The Honourable Dr Carolyn Bennett, PC, MP, was first elected to the House of Commons to represent St. Paul’s in the 1997 general election and was re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008.
She served as Canada’s first Minister of Public Health, chaired the Parliamentary Sub-committee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, and has been the Liberal critic for issues concerning health, public health, seniors and persons with disabilities. She is currently the Liberal Critic for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, and the Canadian Northern Development Agency. She is also Chair of the National Liberal Women’s Caucus.
During her two years as Minister of Public Health, 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.
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 Women’s College Hospital and Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr Bennett served on the Boards of Havergal College, Women’s College Hospital, the Ontario Medical Association, and the Medico-Legal Society of Toronto.
Carolyn is a strong believer in ‘democracy between elections’ and leads by example. Her ‘St. Paul’s Model’, with regular town hall meetings, neighbourhood check-ups and weekly Facebook chats, has contributed to a 75% turnout in one of the youngest ridings in the country. Carolyn organizes popular ‘St. Paul’s Summits’, with the riding’s MP, MPP, City Councillors and School Board Trustees come together to share the concerns of constituents on a wide range of topics.