Election To The Ontario Legislature
On September 20, 2001 Prue won a by-election to replace retiring NDP MPP Frances Lankin in the Ontario legislature. There was some controversy during the by-election. Liberal candidate Bob Hunter accused the NDP of smearing his reputation. He accused Prue of calling him a pedophile based on a book he wrote in 1988. Pages of the book, which portrayed sexual encounters with young prostitutes, were faxed to journalists during the campaign. Hunter launched a libel lawsuit against Prue and NDP leader Howard Hampton but dropped the idea after the election. Prue won the by-election with 50% of the vote while Hunter received 36%.
He was re-elected in 2003 and 2007 with large pluralities.
In 2002 Prue undertook a week-long "welfare diet", trying to live on $12.05 for an entire week to draw attention to the condition of Ontario's poorest residents under the Mike Harris government. In 2004 during a debate over expenses charged by school trustees, Prue said that city councillors could do much of the work of trustees. He appeared to support combining the two roles. In 2007 he supported a push for more accountability for executive compensation packages. In May, 2007, he tabled a private member's bill called the Conrad Black Executive Compensation Abuse Act which sought to have pay packages put to binding shareholder votes.
He has also championed affordable housing in Toronto, and measures to improve the lives of those with developmental disabilities.
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