Posted on Oct 14, 2019
Guest Speaker: Friday, October 25, 2019
Location: The National Club
Topic:  Grassroots to Government and Back Again

Host: Robert O'Brien
George Smitherman has been immersed in political life and service since age 16.  He was chief of staff and campaign manager for Mayor Barbara Hall and was served as Chief of Staff to the Honourable Herb Gray and David Collenette federal.   He ran for elected office in 1999 and represented the downtown riding of Toronto-Centre Rosedale for eleven years from 1999 to 2010.  
He served as Minister of Health and Long-Term Care from 2003, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure from 2008-2009, Deputy Premier from 2006-2008 and Toronto Regional Minister.   Among his accomplishments while serving in provincial government were the launch of a Wait Times Strategy to reduce wait times for various procedures such as hip and knee replacements, MRIs, CT scans, cancer cardiac and cataract surgeries.   He also launched the Ministry’s Aging at Home strategy which focused on delivering enhanced community health care services and enabling seniors to live independent healthy lives at home through home care and other community-based services. As Minister of Energy he spearheaded The Green Energy Act which encouraged investment in green energy production and investments in wind and solar energy.  
Mr. Smitherman ran for Mayor in the election of 2010 and came in second in a field of five candidates in that wild and unconventional election campaign which unexpectedly brought a populist maverick to City Hall for the next four next four years.  
After his run for office as Mayor George joined CFRB radio station and became Chairman and Principal of the consulting firm G & G Global Solutions and zone adviser to Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone.   He serves on the Board of Directors for a number of companies including a mining venture and medical marijuana producer THC Meds Ontario Inc.   In the summer of 2019  George Smitherman wrote a personal memoir of his life in politics called Unconventional Candour.
From his first steps as a teenager getting involved in politics in the 80s through to his dramatic voluntarily exit and challenges getting back on top, George Smitherman will candidly discuss in today’s program the state of grassroots politics in Canada just days after the October 21st Federal Election.