Ten York alumni elected to Parliament

There will be a distinct York presence in the House of Commons when the 39th Parliament of Canada is called into session, possibly this spring. Ten York alumni have been elected to serve in the next government of Canada  –  seven Liberals, two Conservatives and one New Democrat. Some are newcomers, others are political veterans and there’s a party leader in their midst.

York alumni elected to Parliament include:

 Member elected



 Omar Alghabra 


    Mississauga – Erindale 

 Navdeep Singh Bains


    Mississauga – Brampton South

 Maurizio Bevilacqua 



 Ken Boshcoff     Liberal     Thunder Bay – Rainy River
 Jim Flaherty     Conservative      Whitby – Oshawa
 Susan Kadis     Liberal     Thornhill
 Jack Layton     New Democratic Party       Toronto – Danforth
 John Maloney     Liberal     Welland
 Alan Tonks     Liberal     York South – Weston
 Peter Van Loan     Conservative

    York – Simcoe

Newly minted Liberal MP for Mississauga-Erindale, Omar Alghabra (MBA ’00), is a political rookie. The riding, which was held by maverick MP Carolyn Parrish since 1993, remained Liberal red with Alghabra winning handily over Conservative challenger Bob Dechert. Alghabra is the former national president of the Canadian Arab Federation and has served on the community editorial board for the Toronto Star. In addition to an MBA from York University, Alghabra has a degree in mechanical engineering from Ryerson University in Toronto.

Navdeep Singh Bains (BAS ’99), the Liberal incumbent for Mississauga-Brampton South, won his second term on Monday night. Traffic congestion, barriers confronting immigrants to Canada and increasing crime are just some of the issues facing this GTA riding. Although a political novice, Bains was busy in the previous government of Prime Minister Paul Martin. He served on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy & Ethics, as Chair of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights & International Development and as parliamentary secretary to the prime minister.

Maurizio Bevilacqua (BA ”85) was first elected to the House of Commons in 1988 as the Liberal MP for the former riding of York North. He was re-elected in 1993, 1997, 2000 and 2004. After the election of 2004, Bevilacqua returned as MP for the new riding of Vaughan. He has served as Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance and was parliamentary secretary to the minister of labour and to the minister of human resources development.

Ken Boshcoff (MES ’75) was first elected to the House of Commons in 2004 as the Liberal MP for Thunder Bay-Rainy River. He is an advocate for northern economic development, the New Deal for Cities and Communities, accessibility for persons with disabilities and aboriginal issues.  For more than 25 years, Boshcoff has devoted himself to public service locally, provincially and nationally. From 1997 to 2003, he served as mayor of Thunder Bay, Ont.., and prior to that, as city councillor. 

After 10 successful years as an Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament, Jim Flaherty (LLB ’73) was elected as the Conservative MP for the riding of Whitby-Oshawa on Monday night. First elected in 1995 and re-elected in 1999 and 2003 as the MPP for the riding of Whitby-Ajax, Flaherty served provincially as minister of enterprise, opportunity & innovation under Premier Ernie Eves, and deputy premier and minister of finance under Premier Mike Harris.


Susan Kadis (BA ‘78) was first elected to the House of Commons in 2004. During her time as Thornhill MP, Kadis has served as Chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, as well as an associate member of the Standing Committee on Health, Human Resources & Skills Development. Kadis is a former publisher of The Thornhill Times community newspaper and was first elected to public office as a school trustee in 1988. As an 11-year breast cancer survivor, Kadis has served on the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Jack Layton (MA ’72, PhD ‘83) has been a city councillor, a scholar, the president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, a university professor, the Chair of the Toronto Board of Health, an author and a small business owner. Municipal voters in Toronto had a 20-year relationship with Layton, sending him to Toronto City Council six times. In 2003, Layton stepped into federal politics and was elected NDP leader. He became the MP for Toronto-Danforth in the 2004 election.

A political veteran, John Maloney (LLB ’70) was first elected to the House of Commons in October 1993 as the MP for Erie. In June 1997, he was re-elected as the first MP for the newly-formed riding of Erie-Lincoln. In November 2000, Maloney was re-elected for his third term, and he won again in 2004. He is now the MP for the newly redistributed riding of Welland. Maloney’s extensive community involvement earned him the title of Citizen of the Year for the City of Port Colborne in 1981.  

Alan Tonks (BA ’74, MA ’77) entered the House of Commons in 2000 and was re-elected in 2004 as MP for York South-Weston. From 1982 to 1988, Tonks served as mayor of the City of York. After the amalgamation of the City of Toronto in 1997, Tonks was elected to serve as the first Chair and chief executive officer of the Greater Toronto Services Board.  Strongly involved in community organizations, he has received major service awards from the Lions Club International Foundartion and Rotary International.   

Peter Van Loan (LLB ’87), first elected to the House of Commons from York-Simcoe in 2004, has served as president of both the Ontario Progressive Conservative and the federal Progressive Conservative parties. He ran the successful national “Yes” campaign to have Progressive Conservatives approve the establishment of the Conservative Party of Canada. Until his election, Van Loan was a partner and Chair of the Planning and Development Law Group at Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP.