, Stollery criticized Hamid Karzai, then President of Afghanistan, stating that "Karzai is a stooge put in power by the Americans."[3] His outburst betrayed his displeasure at seeing troops meddling in war-torn countries instead of helping “create a democratic society in Afghanistan”.[4] Interestingly, in a January 2008 interview, President Karzai expressed his feelings towards America by stating: "If I am called a puppet because we are grateful to America, then let that be my nickname."[5]

In September 2006, Stollery added that the limited presence of Canadian troops on the African continent was a result of military officials believing it was not as "sexy" as helping the U.S. by fighting in Afghanistan. He was subsequently criticized by Liberal Senator Roméo Dallaire, who called Stollery's comments "scandalous language." Dallaire stated that "Nothing is sexy in war. The whole concept of war is perverse, and the reason we're in one area and not another is because political decisions have been taken."[6][7]

Current status

Stollery is currently vice-chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, after having served many years as chairman. He has been involved with the Canada-Europe Interparliamentary Union, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a Member of the National Liberal Club in London.

Upon his mandatory retirement in November 2010, he will have served in Parliament for over 38 years, including more than 29 years in the Senate.

See also List of Ontario senators.

References

  1. ^ By-election in Spadina to Tories’ advantage, Trudeau tells Commons, by Marina Strauss, The Globe and Mail, July 4, 1981.
  2. ^ Out of their depth in Africa, by Carol Goar, Toronto Star, February 23, 2007.
  3. ^ Senator calls Afghan president Karzai a 'stooge' by Mike Blanchfield, CanWest News Service (reprinted by the Saskatchewan Star Phoenix), May 30, 2006.
  4. ^ Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, May 29, 2006.
  5. ^ Karzai: Terrorists could regain control January 26, 2008.
  6. ^ Senator slams sparse Canadian military presence in Africa, CBC News, September 26, 2006.
  7. ^ Africa not 'sexy' enough for military: senator, Canadian Press (reprinted by CTV News), September 27, 2006.

External links

Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Perry Ryan, PC
Member of Parliament for Spadina
1972-1981
Succeeded by
Dan Heap, New Democrat
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