Leona Dombrowsky


Leona Dombrowsky

Leona Dombrowsky (born April 29, 1957) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. She is currently a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and is a cabinet minister in the government of Premier Dalton McGuinty.

Dombrowsky was born in Belleville, Ontario and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto in 1979. She was elected as a Catholic School trustee on the Hastings-Prince Edward Separate School Board in 1985, and served as its Chair from 1991 to 1996. In 1998, she was elected to the amalgamated Algonquin-Lakeshore Catholic District School Board. She was also a Director of the Ontario Catholic Trustees Association during this period, and served on the Tweed Parks & Recreation Committee from 1991 to 1997.

Dombrowsky was first elected to the Ontario legislature in the provincial election of 1999, as a Liberal in the rural riding of Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington (which surrounds the city of Kingston, Ontario). Her victory was regarded by many as an upset; she defeated incumbent Progressive Conservative Harry Danford by about 2000 votes. The election was won by the Progressive Conservatives; despite her lack of experience, Dombrowsky soon emerged as a prominent voice in the opposition benches, serving as Official Opposition Critic for Community, Family and Children's Services and Deputy House Leader.

The Liberals won the provincial election of 2003, and Dombrowsky was re-elected by HFLA by about 8000 votes over her Progressive Conservative opponent. On October 23, 2003, she was appointed Minister of the Environment. In this capacity, she was responsible for overseeing changes to the province's water supply system (the safety of which was called into question after a tragic outbreak of e-coli in Walkerton, Ontario). Dombrowsky's ministry hired more full-time water inspectors and also called for the phasing out of coal-fired electrical generating plants.

Dombrowsky's appointment was regarded as a surprise, as it had been widely expected that Jim Bradley would be given the Environment portfolio (which he had held during the government of David Peterson). Dombrowsky had few if any "green" credentials at the time of her appointment, and some believed that her appointment signified a reluctance on the party of the McGuinty government to undertake major environmental reforms.

On June 29, 2005 Dombrowsky became Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.


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