The Honourable Carolyn Bennett

Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
(Toronto–St. Paul’s)

Ministerial Mandate Letter

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997 and was re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2015, representing Toronto– St. Paul’s.

Dr. Bennett has previously served as the Critic for Public Health, Seniors, Persons with Disabilities, the Social Economy, and Aboriginal Affairs. In 2003, she was named Minister of State for Public Health.

Prior to her election, Dr. Bennett was a family physician and a founding partner of Bedford Medical Associates in downtown Toronto. She was also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Her fight to save the Women’s College Hospital of Toronto inspired her to enter politics.

Carolyn is an active representative of Toronto–St. Paul’s. She has organized over 75 town halls, quarterly meetings, information sessions on parliamentary affairs, and special activities for her constituents since 2000. She and her office have assisted hundreds of constituents with their immigration, tax, pension or employment insurance concerns.

She speaks passionately about Canada and citizens’ participation in the democratic process. She advocates for health, the environment, women’s involvement in politics and persons with disabilities; She is also known for her strong support of Israel.  

In 1986, Dr. Bennett received the Royal Life Saving Society Cross – a Commonwealth award recognizing her more than 20 years of distinguished service. In 2002, she was the recipient of the coveted EVE Award for contributing to the advancement of women in politics and in 2003 received the first ever CAMIMH Mental Health Champion Award. Carolyn was the first recipient of the National Award of Excellence for Outstanding Leadership and Dedication to Injury Prevention and Safety promotion in Canada.

Carolyn is the co-author of Kill or Cure? How Canadians Can Remake Their Health Care System.

She and her husband, Peter O’Brian, a successful Canadian producer, have two sons, Jack and Ben.