Chris Bentley is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is currently a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and is a cabinet minister in the government of Premier Dalton McGuinty.
Bentley received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, and obtained a law degree from the University of Toronto in 1979. Two years later, he obtained a Master's level degree Cambridge University in England. Bentley has practiced criminal and labour law, with the firm of Bentley & LeRoy LLP. In 1985, he was a founder and first chairperson of Neighbourhood Legal Services London & Middlesex, a legal clinic intended to assist low-income clients.
Since 1992, Bentley has worked as a part-time teacher at Western. He helped establish the university's Law School Careers Office, has lectured at various continuing education courses. In 2000, he published a book entitled Criminal practice manual: A practical guide to handling criminal cases.
Bentley first ran for the provincial legislature in the 2003 general election, contesting the riding of London West as a Liberal. He was successful, defeating incumbent maverick Progressive Conservative Bob Wood by over 10,000 votes. The Liberals won the election, and Bentley was appointed Ontario Minister of Labour on October 23, 2003. Bentley is on the left-wing of the Liberal Party, and his appointment was regarded favourably by the province's organized labour community.
Bentley announced an increase in the province's minimum wage in early 2004. In November 2004, he announced that his government would restore powers to the Ontario Labour Relations Board which had been removed by previous Conservative governments, and that it would eliminate 65 as a mandatory retirement age.
On January 6, 2004, Bentley was appointed caucus liaison to the Ontario Young Liberals.
In addition to his political career, Bentley is also an avid runner and has participated in three Boston marathons.