Bob Rae
Over a career that has spanned three decades, including serving as Ontario’s 21st Premier from 1990 to 1995, Bob Rae has worked at the highest levels of government in Canada, and has been elected eleven times to federal and provincial parliaments.

From 1996 to 2007, he worked as a partner in the law firm, Goodmans LLP, one of Canada’s leading international law firms. His clients included companies, trade unions, charitable and non-governmental organizations, and governments themselves.

During this period, Bob Rae was appointed a special advisor to the Canadian Minister of Public Safety on the Air India bombing of 1985. His report, Lessons to be Learned was published in November of 2005.

He also completed a review of Ontario’s Postsecondary School Education for the Ontario Provincial government. The resulting 2005 report entitled Ontario: A Leader in Learning led to significant policy and budgetary changes.

Bob Rae has proudly served the people of Toronto Centre in Ottawa as their Member of Parliament since March 2008, and was twice named “Best Orator” by Macleans Magazine in its annual survey of parliamentarians.

Until recently, he served as Foreign Affairs Critic for the Liberal Party of Canada. In June 2011, he became interim Liberal Leader.

Born and raised in Ottawa, Bob Rae has a B.A. and an LLB from the University of Toronto and was a Rhodes Scholar from Ontario in 1969. He obtained a B.Phil degree from Oxford University in 1971 and was named a Queen’s Counsel in 1984.

Bob Rae lives in Toronto with his wife Arlene Perly Rae. He and Arlene have three daughters, Judith, Lisa and Eleanor.

He has written four books, published by McClelland & Stewart:

•From Protest to Power: Reflections on a Life in Politics (1997)

•The Three Questions: Prosperity and the Public Good (1999)

•Canada in the Balance (2006)

•Exporting Democracy: The Risks and Rewards of Pursuing a Good Idea (2010)

A former chairman of the Royal Conservatory and Toronto Symphony, Bob Rae is an avid music lover. He enjoys playing tennis and golfing, and is happiest when out fishing on the lake at his cottage near Portland, Ontario.

Bob Rae was appointed to Her Majesty’s Privy Council for Canada in 1998, was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000, and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Ontario in 2004.

He has received numerous honorary degrees and awards from Canadian and foreign universities, colleges, and organizations.

Entries by Bob Rae

Book Excerpt: What's Happened to Politics

(4) Comments | Posted October 13, 2015 | 12:10 PM

The fastest growing population in Canada is indigenous people. Their birth rate on reserves and in cities is high, and as children finish primary school, the exodus to urban centres picks up. In my work as an advocate for the First Nations in Ontario, I have seen that the federal...

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The Deaths That Dare Not Speak Their Name

(1) Comments | Posted January 2, 2014 | 10:05 AM

A tragic coincidence of events reinforces my conviction that Canada still needs a real strategy on suicide prevention.

First came the devastating reports of suicides among veterans, which prompted a national outcry, much defensiveness from the government, and a call for a royal commission from Rick Hillier. With Canada's renewed...

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Harper's Megaphone Policy Has Made Canada a Right-Wing Gas Bag

(347) Comments | Posted September 28, 2013 | 7:56 PM

Canada has become the classic practitioner of megaphone policy.

Imagine a different approach. Imagine if we'd kept our small embassy in Tehran open, with a seasoned diplomat and a couple of bright political and legal officers. Imagine if they'd kept open a window on potential change, as Robert Ford did...

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Why I'm Resigning My House of Commons Seat

(21) Comments | Posted June 19, 2013 | 3:19 PM

Some months ago I agreed to work with the Matawa Tribal Council in northern Ontario as their negotiator in dealings with the government of Ontario.

The Ring of Fire mining development will have a huge impact on the communities in the area and well beyond. How positive that impact could...

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Patriating the Constitution and the Charter

(6) Comments | Posted May 20, 2013 | 11:52 AM

The recent flurry about patriating the Canadian constitution has brought back a flood of memories, and some reflections.

Pierre Trudeau, Frank Scott and Bora Laskin were friends in the 1950s and '60s, all three law professors and advocates of the need for a bill of rights, and for Canada to...

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Why Stephen Harper Can't Destroy the Liberal Party

(96) Comments | Posted April 5, 2013 | 11:53 AM

What follows is the final installment in a three-part series by Liberal leader Bob Rae on the resilience of liberalism. Read part one here and part two here.

Jean Chrétien and his government faced more than just an economic and financial crisis: They also...

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Reports of the Liberal Party's Death Had Been Greatly Exaggerated

(13) Comments | Posted April 4, 2013 | 5:42 PM

What follows is the second installment in a three-part series by Liberal leader Bob Rae on the resilience of liberalism. Read part one here.

William Lyon Mackenzie King understood a few key things: power mattered, the strength of the Liberal Party depended on its capacity to hold the...

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Why I'm A Liberal -- And Why Liberalism Lives

(78) Comments | Posted April 4, 2013 | 5:40 PM

What follows is the first installment in a three-part series by Liberal leader Bob Rae on the resilience of liberalism. Read part two here.

I am a Liberal because I believe in the dignity and equality of every human being and I believe in a democracy where we...

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Why I'm Opposing Canada's Economic (In)Action Plan

(39) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 9:51 AM

Yesterday Finance Minister Jim Flaherty introduced his government's budget plan for Canada. My Liberal colleagues have rightly renamed it Canada's Economic (In)Action Plan. It is in reality a political smoke screen, replete with gimmicks designed to convince Canadians that the Conservatives, somehow, are in fact balancing the books. This could...

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This Land Was Their Land

(175) Comments | Posted January 7, 2013 | 2:19 PM

Canadians like to think of ourselves as living in a peaceable place, where the values of caring and sharing are hallmarks of who we really are as a country. This cheery self-image fails to face up to some harsh facts about our history and current reality.

Prime Minister Harper once...

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