|Address||1069 Wellington Rd South Suite 116 |
London, Ontario , Canada
|| January 13, 1948
|Last Modifed||Dr. King Schultz|
Oct 11, 2012 02:52pm
Conservative - Anti-Gay Marriage - Pro-Life - Pro-Missile Defense - Catholic -
|Info||Patrick Wayne "Pat" O'Brien, MP , MEd , BA is a member of the Canadian House of Commons. He serves as the independent MP for London—Fanshawe in London, Ontario. |
O'Brien graduated with an honours Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Western Ontario in 1971, and earned his Master of Education from UWO in 1981. He has served as a high school history teacher and was a member of London City Council from 1982 to 1993. He was also a school trustee from 1980 to 1982.
He was elected to Parliament as a candidate of the Liberal Party of Canada in the 1993 election, and was re-elected in the 1997, 2000, and 2004 elections. From 2000 to 2003, he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade, and he is currently chair of the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs.
Before leaving the party, Pat O'Brien was often considered as representing the right-wing of the Liberal party. He was one of the fiercest opponents of same-sex marriage in the Liberal caucus, along with Tom Wappel. He has frequently chastised Prime Minister Paul Martin for not allowing a free vote among his Cabinet on Bill C-38, which is the act to legalize same-sex marriage in Canada. He has repeatedly called for the notwithstanding clause to be used to override the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which courts have repeatedly ruled requires the government to recognize same-sex marriages. He is also strongly against abortion.
On June 6, 2005, O'Brien left the Liberal Party to sit as an independent, citing his opposition to same-sex marriage, and his discomfort with the revelations coming out of the Gomery Commission on the sponsorship scandal.
On June 14, O'Brien issued an ultimatum to the government, indicating that he and an anonymous Liberal MP would vote against the government in a series of confidence votes that evening unless the same-sex marriage bill is delayed until the fall session of Parliament.
However, it was later discovered that this was a complete embellishment and the Liberals went on to survive the confidence votes and eventually got the same-sex marriage bill passed in the summer session of parliament.
O'Brien was viewed negatively by many party members and has been thought of as somebody who has made his career as an MP out to oppose same-sex marriage and abortion, many of those same members view him as bigoted, since he left the Liberals over that one issue.