Art Eggleton facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Eggleton in 2008
March 24, 2005 – September 29, 2018
|Nominated by||Paul Martin|
|Appointed by||Adrienne Clarkson|
|Member of Parliament
for York Centre
October 25, 1993 – June 28, 2004
|Preceded by||Bob Kaplan|
|Succeeded by||Ken Dryden|
|59th Mayor of Toronto|
December 1, 1980 – November 30, 1991
|Preceded by||John Sewell|
|Succeeded by||June Rowlands|
September 29, 1943 |
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Political party||Independent Liberal|
|Liberal (until 2014)|
|Spouse(s)||Camille Bacchus, Brenda Eggleton 1978-1994|
|Cabinet||Minister of National Defence (1997–2002)
Minister for International Trade (1996–1997)
Minister responsible for Infrastructure (1993–1996)
President of the Treasury Board (1993–1996)
Arthur C. Eggleton PC (born September 29, 1943) is a retired Canadian politician who served as the 59th and longest-serving mayor of Toronto from 1980 to 1991. He was elected to Parliament in 1993, running as a Liberal in York Centre and served as a member of Parliament (MP) until 2004 when he declined to seek re-election. Eggleton held a number of cabinet positions from 1993 to 2002 including Treasury Board president, minister of infrastructure, minister of international trade, and minister of national defence. He was appointed to the Senate in 2005, serving until he reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 in 2018.
Eggleton, an accountant by profession, was first elected to Toronto City Council in the 1969 municipal election as the junior alderman for Ward 4. He served as budget chief in the council elected in 1973 under David Crombie. He was the Liberal Party candidate in the October 16, 1978, federal by-election held in Toronto's west-end Parkdale electoral district in which he was defeated by Progressive Conservative candidate Yuri Shymko. He ran for re-election to Toronto City Council in Ward 4. finishing first in a field of 10 candidates to become Ward 4's senior alderman on council (at the time, two alderman were elected from each ward).
Mayor of Toronto
Eggleton was a member of Toronto City Council and the Metropolitan Toronto Council for 22 years. He was Mayor of Toronto from 1980 to 1991, when he retired from municipal politics as the longest-serving mayor in Toronto history.
In 1980, he was elected Mayor of Toronto after defeating incumbent John Sewell. The city moved forward on implementing its new official plan, which resulted in several new significant buildings in the downtown west, or the railway lands area, including the Convention Centre, the SkyDome, and the CBC Broadcast Centre. Under his leadership, the city also produced a record level of social housing projects for low-income people; 50 acres (20 ha) of new parks; and innovative new responses to the problems of the homeless and emotionally-troubled with projects like Street City, the Singles Housing Opportunities Program, and the Gernsteins Centre.
Eggleton established the Mayor's Committee on Community and Race Relations to help bring about the successful integration of people from different cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds. His relationship with the city's gay community was one of "unease" that began after a mass arrest of 286 men in the city's gay bathhouses in 1981 known as Operation Soap. The subsequent protests would evolve into Gay Pride Parade, with which Eggleton had a publicly acrimonious relationship when organizer's annual requests for the mayor to make an official declaration were repeatedly denied. An independent review of the city's relationship with the gay community provided 16 actionable measured for Eggleton's government to take to ease tensions, however, the majority were never implemented and only some came to pass after his tenure.
Eggleton maintained a stance that Pride was "not appropriate for the naming of a day.” In 1990, Toronto Pride organizers filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission after Eggleton once again refused to proclaim the Pride event, but opted to recognize an official city day for Muppet Babies. In 1991, Eggleton's final year as mayor, he still refused to attend Pride. In 2016, without apology, he stated that he had "come to see things differently" but maintained that at the time he did not see the event as appropriate for a mayor's official declaration.
Eggleton was finally outvoted by his fellow council members in 1991, his last year in office, and Pride Day was proclaimed.
Eggleton's only serious re-election challenge occurred at the 1985 Toronto municipal election when city councillor Anne Johnston, a fellow Liberal, ran against Eggleton for the mayoralty. Eggleton won by a significant margin, receiving 92,994 votes to Johnston's 59,817.
In recognition of his service to the city, Eggleton received Toronto's highest honour, the Civic Award of Merit in 1992.
Member of Parliament
Eggleton ran in the 1993 election in the suburban Toronto riding of York Centre, again as a Liberal, and won election. He was appointed to the position of President of the Treasury Board and Minister for Infrastructure in the new cabinet.
From January 1996 to June 1997, he served as Minister for International Trade. Eggleton retained his seat in the 1997 election, and was appointed Minister of National Defence. In 1999, Eggleton supported Canada's involvement in NATO's campaign in Kosovo.
He was re-elected again in the 2000 election, and continued as Minister of Defence, focusing on sweeping changes to the National Defence Act which implemented changes to the military justice system, including the set up of several oversight entities including a Military Ombudsman and a Military Police Complaints Commission. He also improved compensation and benefits for Canadian Forces personnel and their families. In January 2002, Chrétien and Eggleton were accused of misleading Parliament. Both Chrétien and Eggleton when asked in Question Period if Canadian troops had handed over captured Taliban and al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan to the American forces amid concerns about the treatment of POWs at Guantanamo Bay, replied that was in Chrétien's words only a "hypothetical question" and that the Canadians had taken no POWs. Critics of the government such as Joe Clark then proceeded to point out that in the previous week, the Toronto newspaper the Globe & Mail had run on its frontpage a photo of Canadian soldiers turning over POWs to American troops. Eggleton maintained that he and the rest of the Cabinet had been kept unaware that the Canadian Forces were taking POWs in Afghanistan and turning them over to the Americans, claiming that he had only learned of the policy of handing over POWs several days after the photo had appeared in the Globe & Mail.
Eggleton resigned from the cabinet in May 2002, amid allegations he hired a former girlfriend for a research contract. The ethics commissioner, Howard Wilson, concluded Eggleton breached conflict guidelines for cabinet ministers, and Eggleton voluntarily stepped down. This happened during the growing leadership turmoil between Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, who left the cabinet the following week in disputed circumstances. Increased scrutiny on Chrétien's government and cabinet may have contributed to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien pressuring him to resign.
Eggleton then became a member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade. On May 13, 2004, Eggleton announced he would not be a candidate in the 2004 federal election, making way for the nomination of Ken Dryden as the Liberal candidate in York Centre.
Senator for Ontario
He was appointed to the Senate by Paul Martin on March 24, 2005. He served as both chair and Deputy Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science, and Technology for 12 years in which his focus was on social justice and health care issues. He served on the Bureau of Liberal International, representing the Liberal Party of Canada, as a vice-president for two years and treasurer for one year. He was co-opted to the Bureau of Liberal International as a vice president at the 185th Executive Committee in Cape Town, South Africa in November 2010. Art Eggleton also served on the Senate Modernization Committee, and at different times on the National Finance, Transportation and Communications committees
On January 29, 2014, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau announced all Liberal Senators, including Eggleton, were removed from the Liberal caucus, and would continue sitting as Independents. The Senators will refer to themselves as the Senate Liberal Caucus even though they are no longer members of the parliamentary Liberal caucus.
Eggleton's recent focus has been Toronto's community housing. On the Social Affairs Committee he has been instrumental in studies and reports on such matters as poverty, housing, and homelessness; early learning and child care; autism; the Health Accord; prescription pharmaceuticals; obesity; and dementia. In 2012, he founded the All-Party, Anti-Poverty Caucus.
He also started and convened the Open Caucus a non-partisan discussion open to all Senators and MPs on major issues of the day bringing together expert panelists to dialogue with parliamentarians.
In 2015–16, in addition to his Senate work, he served as the volunteer chair of the Toronto Mayor's Task force on Toronto Community Housing which recommended substantive reforms for the largest social housing provider in Canada. Many of the recommendations are now in different stages of implementation.
Eggleton retired from the Senate on September 29, 2018, upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.
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