Craig Scott was elected in a March 19, 2012, by-election as Member of Parliament for Toronto–Danforth, the riding previously represented by former NDP Leader Jack Layton. He has gone on to be a strong and effective voice in his own right—and now he’s seeking a fresh mandate to get even more done alongside Tom Mulcair.
As Official Opposition critic for Democratic and Parliamentary Reform, Craig has led the NDP’s campaign for Canada to adopt proportional representation and to abolish the undemocratic Senate. Craig is—proudly—the only openly gay Member of Parliament from Ontario, and works on Parliamentary law-reform initiatives with other MP colleagues in the NDP’s LGBTQ Caucus.
In the House of Commons, Craig is respected by all sides for his hard work and his ability to sharpen and elevate debate. He quickly earned a reputation for hard-hitting, focused questions in Question Period on the use of fraudulent robocalls during the 2011 federal election, as well as on the Conservatives’ efforts to secure Senator Mike Duffy’s silence.
Last year, Craig led the NDP’s fierce opposition to Bill C-23 (the ‘Fair’ Elections Act), an attempt by the Harper government to make future elections unfair. He has fought the Conservatives’ efforts in Bill C-50 (the so-called Citizen Voting Act) to make it harder for Canadians abroad to vote in federal elections. He also brought his background in security law to the NDP's opposition to Bill C-51—the Conservatives spy-state-expansion bill—including the need for greater oversight and review of security agencies as a crucial democratic reform.
Until his election as MP, Craig was Professor of Law and the inaugural Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University (2000-2012). He’d started his law-teaching career at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law (1989-2000). Craig became known for his ability to link his academic work with his work with groups in society fighting for progressive social change. Craig has carried a life devoted to fighting for human rights and equality—and pursuing justice through law—into his Parliamentary work.
A lover of art, Craig also ran the Craig Scott Gallery in Toronto as a parallel career from 2006 to 2012. Prior to starting his academic career, Craig served as law clerk to the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Brian Dickson. He attended the Universities of Oxford and London as a Rhodes Scholar, and also has degrees from McGill and Dalhousie.
Craig has lived in Toronto–Danforth for the last 25 years, for many years in East Chinatown and then in Riverdale beside Withrow Park. He now lives in the Pape/Mortimer neighbourhood of East York with his partner, fashion designer Kovit Ratchadasri—and their mini-Schnauzer Joey.