Laurel Broten was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in 2003. She was appointed Minister of Education in October 2011, and she continues to serve as Minister Responsible for Women's Issues.
Broten has served as Minister of Children and Youth Services, Minister of the Environment, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and to the Premier.
As Minister of the Environment, Broten introduced the Clean Water Act designed to better safeguard Ontario's drinking water, ban diversions from the Great Lakes and charge commercial and industrial users for the water they take and use.
As Minister of Children and Youth Services, she oversaw the government's Poverty Reduction Strategy - which has lifted 19,000 children above the poverty line. She passed legislation that made 7,000 additional Crown wards eligible for adoption, and released Ontario's Comprehensive Mental Health Strategy. This means that over 50,000 Ontario kids and their families now have quicker and easier access to the right mental health supports.
As Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, and a tireless advocate for women and children, Broten conducted province-wide consultations that led to the government's Domestic Violence Action Plan and introduced legislation that requires all Ontarians to report images of child abuse. She recently released Ontario's Sexual Violence Action Plan, which both prevents sexual violence and improves support for survivors.
Broten has always been active member of her community. Prior to running for office, she built a successful career practicing equality, commercial and human rights law. She earned her degree from the University of Western Ontario with distinction, and articled at the Supreme Court of Canada for one of Canada's most preeminent jurists.
Broten, who is fluently bilingual, lives in Etobicoke with her husband Paul, twin sons Zachary and Ryan, and their dog, Howard.