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Steven W. Mahoney
Steven W. Mahoney (born July 18, 1947 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) is a Canadian politician. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1987 to 1995, and a member of the Canadian House of Commons from 1997 to 2004. In the latter capacity, he served as a cabinet minister in the government of Jean Chrétien. Mahoney is a member of the Liberal Party.
Mahoney was first elected to the Ontario legislature in the 1987 provincial election, defeating his closest opponent by over 14,000 votes in the newly-created riding of Mississauga West . For the next three years, he served as a backbench MPP supporting the government of David Peterson.
The Liberals lost the 1990 provincial election, though Mahoney was re-elected without difficulty and became Chief Opposition Whip. He ran for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party in 1992, although he had only a minimal support base within the party. Most political observers believed he was attempting to increase his public profile, to be assured of a cabinet position when the Liberals returned to power. He was generally regarded as being on the right-wing of the party during this campaign.
Mahoney placed fifth out of six candidates on the first ballot of the 1992 Liberal leadership convention, following a nomination speech that one reporter likened to a stream-of-consciousness performance. He withdrew from the contest after the second ballot, and endorsed Lyn McLeod. (This support was pivotal to McLeod's victory on the fifth ballot, as she defeated runner-up Murray Elston by only nine votes.)
The Progressive Conservative Party won a majority government in the 1995 Ontario election, and Mahoney was narrowly defeated in Mississauga West by PC candidate Rob Sampson. He switched to federal politics two years later, and easily elected to the Canadian House of Commons for Mississauga West in the 1997 federal election, defeating his nearest opponent by over 21,000 votes. He scored an equally easily victory in the 2000 Canadian election.
Mahoney supported Paul Martin in the 1990 federal Liberal leadership convention, but subsequently opposed efforts by other Martin supporters to remove Jean Chrétien from the leadership position. During his time in parliament, he was considered a Chrétien loyalist. On April 11, 2003 Chrétien appointed Mahoney Secretary of State for selected Crown Corporations. His primarily responsibility was for the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and he was generally regarded as being ministerial responsibilities for affordable housing. Mahoney was demoted to the backbenches again when Paul Martin became Prime Minister of Canada on December 11, 2003.
As a result of redistribution, Mahoney was forced to run against fellow Liberal MP Carolyn Parrish for the Liberal nomination in Mississauga—Erindale in the 2004 Canadian election. The nomination battle was extremely polarizing for the party. While Mahoney had been a Chrétien supporter, Parrish was considered (incorrectly, it turned out) as a Paul Martin loyalist. In addition, Parrish was often criticized in the Canadian media for making statements that were interpreted as anti-American, while Mahoney frequently condemned anti-American rhetoric during his time in the Commons. (On February 27, 2003, he ended one spoken-word intervention by yelling "God Bless America".) There was also personal acrimony between the candidates: on one occasion, Mahoney accused Parrish of illegal fundraising and called for criminal charges to be filed.
Parrish defeated Mahoney for the nomination, 2,165 votes to 1,925. After losing the contest, Mahoney told reporters "This woman [Parrish] is so low in the gutter that it's a shame that she's standing to represent the Liberal party". Mahoney did not contest the 2004 election.
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