Conservative Jamil Jivani wins Durham by election, will represent North Oshawa and Clarington

By

Published March 4, 2024 at 10:03 pm

Conservative commentator Jamil Jivani is the new Durham riding MP.

The federal Durham riding, which contains most of Clarington, north Oshawa and Scugog, has a voice in parliament for the first time in nearly a year; Conservative Jamil Jivani.

Jivani was born in Toronto and raised in Brampton. He went on to attend Humber College and York University, before earning a doctorate in law from Yale Law School in Connecticut. He attended the Ivy League university alongside Ohio Senator and Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance and has written about the pair’s close friendship.

Shortly after his 2013 graduation from Yale, Jivani founded the Policing Literacy Initiative, an organization he described to the CBC as highlighting progressive voices in policing and community leaders to find common solutions. He has written about his interactions with Toronto Police and argued against the practice of “carding” in editorials for the National Post.

Recently Jivani has penned numerous editorials for the Toronto Sun railing against the Trudeau government and what he views as the rise of “woke” politics. In 2019, he published his first book Why Young Men, an examination of violence perpetrated by young men.

He also hosted a radio talk show, Tonight with Jamil Jivani, for Bell Media starting in September 2020. However, he was fired in September 2022. He alleged this was because he did not fit Black stereotypes and has sued Bell over his firing.

He has also served as an advisor to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and to the Government of Alberta. He is currently the President of the Canada Strong and Free Network  focused on, “best practices and ideas pertaining to limited government, free enterprise, individual responsibility.”

The Canada Strong and Free Network was previously called the Manning Centre, named for Harper mentor Preston Manning, whose Reform Party ideals Jivani has advocated for. In his candidacy announcement, Jivani said “We’re in a pivotal time in Canadian history and we need leaders to step up,” adding that Canadians “need fighters” as MPs.

Background

The previous Durham MP, former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, announced his resignation from the seat around this time last year.

He gave his final address in June at the end of the spring session and officially vacated in August. The by-election to replace O’Toole was called in January for March 4.

The major parties chose their candidates in the wake of the call;

  • Conservatives chose Jivani, who won with a sweeping 54.4* per cent vote share
  • The Greens picked Courtice school board trustee Kevin McKenzie (2.2 per cent)
  • Liberals tapped Scugog town councillor Robert Rock (second place at 23.4 per cent)
  • the NDP selected Pickering electrician and education co-ordinator Chris Borgia (11.4 per cent), and
  • the People’s Party ran Port Perry author Patricia Conlin (4.7 per cent.)

*Percentages as of 10 p.m.

The seat has long been a conservative stronghold. O’Toole was first elected to the riding in 2012, replacing Conservative MP Bev Oda. She had held the seat since 2004 having replaced Liberal Alex Shepherd.

However, Shepherd’s election in 1993 was unusual. He followed Progressive Conservative MPs Ross Stevenson and Allan Lawrence. The pair had held the seat since Lawrence’s election in 1972.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper tapped O’Toole, a veteran, to lead the Ministry of Veterans Affairs in 2015. Following the Conservative electoral loss to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals that fall, O’Toole ran to replace Harper as leader but lost to Regina MP Andrew Scheer.

Scheer’s term as leader proved short-lived when he too stepped down following another electoral loss to the Liberals in 2019. O’Toole again ran to head the party besting his former Harper Cabinet colleague Adam McKay.

However, O’Toole was soon ousted following yet another election loss in 2021. The party held a non-confidence vote regarding his leadership last February finding 60 per cent of part MPs had lost confidence in O’Toole’s leadership.After O’Toole’s ouster, current leader Pierre Poilievre won the leadership in a landslide the following September.

indurham's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising