Michael Chong’s profound love of Canada and desire to give back through public service starts with the story of his parents.
He is the son of immigrant parents – his mother was Dutch, his father Chinese. Both witnessed the courage of Canadian troops as they fought to free Netherlands from the Nazis and Hong Kong from the Japanese. That influenced their individual decisions to choose Canada as a new home, where they later met, married and raised their family, including Michael who was born in 1971. He knows that it is our diversity that unites and enriches Canada.
Michael’s life was touched by tragedy when he lost his mother at the age of six in a car accident. His father remarried and the couple raised the children in a loving home. In a tragic coincidence, Michael's father also lost his life in a car accident at the same rural intersection 20 years later. These events had a profound effect on Michael's life at the time and on the development of his character, teaching him to appreciate every moment.
He earned a degree in philosophy at the University of Toronto. More importantly he met his future wife, Carrie. Together they are raising their three young boys in Welllington County, Ontario. William, Alistair, and Cameron are his proudest achievement among all his personal and professional successes.
At the age of 26, Michael co-founded the Dominion Institute (now known as Historica Canada, producer of the popular Heritage Minutes commercials), an organization committed to raising Canadians' awareness of history and civics and still sits on its board.
He has worked for and supported many community initiatives, including Grammy and Juno nominated The Elora Festival and Singers, the fundraising committee of Groves Memorial Hospital in Fergus, and co-founded the Fergus Highland Rugby Club.
Professionally, he held increasingly senior positions in the financial services sector with Barclay's Bank and Research Capital Corporation as well as the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the National Hockey League Players' Association, where he served as Chief Information Officer.
His first involvement in politics as a teen in Fergus volunteering on then MP Perrin Beatty’s campaign led eventually to his election in 2004 as MP for Wellington-Halton Hills. He served in Cabinet as President of the Queen's Privy Council, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Minister for Sport.
A relentless advocate for strengthening democratic institutions, he was successful in getting his private member's bill the Reform Act, passed in 2015. A fiscal conservative, Michael supports controlled spending, balanced budgets, small government, lower taxes and believes in the principles of free markets and free enterprise. But when markets fail, governments have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable.
He believes in a robust, hard-nosed foreign policy, reflective of the realities faced by Canada.
He believes that Canada must bolster environmental policy, address climate change and develop pragmatic solutions that conserve the environment without hurting the economy. Conservation is a Conservative value and this is at the centre of Michael’s vision of a modern Conservative Party.