Tony Wong (Canadian politician)

Last updated
Tony Wong
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded by David Tsubouchi
Succeeded by Michael Chan
Constituency Markham
Personal details
Wong Chih Wah

(1948-12-12)December 12, 1948
British Hong Kong
DiedJune 17, 2009(2009-06-17) (aged 61)
Toronto, Ontario
Political party Liberal
ChildrenDaphne Wong (daughter)

Tony Wong (Wong Chi-wah or 黃志華, Hanyu Pinyin: Huáng Zhìhuá, Cantonese Yale: Wong4 Ji3Wa4) (1948 – June 17, 2009) was a politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 2003 to 2006 representing the Greater Toronto Area riding of Markham. He was a municipal councillor for the city of Markham from 1997 to 2004 and served as a York Region Councillor from 2006 to 2009.



Wong was born in Hong Kong and he studied at the Diocesan Boys' School. He received a Bachelor's degree in math from the University of Toronto and Master's in computer science from the University of Missouri. [1] He was a lawyer (University of Toronto) and founding director of the Metropolitan Toronto Southeast Asian Legal Clinic. He was a partner in his own practice, Wong and Chun. He served as a board member of the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation, the St. John's Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation and the York Region Police Services Board. He is cousin of Toronto City Councillor Cynthia Lai.


In 1997 Wong, ran for the municipal council in Markham, Ontario. He received 1,406 votes defeating his nearest rival by 774 votes. [2] In the 2000 election, he was elected as one of four regional councillors. [3] He was a leading figure in calling for reconciliation between the city's Chinese and Muslim communities in 1999, after a controversy concerning the construction of a local mosque. [4] In 2003, he spoke against an attempt by the government of China to enact "anti-subversion" legislation in Hong Kong (many recent Chinese immigrants in Markham have dual Canadian/Hong Kong citizenship). [5]

In the 2003 provincial election, he contested Markham for the Liberal Party against David Tsubouchi, a prominent cabinet minister in the Progressive Conservative governments of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves. Markham had been represented by the Progressive Conservative Party since its creation in 1987, and it was anticipated that Tsubouchi would be re-elected despite a strong provincial swing to the Liberals; instead, Wong defeated him by 5,996 votes. [6] Wong acknowledged that his candidacy benefited from a large ethnic Chinese immigrant population in the riding.

The Liberals won the provincial election, and Wong was subsequently named parliamentary assistant to Joseph Cordiano, the Minister of Economic Development and Trade.

Not long after his election, Wong held a benefit dinner for the daughters of Geng Chaohui, a recent Chinese immigrant to Canada who committed suicide because of underemployment. The event raised $30,000, although it was little reported outside of the Chinese-language press. [7]

On September 25, 2006, Wong resigned his seat in the legislature to run for York Regional Council. [8] He won one of four seats in November 2006. [9] He served in council until March 2009 and took a leave of absence. Wong was expected to return to council in September. [10]

Wong died of liver failure on June 17, 2009 at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. [11] He is survived by his wife Ellee and his daughter Daphne. [12]

Related Research Articles

George Smitherman Canadian politician

George Smitherman is a Canadian politician and broadcaster. He represented the provincial riding of Toronto Centre in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1999 to 2010, when he resigned to contest the mayoralty of Toronto in the 2010 municipal election. Smitherman is the first openly gay Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) elected in Ontario, and the province's first openly gay cabinet minister. In January 2011, he joined talk radio station CFRB as a contributor and fill-in host on the Live Drive with John Tory show.

Michael Colle Canadian politician

Michael Colle is a politician in Ontario, Canada who has served at the municipal and provincial level. He is currently, since 2018, a Toronto City Councillor. Previously, Colle was a city councillor for the city of York and then Metro Toronto from 1982 to 1994. He then served as a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1995 until 2018. He represented the ridings of Oakwood from 1995 to 1999, and Eglinton—Lawrence from 1999 to 2018. After losing his seat in the 2018 provincial election, he returned to municipal politics and was elected to Toronto City Council in 2018.

Peter Fonseca is a Portuguese-born Canadian politician and former athlete. He is a Liberal member of the House of Commons of Canada, representing the riding of Mississauga East—Cooksville since his election in 2015.

David Hiroshi Tsubouchi is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1995 to 2003, and was a cabinet minister in the governments of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves. He was the first Japanese Canadian elected to a provincial legislature.

Denzil Minnan-Wong Canadian municipal politician

Denzil Minnan-Wong is a Toronto city councillor representing Don Valley East, Toronto City Council Ward 16. He was the Progressive Conservative candidate for the riding of Don Valley East in the 2018 provincial election, placing a close second behind re-elected Liberal incumbent Michael Coteau.

The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario is a political party in Ontario, Canada. It governed the province from 1943 to 1985 and from 1995 to 2003, and currently forms the Official Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Pacific Mall Shopping centre in Markham, Canada

Pacific Mall is an Asian shopping mall in Markham, Ontario, Canada. It is the largest indoor Asian shopping mall in North America, and has been reported as the largest Asian shopping mall in the Western world. The mall is located on the northeast corner of Steeles Avenue and Kennedy Road, along the city limits with Toronto. Opened in the mid-1990s amid a period of significant Chinese immigration to Canada, the mall operates as a condominium corporation with 450 individual units. The mall also includes Heritage Town, a food court and market that functions as a notable tourist destination in the Greater Toronto Area.

38th Parliament of Ontario

The 38th Legislative Assembly of Ontario was a legislature of the government of the Province of Ontario, Canada. It officially opened November 19, 2003, at Queen's Park in Toronto, and ended on June 5, 2007. The membership was set by the 2003 Ontario general election on October 2, 2003, and it changed only somewhat due to resignations and by-elections.

Frank Scarpitti politician

Frank Scarpitti is the mayor of the city of Markham, Ontario, Canada.

Chin Lee is a former Canadian city councillor in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from Scarborough for Ward 41 Scarborough-Rouge River until his resignation in May 2018.

Michael Chan (Canadian politician) Canadian politician

Michael Chan is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 2007 until 2018. He represented the riding of Markham-Unionville. Chan served as a Cabinet Minister, during his entire tenure in politics in the governments of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne. Michael Chan presently serves as a Senior Business Advisor for the law firm Miller Thomson LLP in Vaughan. Chan also serves as a Member of the Board of Governors at the Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology.

2007 Ontario provincial by-elections

By-elections were held on February 8, 2007, in Ontario, Canada, to fill three vacancies in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. By-elections were held in three electoral districts (ridings): Burlington, Markham and York South–Weston.
The by-elections resulted in York South-Weston being taken by the NDP from the Liberals, Burlington remaining Progressive Conservative and Markham being retained by the Liberals.

Olivia Chow Canadian politician

Olivia Chow is a former Canadian politician who served a federal New Democratic Party (NDP) member of Parliament (MP) representing Trinity—Spadina from 2006 to 2014. Chow ran in the 2014 Toronto mayoral election, placing third behind winner John Tory and runner-up Doug Ford, and served on the Metro Toronto Council from 1991 to the 1998 amalgamation and subsequently on Toronto City Council until 2005, when she ran for MP.

2010 Toronto municipal election

The municipal election was held on October 25, 2010 to elect a mayor and 44 city councillors in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In addition, school trustees were elected to the Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board, Conseil scolaire de district du Centre-Sud-Ouest and Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud. The election was held in conjunction with those held in other municipalities in the province of Ontario. Candidate registration opened on January 4, 2010 and ended on September 10. Advance polls were open October 5, 6, 7, 8 and 12, 13, 16 and 17.

Elections in the Regional Municipality of York of Ontario, Canada were held on 25 October 2010 in conjunction with municipal elections across the province. The results below are unofficial, pending review from the respective clerk's office for each municipality. Each elected representative becomes a member of York Regional Council.

Markham was a provincial electoral district in Ontario, Canada created in 1986.

Chinese Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area

The Chinese Canadian community in the Greater Toronto Area was first established around 1877, with an initial population of two laundry owners. While the Chinese Canadian population was initially small in size, it dramatically grew beginning in the 1960s due to changes in immigration law and political issues in Hong Kong. Additional immigration from Southeast Asia in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and related conflicts and a late 20th century wave of Hong Kong immigration led to the further development of Chinese ethnic enclaves in the Greater Toronto Area. The Chinese established many large shopping centres in suburban areas catering to their ethnic group. There are 631,050 Chinese in the Greater Toronto Area as of the 2016 census, second only to New York City for largest Chinese community in North America.

Neethan Shanmugarajah, known professionally as Neethan Shan, is a Tamil Canadian youth worker and politician. He was elected to Toronto City Council in the by-election held on February 13, 2017, becoming the first Tamil Canadian to serve on city council. Shan was defeated in his 2018 reelection bid.


  1. "DBS64 50th Anniversary Magazine". Diocesan Boys' School Class of 1964.
  2. "Municipal Council Results". The Toronto Star. November 11, 1997. pp. B10-11.
  3. "Municipal election: York Region". The Toronto Star. November 14, 2000. p. B8.
  4. Swainson, Gail (November 8, 1999). "Building faith and harmony ; Ground broken for first mosque in Markham". Toronto Star. p. 1.
  5. Pan, Philip P. (July 7, 2003). "Tung's retreat on security law an embarrassment for Beijing". Toronto Star. p. A1.
  6. "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. October 2, 2003. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015.
  7. Barber, John (October 23, 2004). "Worlds apart". The Globe and Mail. p. M1.
  8. "Liberals lose another MPP as fall session starts". The Kitchener Record. September 26, 2006. p. A4.
  9. "Richmond Hill". Toronto Star. November 14, 2006. p. B6.
  10. "Councillor absent due to illness". Markham Economist & Sun. June 11, 2009. p. 1.
  11. "Markham regional councillor Tony Wong dies". June 18, 2009. Archived from the original on June 23, 2009.
  12. "Markham Politician Dies". Toronto Sun. June 19, 2006.