Michael Colle

Michael Colle
Michael Colle
MPP for Eglinton—Lawrence
Assumed office
1999 provincial election
Preceded by John Parker
MPP for Oakwood
In office
Preceded by Tony Rizzo
Succeeded by Riding abolished
Personal details
Born February 1, 1945 (1945-02-01) (age 66)
Foggia, Italy
Political party Liberal
Residence Toronto
Occupation Teacher

Michael (Mike) Colle (born February 1, 1945) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, representing the riding of Eglinton—Lawrence for the Ontario Liberal Party.



Colle moved to Canada at a young age, and was educated at Carleton University. He worked as a teacher of history and economics for eighteen years, including several years at Michael Power High School and St. Michael's College School in Toronto. Colle served on the City of York municipal council from 1982 to 1985, and on the Metro Toronto Council as a York representative from 1988 to 1994. He was also chair of the Toronto Transit Commission from 1991 to 1994.

Provincial politics

Colle was first elected to the Ontario legislature in the provincial election of 1995, defeating incumbent New Democrat Tony Rizzo in the riding of Oakwood by about 1000 votes. Rizzo had previously voted against his government's same-sex benefits plan, and received little assistance from the Toronto NDP organization. In the provincial election of 1999, Colle defeated incumbent Progressive Conservative John Parker by about 9,000 votes in the redistributed riding of Eglinton—Lawrence. The Progressive Conservatives won both elections, and Colle sat in opposition during this period. In 1996, Colle supported Dwight Duncan's unsuccessful bid to become Liberal Party leader.

First and second terms

Colle championed environmental causes during his time in the legislature including the protection of the Oak Ridges Moraine. He was a co-chair of Mel Lastman's 1997 bid to become Mayor of Toronto. Lastman was also supported by prominent members of the Progressive Conservative Party in Toronto, and was opposed by members of the social democratic New Democratic Party.

Third term

The Liberals won the 2003 election, and Colle was re-elected by over 10,000 votes in his own riding. Despite having been a prominent member of the opposition, and some public speculation, he was not initially appointed to the cabinet by Premier Dalton McGuinty. On October 23, 2003, he was named Parliamentary Assistant to Greg Sorbara, the provincial Finance Minister.

Colle was promoted to cabinet on June 29, 2005 as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. His federal riding counterpart Joseph Volpe held the same portfolio in the federal cabinet until February 6, 2006.

Colle was criticized for his role in giving out $32 million in government grants to immigrant and cultural groups without official applications or formal statements of purpose. In one case that the auditor general highlighted, the Ontario Cricket Association received $1 million when it asked for $150,000.[1] Premier McGuinty agreed to commission a special report on the matter, to be released in July 2007.[2] Colle was to appear before the Standing Committee on Estimates before the Legislature was prorogued by the Premier. Some believe this was arranged to prevent his testimony from going public.[3]

On July 26, 2007, Premier McGuinty announced that Colle resigned as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Gerry Phillips was sworn in as the new Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, in addition to his responsibilities as Minister of Government Services.[4]

Fourth term

In October 2007 he was re-elected to serve his fourth term to represent the Eglinton-Lawrence riding. During this term he has held two senior positions in the party. From October 2007 to February 2010 he was Chief Government Whip. He served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services from February 2010 to December 2010. Since December 2010, he has been the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Children and Youth Services.[5]

On February 24, 2009, Colle introduced the Zero Tolerance to Violence on Public Transit Act, 2009 in an attempt to address the growing incidence of gun violence on Toronto Public Transit.[6]

On March 25, 2009 Colle appeared to buck his own party by introducing Bill 160: The Caregiver and Foreign Worker Recruitment Act, 2009. This was in response to a Toronto Star expose on the abuse of foreign nannies.[7] After some initial reluctance by the government, Colle was able to convince the Labour Minister and the government to intervene to stop the abuse.[8] The government committed to introducing legislation to license "nanny brokers", ban placement fees, and post licensed placement agencies on an online registry.

The McGuinty government introduced Bill 210, Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (Live-in Caregivers and Others), 2009 (EPFNA) on October 21, 2009 and passed the "Nanny Protection Act" on December 15, 2009.[9]

In 2010, Colle took on the issue of bedbugs eventually convincing Health Minister Deb Matthews to provide $5 million to fight the scourge with a bedbug strategy.[10]

Colle has also spent most of his fourth term advocating to get the Eglinton Crosstown LRT built. The provincial government has committed $8 billion for the new Eglinton line that runs along the southern border of his riding of Eglinton-Lawrence. He has been on a personal crusade to get the Crosstown built ever since the Harris government cancelled the Eglinton subway in 1996 even after the tunnel was dug.[11]

Electoral record

Ontario general election, 2007
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
     Liberal Mike Colle 17,324 43.1
     Progressive Conservative Bernie Tanz 15,098 37.5
     New Democrat Karin Wiens 4,135 10.3
     Green Andrew James 2,899 7.2
     Libertarian Tom Gelmon 296 0.7
     Family Coalition Rina Morra 253 0.6
     Freedom Franz Cauchi 128 0.3
     Independent Joseph Young 107 0.3
Ontario general election, 2003
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
     Liberal Mike Colle 23,743 56.89 +0.11
     Progressive Conservative Corinne Korzen 12,402 29.72 -5.53
     New Democrat Robin Alter 43,51 10.43 +6.12
     Green Mark Viitala 1,236 2.96 +1.86
Ontario general election, 1999
Party Candidate Votes %
     Liberal Mike Colle 24,151 56.78
     Progressive Conservative John Parker 14,994 35.25
     New Democrat Jay Waterman 1,835 4.31
     Family Coalition Frank D'Angelo 821 1.93
     Green Shelly Lipsey 470 1.1
     Natural Law Neil C. Dickie 263 0.62
Ontario general election, 1995
Party Candidate Votes %
     Liberal Mike Colle 8,599
     New Democrat (x)Tony Rizzo 7,624
     Progressive Conservative Courtney Doldron 3,298
     Independent Joseph Flexer 821
     Green Constantine Kritsonis 269
     Natural Law Doug Storey 135
     Libertarian Nunzio Venuto 100


  1. ^ Ferguson, Rob (6 June 2007). "Summer break starting early at Queen's Park". Toronto Star. http://www.thestar.com/News/article/222076. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  2. ^ Howlett, Karen. "McGuinty asks auditor to probe multicultural grants". The Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/Page/document/v5/content/subscribe?user_URL=http://www.theglobeandmail.com%2Fservlet%2Fstory%2FLAC.20070511.ONTMULTI11%2FTPStory%2F%3Fquery%3Dcolle&ord=4696929&brand=theglobeandmail&force_login=true. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  3. ^ Howlett, Karen (5 June 2007). "Ontario legislature prorogued". The Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/Page/document/v5/content/subscribe?user_URL=http://www.theglobeandmail.com%2Fservlet%2Fstory%2FRTGAM.20070605.wonthouse0605%2FBNStory%2FNational%2F&ord=4696643&brand=theglobeandmail&force_login=true. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  4. ^ Cohen, Tobi and Puxley, Chinta (26 July 2007). "Minister quits over grants". Toronto Star. http://www.thestar.com/News/article/240234. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  5. ^ http://www.premier.gov.on.ca/team/biography.asp?MPPID=86&Lang=EN
  6. ^ Karolyn Coorsh. New bill proposes $50,000 and more jail time. Town Crier (Leaside-Rosedale). March 19, 2009. [1]
  7. ^ Dale Brazao and Robert Cribb. Nannies trapped in bogus jobs. Toronto Star. March 14, 2009. [2]
  8. ^ Dale Brazao and Robert Cribb. Star nannies series inspired MPP to demand action. Toronto Star. April 3, 2009. [3]
  9. ^ http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=2229&isCurrent=false&detailPage=bills_detail_status&Intranet=
  10. ^ http://www.thestar.com/news/bedbugs/article/918775--ontario-declares-5-million-war-on-bedbugs
  11. ^ National Post, "Despite Being Almost A Decade Away, Eglinton Celebrates Transit Line", 21 June 2011

External links

Provincial Government of Dalton McGuinty
Cabinet Posts (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Marie Bountrogianni Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Gerry Phillips
Political offices
Preceded by
Lois Griffin
Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission
Succeeded by
Paul Christie

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