Skip to main content

Carolyn Bennett

St. Paul's

The Honourable Dr. Carolyn Bennett, PC, MP, was first elected to the House of Commons in the 1997 general election and was re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008 representing the Toronto riding of St. Pauls.  Prior to her entrance into the Federal Liberal Leadership race Carolyn served as Opposition Critic for Social Development, a portfolio that includes social policy areas such as child care, people with disabilities, homelessness and housing.  Carolyn also served as Vice-Chair on the Standing Committee on National Defense and travelled with this same committee in January 2007 to Afghanistan. Presently, Carolyn is the Opposition Critic for Democratic Renewal.

In December 2003, in the wake of the SARS epidemic, Paul Martin asked Carolyn to become Canada's first Minister of State for Public Health.  During her 2 years as Minister, Carolyn set up the Public Health Agency of Canada, appointed the first Chief Public Health Officer for Canada and oversaw the establishment of a true Public Health Network for Canada, through which all 13 jurisdictions would be able to plan together in protecting the health of Canadians.  Carolyn passionately drove the process to establish in 2005 the Public Health Goals for Canada.

Carolyn also served under the previous Liberal Government in a wide variety of roles within Parliament, including Chair of the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament, the sub-committee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities (Human Resources Devolpment Committee).  She has been responsible for significant changes in the Disability Tax Credit, as well as the innovative e-consolation on the necessary changes to the Canada Pension Plan for Persons with Disabilities.  Carolyn also served as a member of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, the Standing Committee on Health, and the Standing Committee on Finance.  As one of Parliament's most influential women MPs, she has chaired the Liberal Women's Caucus and the All-Party Women's Caucus.  Last but not least, this extraordinary woman was also a member of the Canada-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group.

Prior to her election, Dr. Bennett was a family physician and a founding partner of Bedford Medical Associates in Downtown Toronto.  She was President of the Medical Staff Association of the Women's College Hospital and Assistant Professor in the Development of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.  Dr. Bennett served on the Boards of Havergal College, the Women's College Hospital, the Ontario Medical Association, and the Medico-Legal Society of Toronto.

In 1986, Dr. Bennett received the Royal Life-Saving Society Service Cross -- a Commonwealth award recognising her more than twenty years of distinguished service.  In 2002, she was the recipient of the coveted EVE Award for contributing to the advancement of women in politics and in 2003 received the first ever CAMIMH Mental Health Champion Award.  In 2005, Carolyn received the Non-Consumer Involvement Award for promoting and facilitating consumer participation within the CMHA.  In 2006, Carolyn received the May Cohen Leadership Award for outstanding initiatives that foster life opportunities for children.  Carolyn was also the first recipient of the National Award of Excellence for Outstanding Leadership and Dedication to Injury Prevention and Safety promotion in Canada.  Dr. Bennett is also author of ""Kill or Cure? How Canadians Can Remake their Health Care System"", published in October 2000.

She is very proud of her St. Paul's model. A real democracy between elections, her Town-Hall meetings, neighbourhood checkups and weekly MSN chats have resulted in a 75% voter turnout in one of the youngest ridings in the country.

Dr. Bennett obtained her degree in Medicine from the University of Toronto in 1974, and received her certification in Family Medicine in 1976.  She and her husband, Canadian Film Producer Peter O'Brian, have two sons, Jack and Ben, and a lovely chocolate Lab named Marley.

Proactive Disclosure

Make a difference in St. Paul's

Carolyn Bennett in the news

  1. Carolyn Bennett on WorldPride

    June 29, 2014

    I’ve attended Pride celebrations in Toronto for the past 20 years and it seems to me that they just keep getting better and better. Toronto hosted […]  More »

  2. Liberal statement on National Aboriginal Day

    June 21, 2014

    OTTAWA AND TORONTO – The Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement on National Aboriginal Day: “Today, on National Aboriginal […]  More »

  3. Liberal Statement on International Women’s Day

    March 8, 2014

    OTTAWA – Liberal Status of Women Critic, Kirsty Duncan, made the following statement today on International Women’s Day: “Today, as Canadians from across the country join […]  More »

  4. Special Committee Report Fails Indigenous Women and Girls

    March 7, 2014

    OTTAWA – The report tabled today by the Special Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women fails to provide a tangible action plan that will address the […]  More »

  5. Liberal Statement on First Nations Education Funding

    February 7, 2014

    TORONTO – Liberal Aboriginal Affairs Critic, Carolyn Bennett, issued the following statement today on the federal government’s announcement regarding First Nations education: “Today’s announcement is an […]  More »

Contact information

In Ottawa:
House of Commons
Ottawa (ON) K1A 0A6
Phone: (613) 995-9666
Fax: (613) 947-4622

In St. Paul's:
1650 Yonge Street
Toronto (ON) M4T 2A2
Phone: (416) 952-3990
Fax: (416) 952-3995

Carolyn Bennett on Facebook

Riding Map

St. Paul's