Chaviva Hošek

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Chaviva Hošek
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded by Tony Grande
Succeeded by Tony Rizzo
Constituency Oakwood
Personal details
Born (1946-10-06) October 6, 1946 (age 71)
Chomutov, Czechoslovakia
Political party Liberal
Residence Toronto, Ontario
Alma mater McGill University, Harvard University
Occupation Professor
Religion Judaism

Chaviva Milada Hošek, OC; (born 6 October 1946) is a Canadian academic, feminist and former politician.


Hošek was born in Chomutov, Czechoslovakia. Her mother was imprisoned in Auschwitz during World War II. The family initially moved to Israel but then emigrated to Montreal in 1952.[1] She received her undergraduate degree from McGill University and earned a doctorate in English literature from Harvard in 1973.[2]

She worked as a professor of English Literature at the University of Toronto for thirteen years, achieved tenured status and served on the University's governing council. In 1985 she was appointed co-chairman of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's National Economiic Conference. In 1986 she resigned from the university and went to work for Gordon Capital Corp. as a pension consultant.[2] An active feminist, she served as president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women from 1984 to 1986. She later described her time at the NAC as "the harshest political experience I ever had", claiming that the group was polarized by internal divisions during this period.[3] Hošek was named B'nai Brith Woman of the Year in 1984 and received the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in 1986 for Community and Public Service.


In the 1987 Ontario election, Hošek won a seat in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as the Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament for the Toronto riding of Oakwood, defeating Ontario New Democratic Party incumbent Tony Grande by 1,331 votes.[4] She was appointed to David Peterson's cabinet as Minister of Housing, and embarked on a program to expand social housing.[5]

In the spring of 2009, Hošek was implicated in the Patti Starr affair. Starr, a close associate of Hošek, was a Liberal fundraiser who was head of the National Council of Jewish Women (Toronto Section) who misused her position to illegally contribute funds to the 1987 election campaigns of several Liberal MPPs. Peterson shuffled his cabinet on August 1, 1989 and Hošek was not included. Hošek did not receive funds from Starr but several key members of the Housing Ministry were implicated in the scandal.[6] Hošek had also made an unpopular decision to not reappoint former Toronto mayor John Sewell to the board of the Metro Toronto Housing Authority.[7]

The Peterson government was defeated in the 1990 Ontario election, Hošek lost her riding to Tony Rizzo of the NDP by 2,280 votes.[8]

Cabinet positions

Provincial Government of David Peterson
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Alvin Curling Minister of Housing
John Sweeney
[note 1]

Later life

Hošek became director of the Liberal Party of Canada's caucus research bureau in 1990. Along with Paul Martin, she co-authored Creating Opportunity, as the party's campaign platform for the 1993 federal election was called. After Liberal leader Jean Chrétien became Prime Minister of Canada, Hošek was appointed Director of Policy and Research in the Prime Minister's Office, and wrote the Liberal platforms for the 1997 and 2000 federal elections

In 2001, Hošek left the PMO to become president and CEO of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. She retired from this position in May 2012.

On October 27, 2002, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa.

On October 5, 2006, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.[9]

On June 25, 2009, she received an honorary doctorate from York University (Ontario).



  1. Sweeney named as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.


  1. Hossie, Linda (March 21, 1985). "A feminist of steel and silk Chaviva Hosek's gentle persuasion or passionate arguments open doors to equality". The Globe and Mail. p. CL5. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "The tribulations of Chaviva Hosek". The Globe and Mail. July 3, 1989. p. 3. 
  3. Goar, Carole (January 20, 2005). "A glimpse into a revolution". 
  4. "Results from individual ridings". The Windsor Star. September 11, 1987. p. F2. 
  5. "Wrye gets new cabinet job". The Windsor Star. September 29, 1987. p. A1. 
  6. Ferguson, Derek (August 6, 1989). "Cut for political reasons, dumped minister contends". Toronto Star. p. A19. 
  7. Sherrill MacLaren (1991). Invisible power: the women who run Canada. Toronto, Ontario: Seal Books. pp. 298–300. 
  8. "Ontario election: Riding-by-riding voting results". The Globe and Mail. September 7, 1990. p. A12. 
  9. Order of Canada citation

External links