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|Daniel James Macdonnell Heap|
Member of Parliament
|Preceded by||Riding established|
|Succeeded by||Tony Ianno|
Member of Parliament
|Preceded by||Peter Stollery|
|Succeeded by||Riding abolished|
|Born||September 25, 1925
|Political party||New Democratic Party|
|Profession||Anglican priest, labourer|
Daniel James Macdonnell "Dan" (or Don) Heap (born September 24, 1925) is a former Canadian politician with the New Democratic Party. He represented the Toronto, Ontario, Canada riding of Spadina, which, in 1988, was renamed Trinityâ€”Spadina, from 1981 until 1993. He is currently a community activist lobbying for better conditions for the homeless.
From a middle-class background, Heap attended the elite Upper Canada College on a scholarship, and then Queen's University and University of Chicago. He became an Anglican, studied divinity at McGill University and turned to socialism as a member of the Society of the Catholic Commonwealth, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and Student Christian Movement. He was ordained a priest within the Anglican Church of Canada in 1950, and was renowned for his help in the community: for example, he and his wife Alice Heap (nÃ©e Boomhour) passed on their family home in Toronto's Kensington Market area to a community organisation which provides housing for refugees.
After working as a parish priest for only a few years, Heap's longest-held job (18 years) was as a labourer in a box factory in Toronto, where he became involved in a union (now the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada).
Heap entered politics to continue to fight poverty and homelessness, and ran as the New Democratic Party's candidate in Spadina in the 1968 federal election placing second. He also ran in the 1971 provincial election against Allan Grossman in the riding of St. Andrewâ€”St. Patrick. He lost that election by 1137 votes. His first success in politics came when he was elected in the 1972 municipal election as the junior Alderman for Ward 6.. When the Liberal Member of Parliament for Spadina, Peter Stollery, was appointed to the Senate in 1981, Heap decided to run in the subsequent by-election. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau had recommended Stollery for appointment to the Senate in order to open the "safe Liberal riding" for his advisor Jim Coutts. Heap defeated Coutts in the by-election, however, and was re-elected in the 1984 and 1988 elections. He retired prior to the 1993 election.
Heap was an outspoken MP, and a prominent spokesperson for social justice issues both in Canada and abroad. He was very concerned with issues such as refugees, the situations in Central America, East Timor, and South Africa. Heap is also noted for hiring a young Olivia Chow as his constituency office assistant.
Despite retiring from politics, Heap is still involved, strongly backing the anti-war movement, and supporting NDP candidates in the region. He also remains involved at the downtown Church of the Holy Trinity and social justice issues within the Anglican Church of Canada. In retirement, he prefers to go by the name "Don Heap", which he used before entering electoral politics.
Recently he has been involved with the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee which he co-founded.
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