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Encyclopedia > Jim Wilson (Canadian politician)

Jim Wilson (born April 4, 1963 in Alliston, Ontario) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He has been a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario since 1990, initially representing Simcoe West and later Simcoe--Grey for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.

Wilson was educated at the University of Toronto. During and after his graduation, he worked as an assistant to Ontario Management Board Chair George McCague, and subsequently worked for federal cabinet minister Perrin Beatty.

In the 1990 provincial election, he was elected in Simcoe West by 1940 votes over New Democrat Leo Loserit. The NDP won a majority government in this election, while the Tories won only 20 seats of 130 for third-party status. In September 1991, Wilson was given the key position of Health Critic for his party.

There was a significant swing to the Progressive Conservatives in the 1995 provincial election, and Wilson was re-elected by almost 20000 votes over his nearest opponent. On June 26, 1995, he was appointed Minister of Health in the government of Mike Harris. Wilson's was given charge of restructuring much of the province's health sector, including downloading some responsibilities to municipalities. His time in office was marked by high levels of confrontation with health workers, a number of whom were laid off in the government's early months.

In October 1997, Wilson was demoted to Minister of Energy, Science and Technology. His management of this portfolio was much less controversial.

After redistribution, Wilson ran for re-election in the 1999 provincial election in the new seat of Simcoe--Grey. He defeated his nearest opponent, Liberal Norman Sandberg, by over 18000 votes, making the riding the safest Tory seat in the province from a statistical standpoint. He was retained in the Energy, Science and Technology portfolio until April 2002, when he was named Minister of Northern Development and Mines by new Premier Ernie Eves. On June 17, 2003, he was also named Minister of Environment.

The Progressive Conservatives were defeated in the 2003 election, although Wilson retained Simcoe--Grey by a reduced margin. In 2004, Wilson supported John Tory's successful bid to replace Eves as party leader. He is currently his party's critic for Transportation.



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