Don Boudria

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Don Boudria
MPP for Prescott and Russell
In office
Preceded by Joseph Albert Bélanger
Succeeded by Jean Poirier
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
In office
Preceded by Denis Éthier
Succeeded by Pierre Lemieux
Personal details
Born (1949-08-30) August 30, 1949 (age 73)
Hull, Quebec
Political party Liberal
Residence Sarsfield, Ontario
Religion Roman Catholic

Donald "Don" Boudria, PC (born August 30, 1949) is a former Canadian politician. He served in the Canadian House of Commons from 1984 to 2005 as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada, and was a cabinet minister in the government of Jean Chrétien.

Municipal and provincial politics

Boudria was born in Hull, Quebec, raised in Sarsfield, Ontario, and educated in the area, and was a public servant before entering political life. A Franco-Ontarian, he was elected as a councillor in Cumberland Township in 1976, and remained a council member until his election to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in the 1981 provincial election. Boudria defeated Progressive Conservative incumbent Joseph Albert Bélanger by 5,172 votes in Prescott and Russell, and served in the legislature for three years as a member the Ontario Liberal Party, which was then the official opposition to the Progressive Conservative government of William Davis.

Entry into federal politics

He left provincial politics to run for the House of Commons in the 1984 federal election. Boudria won a convincing victory in Ontario's easternmost riding, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, even as his party suffered a landslide defeat against Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservatives. Joining the opposition benches of the Commons in 1984, he became a member of the Liberal Rat Pack with Brian Tobin, Sheila Copps and John Nunziata. This group of young Liberals made it their business to harass the Tories at every possible turn.

Re-election and cabinet positions

Boudria was re-elected without difficulty in 1988, 1993, 1997 and 2000. Like the other Rat Pack members, he rose rapidly in the Liberal ranks. From 1991 to 1993, he served as Deputy Liberal House Leader. After the Liberals won a huge majority in 1993, Boudria became a backbencher once again for a time. He was appointed Chief Government Whip on September 15, 1994. He held this position until October 4, 1996, when he was named to Cabinet as Minister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for La Francophonie.

Boudria was named Leader of the Government in the House of Commons after the 1997 election. He retained this position until January 14, 2002, when he was again given a full portfolio as Minister of Public Works and Government Services. In March 2002, he stayed at a weekend resort owned by Groupe Everest, a prominent recipient of departmental funds. The trip was paid for by Boudria's son, and the minister was not directly accused of a conflict of interest. He was nonetheless deemed to have shown poor judgement, and was reassigned as Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons on May 26, 2002.[1]

Boudria is the only cabinet minister in Canadian history to have earned a university degree during his ministerial tenure. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Waterloo in 1999, after taking courses by correspondence.

Chrétien loyalist

Boudria was known within the Liberal caucus as a leading Chrétien loyalist. During Question Period, he frequently handed Chrétien notes from a white binder, a practice that led Reform Party deputy leader Deb Grey to call him "Binder Boy." The nickname stuck. He lost his cabinet position in December 2003 when Paul Martin replaced Chrétien as Liberal leader and prime minister. Subsequently, he was elected chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages (3rd session of the 37th parliament) and the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (1st session of the 38th parliament).

On May 6, 2005, Boudria announced he would not run in the next election.

Life after government

Boudria's memoir, Busboy: From Kitchen to Cabinet, was published in late 2005. In 2006, he assisted Stéphane Dion's campaign for the leadership of the Liberal Party. Boudria joined Ottawa-based public relations agency Hill & Knowlton Canada as a senior associate in May 2006, and was promoted to senior counsellor in March 2007.

His son Dan Boudria was elected to the Conseil des écoles catholiques de langue française du Centre-Est in the 2006 municipal elections. In early 2007, the Liberal Party of Canada Association of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell selected his son as candidate in the 2008 federal election. He lost to incumbent Conservative candidate Pierre Lemieux.

Electoral record

Canadian federal election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Don Boudria 23,921 47.9% -20.1%
Conservative Alain Lalonde 18,729 37.5% +10.2%
New Democratic Martin Cauvier 4,238 8.5% +4.4%
Green Roy Fjarlie 2,634 5.3%
Christian Heritage Tim Bloedow 464 0.9%
Total valid votes 49,986 100.0%

Note: Conservative vote is compared to the total of the Canadian Alliance vote and Progressive Conservative vote in 2000 election.

Canadian federal election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Don Boudria 31,371 68.0% -4.0%
Alliance L. Sebastian Anders 8,632 18.7% +9.2%
Progressive Conservative Ashley O'Kurley 3,942 8.5% -4.0%
New Democratic Guy Belle-Isle 1,877 4.1% -0.6%
Natural Law Wayne Foster 334 0.7% +0.3%
Total valid votes 46,156 100.0%

Note: Canadian Alliance vote is compared to the Reform vote in 1997 election.

Canadian federal election, 1997: Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Don Boudria 34,986 71.98 −8.23 $ 46,386  
Progressive Conservative France Somers 6,109 12.57 +4.38 10,057  
Reform Mike Lancop 4,599 9.46 +1.48 2,386  
New Democratic Fred Cappuccino 2,289 4.71 +2.37 11,524  
Green Richard Kerr 417 0.86   499  
Natural Law Mary Glasser 207 0.43 −0.42 0  
Total valid votes/Expense limit 48,607 100.0   −12.93 $ 62,182  
Total rejected ballots 598 1.22
Turnout 49,205 68.68
Electors on the lists 71,639
Sources: Elections Canada Official Voting Results and Financial Returns
Canadian federal election, 1993
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Don Boudria 44,775 80.2% +9.5%
Progressive Conservative France Somers 4,572 8.2% -10.9%
Reform Sam McCracken 4,456 8.0%
New Democratic Pascal Villeneuve 1,304 2.3% -6.8%
Natural Law Pierrette Blondin 473 0.8%
Libertarian Jean-Serge Brisson 244 0.4% -0.2%
Total valid votes 55,824 100.0%
Canadian federal election, 1988
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Don Boudria 35,280 70.7% +17.6%
Progressive Conservative Roger R. Presseault 9,517 19.1% -13.9%
New Democratic Helena McCuaig 4,537 9.1% -4.8%
Libertarian Jean-Serge Brisson 335 0.7%
Commonwealth of Canada John Feres 199 0.4%
Total valid votes 49,868 100.0%
Canadian federal election, 1984
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Don Boudria 26,057 53.1% -15.4%
Progressive Conservative John Stante 16,170 33.0% +13.3%
New Democratic Annemarie Collard 6,838 13.9% +13.7%
Total valid votes 49,065 100.0%


  1. "Guide to Canadian Ministries since Confederation". Government of Canada. Retrieved 21 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

26th Ministry – Cabinet of Jean Chrétien
Cabinet Posts (4)
Predecessor Office Successor
' Minister of State
(NB: no portfolio specified - while House Leader)
Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Ralph Goodale
' Minister of State
(NB: no portfolio specified - while House Leader)
Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Cooperation
Diane Marleau
Special Cabinet Responsibilities
Predecessor Title Successor
Pierre Pettigrew Minister responsible for La Francophonie
Diane Marleau
Special Parliamentary Responsibilities
Predecessor Title Successor
Ralph Goodale Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
second time
Jacques Saada
Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
first time
Ralph Goodale