Tom Manley (politician)
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Tom Manley (born 1960 in Berwick, Ontario) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He was one of three co-Deputy Leaders of the Green Party of Canada until 2005, and was considered a leading candidate to be its next leader. On Friday, September 23, 2005, Manley resigned from the Green Party to join the Liberal Party of Canada. He ran in the 39th General Election in the Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry riding in Ontario, losing to Conservative Guy Lauzon with a margin of over 14,000 votes.
Manley has a Bachelor of Science degree from the Royal Military College Saint-Jean, in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. He lives with Isabelle Masson, his partner of 13 years. He has one son, Yannick. Manley comes from a political family. Peter Manley, his grandfather, was a successful dairy farmer in Berwick, and served as an Ontario Liberal Party Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for twelve years following a long involvement in municipal politics.
Manley is fluently bilingual in French and English. During his youth, he served as president of the Ontario Liberal Party Youth Association in his riding. He lived in Saskatchewan for a year and in Quebec for sixteen years after his graduation, before returning to Ontario. During his time in Quebec, he worked for Bell Canada in Montreal as a telecommunications sales engineer and engineering manager. His claim to fame came as the project leader in the development and launch of the Bell Sympatico Internet Services system.
Starting as the sole Green Party member in his riding of Stormont—Dundas—Charlottenburgh for two years, he founded local provincial and federal Green Party associations in 2003. He obtained 2098 votes (5.5%) in the provincial election of October 2003, ranking seventh among the highest returns for Green Party of Ontario candidates and finishing third in the riding, ahead of the Ontario New Democratic Party candidate. His grassroots campaign style attracted several new party members from across the political spectrum.
The Green Party of Canada council appointed Manley as Agriculture and Food Advocate, the first member of the GPC Shadow Cabinet, in 2004. He gained national media attention for his suggestions on how to confront and properly address the problems facing the rural economy and farming in Canada.
In the 2004 federal election, he ran as a Green candidate in the redistributed riding of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry and received 3450 votes, or 7.25%. This was the fifth-best performance of a Green candidate in Ontario.
In July 2004, Manley launched a campaign to become leader of the Green Party of Canada. At the party's convention in August 2004, he ran a credible second in a three-way race against incumbent leader Jim Harris and party activist John Grogan. Manley's campaign appealed to Green Party members concerned that Harris was changing the party too quickly, and taking it too far to the right. He expressed particular concern with Harris's endorsement of big business and large corporations, noting that the transportation methods used by such entities are fundamentally at odds with environmental activism and community-oriented economics. (The Green Party has historically supported small businesses and local production.)
About 28% of the party membership voted in the leadership contest. Manley received 352 votes, against 524 for Harris and 74 for Grogan. In January 2005, the GPC Council appointed Manley one of three co-deputy leaders of the party, along with Lynette Tremblay and Andrew Lewis.
On joining the Liberal Party in 2005, Manley indicated that he had not changed his beliefs, and would continue to fight for agriculture and the environment. In November 2005, Manley won the nomination to stand as the Liberal Candidate in the next federal election. At his nomination, Manley noted that his Liberal roots ran deep.
As a teenager, the younger Manley served as president of the Young Liberals Association in S,D and G and was influenced by the leadership of not only his grandfather, but of other prominent Liberals, including Lester B. Pearson, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Lucien Lamoureux and Ed Lumley.
“I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of these Liberal heroes,” said Manley. “I look forward to joining their ranks.”
Manley runs Homestead Organics, a leading Ontario organic farm service & supply business with organic livestock feed, grain processing for food markets, organic farm inputs, & gardening supplies.
He has chaired the Ottawa Chapter of Canadian Organic Growers from 1998 to 2003, and has chaired Eco Farm Day (a large scale organic farmers conference in eastern Ontario) from 1999 to 2013. As of 2013, Tom Manley is the President of the Community Advisory Committee of Alfred Campus of the University of Guelph and sits on the advisory council of Sustain Ontario.