For a decade, Joe Comartin has brought dignity, civility and purpose to the political process, while offering nationally-recognized Parliamentary excellence on Windsor-Tecumseh’s behalf through a divisive and tumultuous period in our nation's history. His life and career closely reflect the unique circumstance, determination and character of our community.
Born into poverty at Stoney Point in 1947, Joe was one of eight children raised by a single mother following the immediate death of his father, an auto-worker, after his birth.
Working his own way through University and eventually earning admission to the University of Windsor Law School, Joe has always been drawn to causes which promised to alleviate the suffering of vulnerable people.
This commitment to tough but noble fights came to define not just his political outlook, but also his career as a prominent trial attorney, dedicated community activist and, eventually, a distinguished legislator. He took up the struggle of Canadian workers and their families devastated by horrific industrial illnesses, fighting and winning on both sides of the Detroit River for the compensation they deserved.
He served as the founding Director of the Windsor/Essex C.A.W. Legal Services Plan, effectively managing the largest private sector legal defence fund in Canada on behalf of hundreds of thousands of working men and women. After serving Windsor/Essex in countless voluntary capacities, leading a wide variety of organizations dedicated to the establishment of affordable housing, environmental protection, accessible child care and pension protection, he was first elected to Parliament in 2000.
Re-elected in 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2011 he’s evolved into a universally respected voice in the House of Commons, a fierce defender of progressive principles and a respectful conciliator able and willing to reach across party lines in pursuit of the public interest. Recognized three times by colleagues from all parties in the Maclean's/Dominion Awards as Canada’s 'Most Knowledgeable' MP, a veteran member of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, a Member of the Board of Internal Economy, a Member of the Procedure and House Affairs Committee, and one of the founding co-chairs of the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care, Joe’s involvements are reflective of his passion for politics, and the legal system.
His much-celebrated 2008 run for Speaker of the House of Commons drew national attention to the need for greater decorum and civility in Parliament. In 2012, he was unanimously elected Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons by his colleagues from all parties.
Joe has been married to the love of his life, Maureen, since 1969. They proudly raised their three children, Eric, Adam and Heidi in Windsor, Ontario. Since 2008, Joe and Maureen have been blessed by the arrival of their first five grandchildren: Spencer, Isabella, Grayden, Connor, Jacob and Karmyn.