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Ontario Libertarian Party
Leader Allen Small
President Jean-Serge Brisson
Founded 1975 (1975)
Headquarters Scarborough, Ontario
Ideology Libertarianism
Colours Green

The Ontario Libertarian Party (OLP) is a political party in Ontario, Canada that was founded in 1975 by Bruce Evoy, Vince Miller, and others,[1] inspired by the formation three years earlier of the US Libertarian Party. The Party is guided by adherence to the philosophical ideas of Austrian School of Economics and influenced by authors and thinkers like Jan Narveson and Murray Rothbard. The party's current leader is Allen Small.

It claimed, for a time, to be Ontario's fourth party, but has been surpassed in popularity by the Green Party of Ontario and the Family Coalition Party of Ontario.

The Ontario Libertarian Party split in 1980 when the Unparty was formed. In 1984, under the leadership of Marc Emery and Robert Metz, the Unparty's name and nature changed: it became the Freedom Party of Ontario.

The Ontario Libertarian Party lost support with the rise of Mike Harris and his Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in the 1990s.

The party is associated with the Libertarian Party of Canada.

Recent election results

The party's most successful election was the 1990 election, in which the OLP candidates won 24,613 votes or 0.6% of the vote. In the 45 ridings where the OLP ran candidates, the party averaged 547 votes or 1.8% of the total. In eight of the election races, OLP candidates came in fourth behind the PC, Liberal and NDP candidates. Top OLP vote getters were Robert Shapton, 5.1% of the vote in Dufferin-Peel; William Galster, 4.5% in Scarborough-Agincourt; John McLean, 3.4% in Simcoe East; and Daniel Hunt, 3.0% of the vote in Riverdale.

In 1995, under the leadership of John Shadbolt, the party's total vote declined to 6,085 votes. The top candidate was Robert Ede in York Centre, with 1,792 votes (2.3%). Three other candidates – Party Chairman Jean-Serge Brisson, Vice-Chairman Kaye Sargent, and Paul Barker – topped 1.0%.

Shadbolt resigned one day after the 1995 election, and was replaced by George Dance on an interim basis. Sam Apelbaum was chosen as the party's full-time leader at a convention in late 1996.

Thanks in part to the Harris "Common Sense Revolution" and the appearance of the Reform Party of Ontario, the party lost momentum and had trouble finding candidates and ran few in 1999 and 2003. The demise of the Reform Party and the replacement of Mike Harris with Ernie Eves helped the party to regain membership. Changes to the Ontario Election Act, calling for fixed election dates at four year intervals galvanized the party to start preparing well in advance for the 2007 general election. As a result the party fielded 25 candidates and obtained a total of 9,249 votes.

Year of election # of candidates # of seats won # of votes % of popular vote
1975 17 0 4,752
1977 31 0 9,961
1981 12 0 7,087
1985 17 0 12,831 0.4%
1987 25 0 13,514 0.4%
1990 45 0 24,613 0.6%
1995 7 0 6,085 0.2%
1999 7 0 2,337 0.1%
2003 5 0 1,991 0.1%
2007 25 0 9,249 0.2%
2011 51 0 19,387 0.5%

1975 results: Bulletin (Ontario Libertarian Party), 1:9 (September 1975), 2.
1977-1981 results: Bulletin (Ontario Libertarian Party), 13:2 (September 1987), 4.]

  • September 6, 2012 by-elections:
    • Vaughan, 307 votes (1.0%), fifth out of nine candidates.
    • Kitchener–Waterloo, 155 votes (0.3%), fifth out of ten candidates.

Executive committee

Conventions are held every three years to elect the Leader, Deputy Leader, Chairman, Vice Chair, Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and Campaign Director for a three-year term. All of these positions except Leader and Deputy Leader may be replaced by election at a General Meeting. Members-at-Large are elected for a one-year term at a Convention or Annual General Meeting.

The party's Executive Committee, elected at its November 2011 Leadership Convention:

  • Leader – Allen Small
  • Deputy Leader – Paolo Fabrizio
  • Chair – Greg Pattinson
  • Vice-Chair – Jean-Serge Brisson
  • Secretary – Philip Bender
  • Recording Secretary – Matthew Belanger
  • Treasurer – Jim McIntosh
  • Campaign Director – Jeff McLarty
  • Members at Large – Christin Milloy, Adam Hyde

Greg Pattinson has since resigned as Chair. Jean-Serge Brisson took over the position, Christin Milloy advanced to Vice-Chair, and G.J. Hagenaars was elected to the position of Member at Large.

Ethics Committee

The Ethics Committee is normally composed of 6 members, none of whom may be a member of the Executive. Two (or more) members of the Party are elected to the Ethics Committee for a three-year term at each Convention or Annual General Meeting. (Ethics Committee members are listed in order of seniority – longest serving members first.)

Nunzio Venuto (2009), Anthony Giles (2009), George Dance (2010), Chester Brown(2010), John Shaw (2011), Sam Apelbaum (2011) [2]

Party leaders

  • Terry Coughlin (Elected at founding meeting, July 24, 1975)
  • Paul Mollon (1977 election)
  • Scott Bell (1981 and 1985 elections)
  • Kaye Sargent (1987 election)
  • James Stock (1990 election)
  • John Shadbolt (? – June 9, 1995)
  • George Dance (interim) (June 9, 1995 – 1996)
  • Sam Apelbaum (October 1996 – November 2011)
  • Allen Small (November 2011 – )

See also


  1. Miller, Vince. "Taking Liberty Global", August 4, 2005. Retrieved on December 25, 2007.
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