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Susan Fish | Canadian Politician, Age, Biography, Early Life, Career, Facts


IntroCanadian politician
Birth21 March 1945, Rio de Janeiro
Age75 years


Susan Fish (born March 21, 1945) is a former Canadian politician. She served in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1981 to 1987, and was a cabinet minister in the governments of Bill Davis and Frank Miller.


Fish was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and raised in New York City. Her father was a sailor in the US Navy and her mother was Brazilian. Her parents separated when she was three years old and her stepfather was a longshoreman in New York City. She lived in the lower east side and started working when she was 12 as a dishwasher in a cafe. She attended St. Lawrence College where she received a degree in political science and obtained a masters in public administration at New York University. She married Christopher Fish and the couple moved to Toronto to start a new life. Christopher returned to New York shortly thereafter, but Fish stayed and started work at the Bureau of Municipal Research. She became executive director at age 23. In 1973 she started working as a policy advisor for David Crombie, the pro-reform Mayor of Toronto. She obtained her Canadian citizenship in 1976.


Fish was elected to Toronto City Council as a reform alderman in 1976, and served until 1980.

Like Crombie, she was a Red Tory. She ran for Bill Davis’ Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in the 1981 Ontario election and was elected as Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for the St. George constituency in downtown Toronto. Shortly after her election, she participated in a rally at Queen’s Park to support the inclusion of sexual identity in the Ontario Human Rights Code.

On July 6, 1983, she was promoted to the Davis cabinet as Minister of Citizenship and Culture. She supported her friend Larry Grossman in his unsuccessful bid to succeed Davis in 1985. Nonetheless, she retained her cabinet post under the new Frank Miller government when he announced his cabinet on February 8, 1985.

Fish was re-elected with a reduced plurality in the 1985 election. On May 17, 1985, she was named as Minister of the Environment in Miller’s short-lived minority government. After the Tories were defeated by a motion of no confidence in June 1985, she continued to serve in the legislature as an opposition MPP. She was defeated in the 1987 Ontario election by Liberal Attorney General Ian Scott, by a margin of 8,055 votes in the redistributed constituency of St. George—St. David.

She returned to politics in the 1991 municipal election when she ran for Mayor of Toronto against Jack Layton, June Rowlands and Betty Disero. Fearing a Layton victory, the business and development community consolidated its support and funding behind Rowlands as the “Anybody but Layton” candidate, forcing Disero and Fish to drop out of the race due to lack of resources.


She currently serves on the Ontario Municipal Board, on the board of Harbourfront Corp., the Metro Action Committee on Public Violence Against Women and Children, and Casey House.

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