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Carolyn Bennett

The Honourable
Carolyn Bennett
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Toronto—St. Paul's
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded by Riding Created
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for St. Paul's
In office
June 2, 1997 – October 19, 2015
Preceded by Barry Campbell
Succeeded by Riding Abolished
Personal details
Born Carolyn Ann Bennett
(1950-12-20) December 20, 1950
Toronto, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Peter O'Brian
Children 2
Residence Toronto, Ontario
Alma mater Havergal College, University of Toronto
Profession Physician
Cabinet Minister of State (Public Health) (2003-2006)

Carolyn Ann Bennett, PC MP (born December 20, 1950) is the Member of Parliament for the riding of St. Paul's, a constituency located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is a member of the Liberal Party of Canada, and was formerly a candidate for its leadership.


  • Background 1
  • Politics 2
  • Electoral record 3
    • Toronto—St. Paul's, 2015–present 3.1
    • St. Paul's, 1997-2015 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Bennett grew up in Toronto and attended Havergal College. She obtained a degree in medicine from the University of Toronto in 1974 and received her certification in family medicine in 1976. Bennett worked as a family physician at Wellesley Hospital and Women's College Hospital in Toronto from 1977 to 1997 and was a founding partner in Bedford Medical Associates. She was also president of the medical staff association of Women's College Hospital and assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Bennett served on the boards of Havergal College, Women's College Hospital, the Ontario Medical Association, and the Medico-Legal Society of Toronto.

In 1986, Bennett received the Royal Life Saving Society Service Cross, a Commonwealth award recognizing her more than twenty years of distinguished service. In 1990, she was named as one of Simpson's "Women Who Make a Difference". She was the recipient of the coveted EVE Award for contributing to the advancement of women in politics in 2002, and in 2003 received the first ever CAMIMH Mental Health Champion Award. Bennett is also author of Kill or Cure? How Canadians Can Remake their Health Care System, published in October 2000. In 2004, she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada for her contributions to medicine, especially women's health.[1]

She is married to Canadian film producer Peter O'Brian. They have two sons.


Bennett ran for public office in the 1995 Ontario provincial election as a candidate of the Ontario Liberal Party.[2] Running in the riding of St. Andrew—St. Patrick, she lost to Progressive Conservative candidate Isabel Bassett by about 3,500 votes.[3]

Bennett was more successful in the 1997 federal election, defeating her closest opponent in St. Paul's by almost 15,000 votes.[4] She was re-elected by increased margins in the elections of 2000 and 2004.[5][6]

On December 12, 2003, after Martin became Prime Minister, he appointed Bennett as his Minister of State for Public Health. The Minister of State (Public Health) assists the Minister of Health. She was chair of the Canada-Israel Friendship Group from 1999 to 2003 and is a member of Liberal Parliamentarians for Israel.

In the 2006 election, Bennett defeated two main challengers who were both touted as star candidates, Peter Kent of the Conservatives and Paul Summerville of the New Democratic Party.[7][8] Bennett was re-elected, but lost her cabinet position as the Liberals were defeated.[9] She was re-elected in 2008 and 2011.[10][11]

In opposition, she was appointed the Liberal Party's critic of Social Development.[12]

She announced on April 24, 2006 that she would pursue the leadership of the party.[13] On September 15, 2006, she withdrew from the leadership race and threw her support behind former Ontario Premier Bob Rae.[14]

She is currently the Liberal critic for Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development, and Chair of the National Liberal Women's Caucus.

Electoral record

Toronto—St. Paul's, 2015–present

Canadian federal election, 2015
The 2015 general election will be held on October 19.
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Carolyn Bennett
Green Kevin Farmer
Conservative Marnie MacDougall
New Democratic Noah Richler
Total valid votes/Expense limit 100.0     $208,833.75
Total rejected ballots
Eligible voters 75,852
Source: Elections Canada[15][16]

St. Paul's, 1997-2015

Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Carolyn Bennett 22,409 40.6 -9.9
Conservative Maureen Harquail 17,864 32.4 +5.8
New Democratic William Molls 12,124 22.0 +8.7
Green Jim McGarva 2,495 4.5 -4.6
Libertarian John Kittredge 303 0.5 -0.1
Total valid votes/Expense limit 55,195 100.0
Total rejected ballots 276 0.5
Turnout 55,471 68.2
Eligible voters 81,288
Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Carolyn Bennett 26,326 50.5 +0.2 $69,331
Conservative Heather Jewell 13,800 26.6 +0.8 $53,617
New Democratic Anita Agrawal 6,880 13.3 -5.9 $13,606
Green Justin Erdman 4,713 9.1 +4.3 $3,526
Libertarian John Kittredge 313 0.6 $182
Total valid votes/Expense limit 52,032 100.0 $86,488
Canadian federal election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Carolyn Bennett 29,295 50.3 -8.1
Conservative Peter Kent 15,021 25.8 +5.4
New Democratic Paul Summerville 11,189 19.2 +3.5
Green Kevin Farmer 2,785 4.8 -0.7
Total valid votes 58,290 100.0
Canadian federal election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Carolyn Bennett 32,171 58.4 +4.1
Conservative Barry Cline 11,226 20.4 -13.1*
New Democratic Norman Tobias 8,667 15.7 +6.3
Green Peter Elgie 3,031 5.5 +3.9
Total valid votes 55,095 100.0

*Comparison to total of Progressive Conservative and Canadian Alliance vote in 2000.

Canadian federal election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Carolyn Bennett 25,110 54.3 0.0
Progressive Conservative Barry Cline 10,035 21.7 -2.0
Alliance Theo Caldwell 5,415 11.7 +4.4
New Democratic Guy Hunter 4,372 9.7 -2.7
Green Don Roebuck 759 1.6 +0.4
Marijuana Andrew Potter 221 0.5
Canadian Action Mark Till 125 0.3 -0.1
Marxist–Leninist Barbara Seed 88 0.2 -0.1
Natural Law Ron Parker 83 0.2 -0.3
Total valid votes 46,208 100.0

Note: Canadian Alliance vote is compared to the Reform vote in 1997 election.

Canadian federal election, 1997
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Carolyn Bennett 26,389 54.3 -0.1
Progressive Conservative Peter Atkins 11,520 23.7 -0.7
New Democratic Michael Halewood 6,028 12.4 +7.3
Reform Francis Floszmann 3,564 7.3 -3.8
Green Don Roebuck 597 1.2 +0.3
Natural Law Neil Dickie 221 0.5 -0.2
Canadian Action Daniel Widdicombe 182 0.4
Marxist–Leninist Fernand Deschamps 135 0.3 +0.1
Total valid votes 48,636 100.0


  1. ^ "Media Advisory: The Honourable Dr. Carolyn Bennett Receives Honorary Fellowship from the SOGC.". June 25, 2004. 
  2. ^ "Carolyn Bennett takes your questions on the Liberal leadership race".  
  3. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 8, 1995. 
  4. ^ "Final Results Riding by Riding". Calgary Herald. June 4, 1997. p. A5. 
  5. ^ "Election Results". Star - Phoenix (Saskatoon, SK). November 28, 2000. p. A8. 
  6. ^ "Election results...riding by riding". The Globe and Mail. June 29, 2004. p. A14. 
  7. ^ Bill Doskoch (September 7, 2008). "Toronto's political landscape unlikely to shift".  
  8. ^ "NDP won't raise taxes, pledges Jack Layton". CTV. December 5, 2005. 
  9. ^ Justin Skinner (September 4, 2008). "Federal election call expected soon".  
  10. ^ "Greater Toronto Area Results". The Toronto Star. October 15, 2008. p. U2. 
  11. ^ "Riding results from across Canada". Edmonton Journal. May 3, 2011. p. A6. 
  12. ^ Carolyn Bennett. "Carolyn Bennett - MP Profile". Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  13. ^ "Liberal leadership field grows with Bennett's entry".  
  14. ^ Susan Delacourt (September 16, 2006). "Bennett quits contest, backs Rae".  
  15. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Toronto—St. Paul's, 30 September 2015
  16. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates

External links

  • Carolyn Bennett Web Site
  • How'd They Vote?: Carolyn Bennett's voting history and quotes
  • Carolyn Bennett – Parliament of Canada biography
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