Gilbert Parent

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Gilbert Parent

Gilbert Parent.jpg
33rd Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada
In office
1994 – January 29, 2001
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralRay Hnatyshyn
Roméo LeBlanc
Adrienne Clarkson
Prime MinisterJean Chrétien
Preceded byJohn Allen Fraser
Succeeded byPeter Milliken
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for St. Catharines
In office
Preceded byTrevor Morgan
Succeeded byJoe Reid
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Welland
In office
Preceded byVictor Railton
Succeeded byAllan Pietz
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Welland—St. Catharines—Thorold
In office
Preceded byAllan Pietz
Succeeded byriding redistributed
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Niagara Centre
In office
Preceded byfirst member
Succeeded byTony Tirabassi
Personal details
Born(1935-07-25)July 25, 1935
Mattawa, Ontario, Canada
DiedMarch 3, 2009(2009-03-03) (aged 73)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Joan Parent, partner Sandra Page

Gilbert "Gib" Parent, PC (July 25, 1935 – March 3, 2009) was a Canadian Member of Parliament. He is best known in his role of Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada between 1994 and 2001.

Parent was born on July 25, 1935, in Mattawa, Ontario and his janitor father moved the young family to Welland, Ontario. He went to St. Joseph's College on a football scholarship, and earned a teaching certificate from the Ontario College of Education.[1]

Prior to his election to the House of Commons, he worked as a teacher and was vice-principal at Thorold Secondary School.

Political career[edit]

Parent was elected to Parliament six times as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada. He was first elected in the 1974 election representing the riding of St. Catharines. He was re-elected in the 1979, 1980. Parent was defeated in the 1984 election as Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative Party swept to power, but regained his seat four years later in 1988, and was re-elected in the 1993 and 1997 elections.

His riding's name was subsequently changed to Welland, then Welland—St. Catharines—Thorold and finally Niagara Centre. Under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Parent served, at different times between 1977 and 1981, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, to the Minister of Labour and to the Minister of State (Sports).

Parent was first elected Speaker in January 1994. In the House, Parent was forced into the challenge of presiding over a five-party Parliament that resulted from the emergence of the Bloc Québécois and the Reform Party. Upon being re-elected to the position in September 1997, he told the Montreal Gazette that he expected the different voices in Parliament, informed by strong opinions on all sides, would make the House the lively place it should be.

Parent died at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto at the age of 73 of pneumonia while recovering from colon cancer surgery.[2] He is survived by his brothers, Gerald Parent and Romeo Parent, wife of 39 years, Joan Parent (née Davis), their 4 daughters, Michele (Dave) Hundertmark, Monique (John) Finley, Madeleine (Mark) Thomas, and Terri (Sandro) Perruzza and 13 grandchildren, and partner Sandra Page, 2 daughters and 1 grandchild.

Electoral record[edit]

1997 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes
Liberal PARENT, Gib 24,115
Reform JOHNSTONE, Don 12,053
Progressive Conservative ATKINSON, Joe 5,827
New Democratic WILSON, James 5,510
Christian Heritage BYLSMA, David 515
Natural Law LARRASS, Anne 363
Marxist–Leninist WALKER, Ron 143
1993 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
  Liberal PARENT, Gilbert 25,534 53.97%
  Reform JOHNSTONE, Don 11,901 25.15%
  Progressive Conservative ST. AMAND, Terry 5,472 11.56%
  New Democratic Party DOBRUCKI, Rob 3,737 7.89%
  Natural Law AMOS, Laureen 311 0.66%
Green FANNON, Jim 304 0.64%
  Abolitionist DOUCET, Leonard 64 0.14%
1988 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
  Liberal PARENT, Gilbert 17,878
  Progressive Conservative PIETZ, Allan 16,287
  New Democratic Party LEE, Ken 12,646
Green THOMSON, Rachel 273
  No affiliation WALKER, Ron 71
  Communist WALLIS, David 57
1984 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes
Progressive Conservative Allan Pietz 18,418
Liberal Gilbert Parent 14,481
New Democratic Rob Dobrucki 10,508
Green Andrew Rivett 284
Communist John MacLennan 145
1980 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes
Liberal Gilbert Parent 18,112
New Democratic Robert Wright 11,729
Progressive Conservative George Krusell 11,292
Communist John Severinsky 95
Marxist–Leninist Ron Walker 78
1979 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes
Liberal Gilbert Parent 16,025
Progressive Conservative Allan E. Pietz 15,527
New Democratic Robert Wright 11,151
Independent John L. Sabados 218
Communist John Severinsky 83
Marxist–Leninist Ron Walker 62
1974 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes
Liberal Gilbert Parent 22,528
Progressive Conservative Trevor Morgan 16,402
New Democratic Fred Dickson 9,147
Social Credit Jean Charles Hamelin 443
Communist William Stewart 129
Marxist–Leninist Roger Ten Trey 69


  1. ^ Former MP Gib Parent 'loved his country'. St. Catharines Standard, March 4, 2009.
  2. ^ "Former House Speaker Gib Parent dead at 73". Montreal Gazette. March 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-04.[dead link]

External links[edit]