Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Chris Bentley Named Ontario's New Attorney General

In a cabinet shuffle announced yesterday, Premier Dalton McGuinty named Chris Bentley as Ontario's new Attorney General.

First elected in 2003, Bentley is MPP for London West.

He previously served as Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities from June, 2005. He was Minister of Labour from 2003 through 2005.

Prior to his election to the Legislature, Bentley practiced criminal and labour law with the London firm, Bentley & LeRoy LLP.

According to his official biography:

He is a graduate of Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School. He attended the University of Western Ontario and received his law degree from the University of Toronto Law School in 1979. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1981 and later obtained a one-year Masters level degree from Cambridge University, England.

Chris practised criminal and labour law before his election as MPP for London West. He represented clients at trial, on appeal, and before various boards and tribunals.
Chris has taught part-time at the University of Western Ontario Law School since 1992. He helped to establish the Law School Careers Office and has lectured at various continuing education courses for judges, crowns, the police, and defence counsel. He is the author of a book on criminal law.

Chris is active in the London community. He was on the organizing committee and was the first chairperson of Neighbourhood Legal Services London & Middlesex, a legal clinic established in London in 1985 to assist low-income clients. He runs and has been a regular participant in the 24-hour relay to raise funds for London's hospitals. Chris has also completed three Boston marathons.

UPDATE: November 2, 2007

Less-than-flattering words on the new Attorney General from Julius Melnitzer at Legal Post.

Behind the quiesence was a singular sense of purpose, a keen interest in politics but disturbingly, also a sense that whatever Chris wanted, Chris got. Always your buddy but definitely not a buddy in bad times.

Much too smart to make the mistake that Michael Bryant, his predecessor, made. You'll never see him upstaging the premier or making his ambitions obvious. Rather, he'll just quietly go about being extremely competent and collecting kudos without acknowledging them. Has the knack of fading into the woodwork but always remaining part of the wall.

Excellent at staying on the good side of the media. Will feed lots of off-the-record information. When he has collected sufficient credits and the time is right, he'll dump anyone who's a liability and make his play for the leadership.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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