Member of Parliament
Rob Oliphant was first elected to the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for Don Valley West in 2008. He is the Liberal Party Critic for Veterans Affairs and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee for Veterans Affars. Rob is also member of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. Additionally he is currently serving as the Liberal Caucus’ Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison with Queen’s Park on Ontario Issues,the Co-Chair of the Canada-India Parliamentary Friendship Group, Treasurer-Secretary of the Canada-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group and Vice-Chair of the All Party Arts Caucus. He was recently awarded the role of Ontario Young Liberal Federal Caucus Liaison in recognition of his dedication to ensuring a strong and vibrant youth voice in the Liberal Party of Canada.
Mr. Oliphant is a community leader who has been standing up for the rights of Canadians for decades. He has worked with small and large groups whose aims are to provide affordable housing, create economic opportunities for new Canadians, reduce poverty and foster peace and social justice. In the past decade, Rob served in our community through his work as the Lead Minister at Eglinton St. George’s United Church in Toronto, one of the largest United Church congregations in Canada.
Rob has fostered the construction of three housing and long-term care facilities for seniors and low-income families. The most recent was the newly opened Cedarhurst located at Bayview Avenue and York Mills Road, a not-for-profit, community residences specifically dedicated to the care of seniors living with Alzheimer disease or related dementia.
A Commerce and Finance graduate at the University of Toronto, Rob started his professional career in the private sector as an accountant and computer programmer for Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie. Later, during his tenure with the Ontario government, he was engaged in the development of telecom and broadcasting policy, tax policy and anti-violence policy and the promotion of the arts and cultural industries. Rob is an ardent supporter of public transit infrastructures and initiatives that encourage investments in Toronto and Ontario.
Rob has a distinguished record of service as an advocate for at-risk youth, human rights, refugees, immigrants and seniors. He has served on the Advisory Committee of Eva’s Phoenix (a transitional housing and training facility for homeless and at-risk youth) and Community Liaison Committee at Fred Victor Centre (a multi-service organization providing services to men and women who live in extreme poverty and are marginally housed or homeless), both significant Toronto social service agencies.
He served as co-chair of the United Church of Canada’s General Council Standing Committee on Sexism, and chair of the Economic Justice and Social Well-Being Committee.
He has also served WoodGreen Red-Door Family Shelter (an emergency shelter for women who have experienced violence at home, families, refugees, elderly and young mothers experiencing homelessness), Centre Dialogue in Montreal (an organization promoting dialogue between Anglophones and Francophones), Nakai Theatre Ensemble in Yukon (a professional theatre company promoting Northern cultural identity), and a host of other community groups and agencies.
Rob has held numerous senior positions in the Ontario government, having served the government of the Hon. David Peterson as a senior policy advisor in the Premier’s Office, and as Chief of Staff in the offices of two ministers, Minister of Culture and Communications Christine Hart, and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, Mavis Wilson. He has also served as a Commissioner and Chair of the Yukon Human Rights Commission and been appointed to serve on various governmental boards and agencies.
Rob has lived in and served Canadian communities from coast to coast. Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Rob has lived and worked in such diverse locations as the outports of Newfoundland, Quyon in rural Quebec, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, and Whitehorse, Yukon.
In 2004, he was recognized for his eighteen years of work by the Neighborhood Interfaith Group, a Toronto based organization now promoting dialogue among the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths. Rob understands the diversity of our country, and speaks passionately about our common values and shared aspirations.
Rob earned his bachelor degree at the University of Toronto, a Master’s degree from the Vancouver School of Theology at the University of British Columbia and recently earned a doctorate degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary at the University of Chicago.