Councillor Norm Kelly is a trained Historian. He studied Canadian political history at the University of Western Ontario (undergraduate) and Carleton and Queen’s universities (post-graduate).
Among his most important accomplishments was his two year research for the best-selling books in the field of Canadian History: The National Dream and The Last Spike.
The National Dream won Canada’s most prestigious literary prize, The Governor General’s Award, and was transferred to television by the CBC in a very popular, award-winning documentary series of the same name.
In researching these two volumes, Mr. Kelly was the first historian to detail the contribution of Chinese workers toward the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (the CPR) in the province of British Columbia. The importance of Chinese labour to the building of the railroad that functioned as Canada’s economic and political spine for the first 100 years of Confederation was recently recognized by the erection of a statue in their honour in Toronto by the Chinese community of that city.
Shortly after completing his research on the CPR in 1973, Mr. Kelly was appointed Chairman of the History Department at Canada’s internationally renowned private college, Upper Canada College (UCC).
During his stay at UCC, Mr. Kelly also served three successive terms in political office as an Alderman on the Municipal Council of the then Borough of Scarborough (1974 – 1980).
In 1980, Mr. Kelly resigned from Upper Canada College when he won a seat as a Liberal in the Federal House of Commons under the leadership of the Right Honourable Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
As a Member of Parliament, Mr. Kelly was twice appointed Parliamentary Secretary: first, to the Ministry of Supply and Services and then to the President of the Treasury Board. In this latter capacity, Mr. Kelly was given the responsibility of guiding the Government’s reorganization of its Crown Corporations, Bill C-124, through the House of Commons and its Committees.
Mr. Kelly also served on a number of Standing Committees of the House of Commons, among them: (1) Energy, Mines and Resources (through which he met the leading businessmen in Canada in this field); (2) Industry Trade and Commerce; and, (3) Public Accounts, which monitors, with the Assistance of the Auditor General, the expenditures of the Government of Canada.
Of particular note in Mr. Kelly’s parliamentary career was his appointment in 1983 to the Special Committee on Visible Minorities in Canadian Society. This Committee was charged with the responsibility of doing the initial research on the status of visible minorities in Canadian society. Mr. Kelly played a leading role in that Committee, whose deliberations took it across Canada and into all of its communities.
Mr. Kelly also played a prominent role in preparing the committee’s report, Equality Now, containing eighty ground-breaking recommendations aimed at protecting visible minority cultures in Canada while integrating their members into the Canadian mainstream.
Mr. Kelly entered his real estate career after the defeat of the Liberal Government in 1984. He returned to public office in 1994 as a Metro Councillor in Toronto, the largest City in Canada. After amalgamation in 1997, he was re-elected successfully as a City Councillor and has been re-elected with top 4 ranking in every term afterwards.
At the Special Meetings on November 15 and November 18, 2013, City Council delegated most of the powers and duties that are not assigned to the Mayor by statute to the Deputy Mayor until a new Council takes office in December 2014.
Councillor Kelly currently sits on the following committees, agencies and boards:
- Scarborough Community Council
- Economic Development Committee
- Civic Appointments Committee
- Striking Committee
- Board of Directors of the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Mayor’s designate
- Committee of Adjustment Nominating Panel
- Canadian National Exhibition Association, Municipal Section
- Canadian National Exhibition Association, Board of Directors
- Toronto Symphony Board of Directors
- Kennedy Road BIA