|Preceded by||David Peterson|
|Succeeded by||riding dissolved|
March 26, 1946 |
|Political party||New Democrat|
Marion Boyd (born March 26, 1946) is a former Canadian politician, who represented the riding of London Centre in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1990 to 1999 as a member of the Ontario New Democratic Party.
In 1968, Boyd graduated from Glendon College with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and history. From 1968 to 1973, she worked as an assistant to the president of York University. In 1975-76, she helped the York University Faculty Members win their first union contract. She subsequently worked as an executive director of the London Battered Women's Advocacy Clinic, and served two terms as president of the London Status of Women Action Group. She is widely known as a feminist.
Boyd's first campaigns for public office were unsuccessful. She was the NDP candidate in London North in the provincial election of 1985, but finished a distant third against incumbent Liberal Robert Van Horne and a Progressive Conservative. She ran in London Centre in the 1987 election, and lost to sitting Premier David Peterson by almost 9,000 votes. She campaigned as a federal New Democrat in the 1988 general election, finished third behind Liberal Joe Fontana and Progressive Conservative Jim Jepson in London East.
The Ontario New Democratic Party won the 1990 provincial election and Boyd scored a landslide victory over David Peterson in London Centre, defeating the Premier by more than 8,000 votes. She was appointed Minister of Education on October 1, 1990. She also received responsibility for Women's Issues on September 11, 1991, and launched a high-profile campaign against domestic abuse in the same year. She was transferred to the Ministry of Community and Social Services on October 15, 1991.
Boyd was promoted to Attorney General of Ontario on February 3, 1993, the first woman to hold that position as well as the first non-lawyer. In this capacity, she was responsible for Bill 167, that would have granted benefits to same-sex couples. The bill failed on a free vote when twelve NDP members voted with the opposition parties against the bill. The bill's failure was a personal disappointment for Boyd, who had invested considerable effort in promoting its passage.
Boyd also approved a highly controversial plea-bargain deal that allowed serial killer Karla Homolka to receive a 12 year prison sentence in return for testimony which led to the conviction of Homolka's then-husband, Paul Bernardo. The deal was criticized in much of the Canadian media, and many questioned Boyd's judgment in the matter. At the time the extent of Homolka's personal involvement in Bernardo's crimes was not known.
Boyd remained as Attorney General until the Rae government was defeated in the 1995 election. She was one of seventeen NDP MPPs to successfully retain their seats in that election, defeating PC candidate Patrick McGuinness by fewer than 2,000 votes. Boyd remained a high-profile MPP, serving as the NDP's Health Critic from 1997 to 1999.
The London Centre riding was eliminated by redistribution in 1996. Boyd ran against fellow incumbent Dianne Cunningham of the Progressive Conservative Party in London North Centre, and lost by just over 1,700 votes.
Boyd currently works as an environmental business consultant and mediator. In December 2004, she released a controversial study that recommended that the Ontario government leave the 1991 Arbitration Act in place, which allows for the use of religious law in civil law arbitrations. While any arbitration would have to be consensual and would have to follow the Charter of Rights and Canadian Law, the founding of the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice (IIJC) in 2004, aimed solely at creating sharia tribunals, in accordance with this act, for Muslims who wished to have family arbitration in this manner. She came under severe criticism for this but was defended by law professor and lawyer Faisal Kutty who wrote an Oped defending her findings in Lawyers Weekly.1 He wrote: "Sharia is not coming to Canada and there will be no Sharia courts. Muslims simply wish to use Islamic principles to resolve their disputes within the Canadian legal system. Boyd’s considered verdict, released in December 2004, came after meeting with more than two hundred people and receiving almost forty submissions. Boyd makes forty-six reasoned recommendations, including:
- Amendments to the Family Law Act and the Arbitration Act should be made to ensure that the mediation and arbitration agreements are legally treated in the same manner as marriage contracts and separation agreements;
- calling for regulations to ensure proper record-keeping, mandating written decisions, and training of arbitrators;
- imposing a duty on arbitrators to ensure that parties understand their rights and are participating voluntarily;
- providing for greater oversight and accountability, including empowering courts to set aside arbitral awards for various reasons including unconscionability, inadequate financial disclosure or if a party did not understand the nature or consequences of the arbitration agreement;
- public education and community development;
- expanded appeal possibilities; and
- further policy analysis to determine whether additional safeguards are required.
- "Boyd’s recommendations balance needs of religious communities with rights of vulnerable". thelawyersweekly.com. 2005-01-21. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
|Provincial Government of Bob Rae|
|Cabinet Posts (4)|
|Howard Hampton||Attorney General
also named Minister of Justice
|Zanana Akande||Minister of Community and Social Services
|New ministry||Minister Responsible for Women's Issues
|Sean Conway||Minister of Education