Bob Rae named Parliamentarian of the Year; Olivia Chow accepts Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of Jack Layton

Maclean's and L'actualité hand out Parliamentarians of the Year awards at Ottawa soirée

"This would have meant a lot to Jack," Chow tells crowd of about 300

TORONTO, Nov. 21, 2011 /CNW/ - Maclean's and L'actualité magazine in association with the Historica-Dominion Institute and Presenting Sponsor TD, celebrated the 5th annual Parliamentarians of the Year awards this evening at the Château Laurier hotel in Ottawa. Attended by members of Parliament, some of the country's most prominent journalists and other Canadians of note, the event honours Canada's top MPs, as voted by their peers in the House of Commons.

The award winners will be featured in the Maclean's hitting newsstands beginning Thursday, Nov. 24, and the L'actualité on newsstands Nov. 25, as well as at and  

Lifetime Achievement Award
To mark the 5th anniversary of the Parliamentarian of the Year Awards, for the first time, Maclean's and L'actualité also selected one politician to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. The winner is former NDP Leader Jack Layton, who died Aug. 22, 2011, while in office as the Leader of the Opposition. His wife Olivia Chow, MP for Toronto's Trinity—Spadina, accepted the award this evening on his behalf.

"This would have meant a lot to Jack," Chow told crowd of about 300. "He loved being a parliamentarian."

Parliamentarian of the Year
This year's Parliamentarian of the Year is Bob Rae, Liberal MP for Toronto Centre and interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada since May 2011. Ralph Goodale, Liberal MP for Wascana (Saskatchewan) accepted the award on Rae's behalf. 

In addition to the coveted Parliamentarian of the Year award, six other awards were bestowed upon MPs: hardest working, best orator, most collegial, most knowledgeable, Rookie of the Year and Best Represents Constituents.

Maclean's 2011 Parliamentarians of the Year winners:

Lifetime Achievement: Jack Layton (posthumously, former NDP leader—accepted by wife Olivia Chow)

Parliamentarian of the Year: Hon. Bob Rae (Lib.), Toronto Centre

  • runner up: Hon. John Baird (Cons.), Ottawa West—Nepean

Hardest working: Hon. Jason Kenney (Cons.), Calgary Southeast

  • runner up: Joe Comartin (NDP), Windsor—Tecumseh (Ont.)

Best Orator: Hon. John Baird (Cons.), Ottawa West—Nepean

  • runner up: Pat Martin (NDP), Winnipeg Centre

Most Collegial: Peter Stoffer (NDP), Sackville—Eastern Shore (N.S.)

  • runner up: Rodger Cuzner (Lib.), Cape Breton—Canso (N.S.)

Most Knowledgeable: Joe Comartin (NDP), Windsor—Tecumseh (Ont.)

  • runner up: Hon. John Baird (Cons.), Ottawa West—Nepean

Rookie of the Year: Chris Alexander (Cons.), Ajax—Pickering (Ont.)

  • runner up: Ted Hsu (Lib.), Kingston and the Islands (Ont.)

Best Represents Constituents: Hon. Michael Chong (Cons.), Wellington—Halton Hills (Ont.)

  • runner up: Hon. Denis Coderre (Lib.), Bourassa (Que.)  

How we did it
Ipsos Reid asked all members of Parliament to nominate the best MPs in each of seven categories. MPs cast votes for members both in and outside their parties. The votes were converted to a point system to ensure that larger parties did not have an advantage. The MP who received the most points in each category won. The MP who earned the highest number of total points was named Parliamentarian of the Year.

About Maclean's:
Maclean's is Canada's only national weekly current affairs magazine. Maclean's enlightens, engages and entertains 2.4 million readers with strong investigative reporting and exclusive stories from leading journalists in the fields of international affairs, social issues, national politics, business and culture. Visit

Image with caption: "Olivia Chow speaks to a crowd of about 300 as she accepts an award on behalf of Jack Layton at the Parliamentarians of the Year awards Monday night in Ottawa. The Parliamentarian Awards are presented by Maclean's and L'actualité magazines. (CNW Group/Maclean's Magazine)". Image available at:

SOURCE Maclean's Magazine

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Louise Leger, (416) 764-4125,

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