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Arnold Chan
Canadian MP Arnold Chan.jpg
Chan in 2016
Member of Parliament
for Scarborough—Agincourt
In office
June 30, 2014 – September 14, 2017
Preceded by Jim Karygiannis
Succeeded by Jean Yip
Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
In office
December 2, 2015 – September 14, 2017
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Preceded by Scott Reid
Succeeded by Chris Bittle
Personal details
Born (1967-06-10)June 10, 1967
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Died September 14, 2017(2017-09-14) (aged 50)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cause of death Nasopharyngeal cancer
Political party Liberal
Spouse Jean Yip
Children 3
Residences Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Lawyer
  • political aide

Arnold Chan (June 10, 1967 – September 14, 2017) was a Canadian lawyer and politician, who was elected to represent the riding of Scarborough—Agincourt in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2014 by-election. Chan was a member of the Liberal Party of Canada.


Arnold attended Henry Kelsey Senior Public School, Sir Ernest MacMillan Senior Public School and Dr Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute, Chan studied at the University of Toronto, earning an undergraduate and two master's degrees in political science and urban planning, before obtaining a law degree from the University of British Columbia.

Early career

Prior to his election, Chan worked as a lawyer and, for a time, for the Ontario government as chief of staff to Ontario cabinet minister Michael Chan and then as senior aide to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Federal politics

Chan won the Liberal nomination for Scarborough—Agincourt after incumbent Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis resigned to run for Toronto City Council. He was elected to Parliament with 59 per cent of the vote in a by-election held in 2014.

While in opposition, Chan served as Liberal critic for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, and critic for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. In November 2014, he became critic for Tourism and Small Business.

On January 22, 2015, Chan revealed to the public that he would take a five-week leave of absence while undergoing treatment for nasopharyngeal cancer. Upon his return, he resumed his role and criticized the Harper government's partisan use of public advertising, and their lack of promotion of Canada in the global tourism market.

Following the Liberal victory in the October 2015 federal election, Chan became Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. Chan was known for his advocacy on behalf of the Armenian Canadian community, and chaired the Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group. Chan hosted Garo Paylan, an ethnic-Armenian Member of the Turkish Parliament and advocate for minorities in Turkey, when Paylan visited the Parliament of Canada in May 2017.

In his final speech to the House of Commons on June 12, 2017, Chan urged fellow MPs to rise above partisanship and improve the level of debate in Parliament, saying "I am not sure how many more times I will have the strength to get up and do a 20-minute speech in this place, but the point I want to impart to all of us is that I know we are all honourable members, I know members revere this place, and I would beg us to not only act as honourable members but to treat this institution honourably," adding "I would ask all of us to elevate our debate, to elevate our practice."

Personal life

Chan was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer in 2014. After going into remission following treatment in 2015, the disease recurred in 2016. Chan died on September 14, 2017, at the age of 50.

Chan had three sons with his wife Jean Yip. Yip won a December 11, 2017 by-election for Chan's former seat.

Chan was the older brother of physician Kevin Chan.

Electoral record

Canadian federal election, 2015: Scarborough—Agincourt
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Arnold Chan 21,587 51.95 +6.38 $70,985.90
Conservative Bin Chang 15,802 38.03 +3.88 $81,000.27
New Democratic Laura Thomas Patrick 3,263 7.85 -10.14 $3,832.40
Green Debra Scott 570 1.37 -0.92
Christian Heritage Jude Coutinho 334 0.80 $621.16
Total valid votes/expense limit 41,556 99.41   $203,566.74
Total rejected ballots 248 0.59
Turnout 41,804 59.42
Eligible voters 70,355
Liberal hold Swing +1.25
Source: Elections Canada

Canadian federal by-election, June 30, 2014: Scarborough—Agincourt
Resignation of Jim Karygiannis
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Arnold Chan 12,868 59.38 +13.98
Conservative Trevor Ellis 6,344 29.27 −4.91
New Democratic Elizabeth Ying Long 1,838 8.48 −9.62
Independent Kevin Clarke 315 1.45 -
Green Shahbaz Mir 307 1.42 −0.90
Total valid votes/expense limit 21,672 99.44 –  
Total rejected ballots 121 0.56 −0.09
Turnout 21,793 29.43 −26.60
Eligible voters 74,062
Liberal hold Swing +9.45
Source: Elections Canada
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