Michael Prue in 2009
|Preceded by||Frances Lankin|
|Succeeded by||Arthur Potts|
|Toronto City Councillor|
|Preceded by||Ward created|
|Succeeded by||Michael Tziretas|
|Constituency||Ward 32, Beaches—East York|
|6th Mayor of East York|
|Preceded by||David Johnson|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Born||July 14, 1948|
|Political party||New Democrat|
Michael David Prue (born July 14, 1948) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. Prue was mayor of East York, Ontario from 1993 to 1997 and subsequently represented the riding of Beaches—East York in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 2001 to 2014 as member of the New Democratic Party (NDP)'s Queen's Park caucus. He was a candidate in the 2009 Ontario NDP leadership election, finishing in fourth place. In 2018, he was elected to the town council of Amherstburg, Ontario where he now lives.
Prue grew up in Toronto's Regent Park neighbourhood. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Anthropology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Arts degree in Canadian Studies from Carleton University. After graduation, he worked as counsel for the Minister of Employment and Immigration.
During his time as a federal government employee, Prue was an activist in the Canada Employment & Immigration Union, a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
Early political career
In the 1980 federal election, Prue ran as a federal NDP candidate in Scarborough Centre and received 9237 votes for a third-place finish. He ran in the same riding in the 1984 election, again placing third.
Municipal politics and mayoralty
Prue became a councillor in East York in 1988. In 1993 he was appointed mayor of the borough. The previous mayor David Johnson resigned when he won a provincial by-election. Rather than pay for the expense of a mayoral campaign, the East York council decided to choose a candidate from amongst themselves. Prue won the position after five ballots. The next year, he was elected Mayor in the 1994 municipal election and remained in the position until 1997, when East York and the other component municipalities of Metropolitan Toronto were merged into the single municipality of the city of Toronto.
Before the 1998 municipal election, Prue successfully lobbied the provincial government to allot a third council seat for East York to improve its representation on Toronto City Council. Following amalgamation, Prue was elected to represent Ward 32 on Toronto City Council.
On September 20, 2001 Prue won a by-election to replace retiring NDP MPP Frances Lankin in the Ontario legislature. There was some controversy during the by-election. Liberal candidate Bob Hunter accused the NDP of smearing his reputation. He accused Prue of calling him a pedophile based on a book he wrote in 1988. Pages of the book, which portrayed sexual encounters with young prostitutes, were faxed to journalists during the campaign. Hunter launched a libel lawsuit against Prue and NDP leader Howard Hampton but dropped the suit after the election. Prue won the by-election with 50% of the vote while Hunter received 36%.
In 2002 Prue undertook a week-long "welfare diet", trying to live on $12.05 for an entire week to draw attention to the condition of Ontario's poorest residents under the Mike Harris government. In 2004 during a debate over expenses charged by school trustees, Prue said that city councillors could do much of the work of trustees. He appeared to support combining the two roles. In 2007 he supported a push for more accountability for executive compensation packages. In May, 2007, he tabled a private member's bill called the Conrad Black Executive Compensation Abuse Act which sought to have pay packages put to binding shareholder votes.
He has also championed affordable housing in Toronto,
2009 leadership convention
On July 18, 2008, Prue announced his intention to seek the leadership of the Ontario NDP at its 2009 leadership convention. At a press conference to announce his bid to replace Howard Hampton as leader of the Ontario NDP party, Prue made remarks on public funding for Catholic schools in Ontario. "The NDP policy is there, it says that we support the dual system," he said. "It is time though, I think, that we take a look at that, but we need to leave that to [the] convention. It cannot be my position or an individual's position... rather it must be a party position and we must have an open and frank debate to get to that point." He insisted he wasn't trying to reopen the debate about religion and schools.
Prue received 11.5% of the votes (weighted) on the first ballot, finishing in fourth place. According to the rules of the contest, as the last place finisher he was dropped off the next ballot. Prue gave his personal endorsement to Gilles Bisson who finished in third place on the first ballot with 23.7% of the weighted vote. After Bisson was eliminated on the next ballot, Prue endorsed Andrea Horwath, who won the leadership on the third ballot with 60.4% over rival Peter Tabuns.
Prue reported raising $79,411.74 for his leadership bid, the lowest of the four contestants. His expenses were the second highest at $222,320.94. His reported deficit was $142,909.20, the highest of the four contestants.
After Queen's Park
Following his defeat in 2014, Prue and his wife decided to sell their house in Toronto in order to fund their retirement in a smaller town, moving to Amherstburg, outside of Windsor, Ontario. After sitting on the town's committee of adjustment, Prue was elected to town council in 2018.
- Leslie, Keith (July 18, 2007). "Former East York mayor Michael Prue launches bid to be Ontario NDP leader". The Globe and Mail. Toronto.
- "Federal general election results listed riding-by-riding". The Ottawa Citizen. February 19, 1987. pp. 29–30.
- "How Canada voted". The Globe and Mail. September 5, 1984. pp. 14–15. Missing or empty
- Duncanson, John (April 8, 1993). "East York appoints a new mayor". The Toronto Star. Toronto. p. A5.
- Boyle, Teresa; Mallan, Caroline (September 21, 2001). "Prue off to Queen's Park as NDP wins by-election". The Toronto Star. pp. F1, F4.
- Benzie, Robert (September 19, 2001). "Liberal candidate suing NDP in melee over book: Greenpeace co-founder's 'satire' depicted sex with teenage girls". National Post. Toronto. p. A15.
- "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. October 2, 2003. Retrieved 2014-03-02.[permanent dead link]
- "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 10, 2007. p. 1 (x). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 7, 2009. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
- "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 30, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
- Benzie, Robert (September 24, 2002). "New Democrats mock Eves's 'Gucci shoes': NDP MPP Prue boasts of his week on welfare diet". The Toronto Star. p. A8.
- Boyle, Theresa (November 19, 2004). "Toronto trustees roll back expenses". The Toronto Star. p. A12.
- McFarland, Janet (June 11, 2007). "'Say on pay' fight heads north". The Globe and Mail. p. B3.
- Prue, Michael (August 2, 2002). "NDP supported non-profit housing (Letter to the Editor)". The Toronto Star. p. A23.
- The Canadian Press (July 8, 2008). "Prue opens NDP leadership bid with school funding controversy". CBC News. Toronto. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
- "2009 Leadership Contestant Contest Period Financial Statement CR-5: Michael Prue". Elections Ontario. Toronto: Queen's Printer for Ontario. 2010-10-05. Archived from the original on 2012-01-13. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
- Simmie, Scott (June 13, 2014). "Liberal Arthur Potts ousts NDP Michael Prue in tight race in Beaches-East York riding". CBC News. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
- "General Election by District: Beaches-East York". Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. Archived from the original on June 14, 2014.