Chris Korwin-Kuczynski

Chris Korwin-Kuczynski (born 1953) is a Canadian politician. He served as a councillor in Toronto from 1981 to 2003, and was the city's deputy mayor for a time.

He was born Chris Korwin-Kuczynski in Toronto, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from York University. He has been a director of the Polish-Canadian Congress, and has served as a special assistant to the federal Minister of State for Multiculturalism. He ran unsuccessfully for city council in 1980 as Chris Korwin but was successful on his second attempt, in a 1981 by-election.

In 1992, Korwin-Kuczynski successfully urged that the music group Barenaked Ladies be banned from performing a concert in Nathan Phillips Square because he believed their name objectified women (Toronto Star, 20 July 2005). This decision was widely ridiculed, and gave considerable publicity to the then-obscure band.

Korwin-Kuczynski was a member of the council's right-wing, and was a frequent ally of fellow councillor Tom Jakobek (Toronto Star, 29 November 1994). Kyle Rae has suggested that Korwin-Kuczynski became isolated on council when Jakobek left in 2000 (Globe and Mail, 16 September 2003).

In 1993, Korwin-Kuczynski was removed as chair of the Toronto Board of Health after criticizing a strongly-worded AIDS prevention pamphlet published by the AIDS Committee of Toronto (Toronto Star, 23 January 1993). He had suggested that the Committee, which received significant support from Toronto's gay community, be denied city funding if it continued publishing such materials (Globe and Mail, 25 January 1995). Referring to his dismissal after the vote, he commented, "[t]he only real issue I think this all stems from is AIDS, the whole issue surrounding the gay issue" (Toronto Star, 22 January 1993).

Kyle Rae, who is openly gay, has said that Korwin-Kuczynski was anti-gay during the early 1990s but later changed his views. In 2003, Rae was quoted as saying, "He's now generally supportive of these issues, but that didn't come easily."

He opposed a 1996 municipal bill that banned smoking in restaurants and bars, and requested that provincial Premier Mike Harris veto the measure (Montreal Gazette, 8 July 1996).

Korwin-Kuczynski considered running for the Liberal nomination in Parkdale—High Park in the 1997 federal election, but ultimately declined (Toronto Star, 16 February 1997). He retired from the council in 2003, amid rumours that he would move into consulting work (Toronto Star, 24 December 2003).

He endorsed Dennis Mills's bid for re-election in the 2004 federal election, and a newspaper report from the period suggest that he was considering running as a Liberal candidate in the next federal election (Globe and Mail, 22 December 2003).

On September 27, 2006, he filed papers to run in the Toronto municipal election, 2006 in Ward 14. However the next day he withdrew his nomination. This allowed him to retain a fundraising surplus of $21,742 leftover from his last campaign. If he hadn't done this the money would have flowed into the city coffers.

Korwin-Kuczynski is an honorary Captain of the Canadian Navy. His nickname is K-K.

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