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Brian Coburn (politician)

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Brian Coburn
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded byNew riding
Succeeded byPhil McNeely
ConstituencyOttawa—Orléans[note 1]
Personal details
Born1945 (age 78–79)
Cumberland, Ontario
Political partyProgressive Conservative
OccupationBusiness Owner

Brian Coburn (born c. 1945) is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. He sat in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1999 to 2003, representing the riding of Carleton—Gloucester (renamed as Ottawa—Orléans) for the Progressive Conservative Party. Coburn was a cabinet minister in the government of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves.

He is not to be confused with the person of the same name who represents the same area on the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board.


Coburn was educated at Brock University in St. Catharines. A small businessman, he served for ten years as the Mayor of Cumberland. Coburn also served on the Board of Governors for Algonquin College in Ottawa. As mayor, he earned a reputation for fiscal prudence.


Coburn was elected for Carleton—Gloucester in the provincial election of 1999, defeating Liberal Ren Danis by over 6,000 votes.[1] This was considered a major upset. The riding had been solidly Liberal for many years, and most observers thought Danis would win an easy victory. Coburn's win may be attributed to personal popularity and a local issue: many residents saw construction workers from Quebec as a threat to local employment, and voted Tory to protest the situation.

After sitting as a backbencher for two years, Coburn was appointed to the government of Mike Harris as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on February 8, 2001.[2]

In 2002, Coburn endorsed Ernie Eves to succeed Mike Harris as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. When Eves became Premier on April 15, 2002, he named Coburn Associate Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing with Responsibility for Rural Affairs.[3] On February 25, 2003, Coburn was moved to the Minister of Tourism and Recreation.[4]

Coburn carried the banner of an increasingly unpopular party into the 2003 provincial election. The presence of Quebec workers was no longer an issue, and many local residents were angered by increased energy rates under the Harris and Eves governments. Despite gaining endorsements from several local newspapers, Coburn lost to Liberal Phil McNeely, another municipal politician, by about 4,500 votes.[5]

In 2004, he endorsed Frank Klees for the leadership of the Ontario PC Party.

Cabinet positions[edit]

Ontario provincial government of Ernie Eves
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Cam Jackson Minister of Tourism and Recreation
2003 (February–October)
Jim Bradley
New position Associate Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Also Responsible for Rural Affairs
Ernie Hardeman
Ontario provincial government of Mike Harris
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Noble Villeneuve Minister of Agriculture and Food
Helen Johns

Electoral record[edit]

2003 Ontario general election: Ottawa—Orléans
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Phil McNeely 25,300 50.36 +9.92 $ 66,785.00
Progressive Conservative Brian Coburn 20,762 41.32 −13.24 73,997.09
New Democratic Ric Dagenais 2,778 5.53 +2.85 11,889.14
Green Melanie Ransom 1,402 2.79 +1.42 1,069.07
Total valid votes/expense limit 50,242 99.61   $ 76,391.04
Total rejected ballots 197 0.39 −0.21
Turnout 50,439 63.39 +2.52
Eligible voters 79,574   +11.69
Liberal gain from Progressive Conservative Swing +11.58
"General Election of October 2, 2003 – Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
"General Election of October 2, 2003 – Statistical Summary". Elections Ontario. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
"2003 Candidate and Constituency Associations – Candidate Campaign Return (CR-1)". Retrieved May 28, 2014.
1999 Ontario general election: Ottawa—Orléans[a]
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
Progressive Conservative Brian Coburn 24,356 54.56 $ 32,653.11
Liberal René Danis 18,052 40.44 29,722.53
New Democratic Jamie Gallant 1,195 2.68 Unavailable 
Green André Clermont 614 1.38 212.00
Independent Luc Brisebois 247 0.55 0.00
Natural Law Richard Wolfson 177 0.40 0.00
Total valid votes/expense limit 44,641 99.40 $ 70,837.44
Total rejected ballots 270 0.60
Turnout 44,911 60.86
Eligible voters 73,789
  1. ^ During the June 1999 election, this electoral district was also known as “Carleton—Gloucester”

Later life[edit]

Coburn was appointed as a Citizenship Judge for Ottawa, Ontario in October 2006. Brian Coburn Boulevard, an arterial road in Orleans, is named after him.[6]



  1. ^ The riding was called Carlton—Gloucester in the 1999 election. The name was changed to Ottawa—Orléans in 2000.


  1. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 3, 1999. Archived from the original on May 29, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  2. ^ "Flaherty to be new Ontario finance chief". Sudbury Star. February 8, 2001. p. A5.
  3. ^ "Ont-Cabinet". Toronto, Ont: Canadian Press NewsWire. April 15, 2002.
  4. ^ "A list of Ontario's cabinet following Tuesday's shuffle". Canadian Press NewsWire. February 25, 2003. p. 1.
  5. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. October 2, 2003. Retrieved 2014-03-02.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Dept., Service Innovation & Performance (2017-11-09). "City of Ottawa breaks ground for 2.5 km extension of Brian Coburn Boulevard". ottawa.ca. Retrieved 2018-04-26.

External links[edit]