Hello friends,

My name is Ryan Turnbull and I am your MP for the riding of Whitby in Ontario, Canada: a fast-growing and diverse community just east of Toronto. I am a social entrepreneur, a father to Lexi, and a husband to a wonderful woman named Suze. I am passionate about social issues as well as building a sustainable, eco-responsible economy.

My family: Suze, Lexi and our pupper, Charlie.

I’ve been a paperboy, dishwasher, steel worker, waiter, host, security guard, stock boy, cashier, stone mason, landscaper, farm labourer, youth worker, retirement home worker, project coordinator, teacher, researcher, curriculum developer, sessional lecturer, independent contractor, entrepreneur, and then, chief executive officer, all before becoming a politician when elected in 2019 as the Member of Parliament for Whitby. Whether mixing mortar, shovelling soil, grinding burs off steel doors, waiting tables, teaching kids, or managing large contracts to help build a new housing hub for youth, I’ve always worked hard, sought to create value, and make a difference for others.

At a young age, I discovered that I had a passion to serve others and an insatiable desire to work collectively to generate innovative solutions to help people and the planet. Fortunately, I was introduced to an incredibly impactful leadership program when I was 15, which helped me identify my passion in life. After four years of leadership training, I decided to study philosophy at Carleton University, and after throwing myself into that pursuit, I earned a Honours BA with High Honours and an Master’s in Philosophy. Analyzing and attempting to solve complex problems and studying the history of philosophy made me appreciate the myriad ways problems can be conceptualized and understood.

MP Turnbull dressed in a jacket, hat, and backpack, smiles with his arms crossed. Mount Kilimanjaro is in the background.
Mount Kilimanjaro Climb

After graduating, I worked abroad for almost five years, living in South Korea then United Kingdom, where I worked for several universities, teaching and developing curriculum, and overseeing research. My years abroad enriched me in ways that my university education never could. Specifically, those years gave me a deep appreciation and healthy curiosity for learning about other cultures and traditions.

Returning to Canada, I decided to take a leap of faith and start my own management consulting company focused on social innovation and sustainability. With very little money to my name, I registered the company and feverishly began competing for contracts. I quickly got work at a local, charitable organization that ran a halfway house for federal offenders. After just a few months, I began developing two businesses, a moving business, and a catering business. They both employed federal offenders to help them regain a foothold and successfully reintegrate as contributing members of society. These social enterprises were highly successful at getting contracts from the Region of Peel and employing many men coming out of federal penitentiaries. Struck by the power and effectiveness of these socially innovative businesses, I began to specialize in this area. After being awarded contract after contract with non-profits and charities across all social and community service areas, I had developed a real niche. The company grew exponentially, year-over-year, and I developed methodologies for designing sustainable business models for social enterprises and for working collectively to bring about systems change. I specialized in social innovation, design thinking, systems change, collective impact, developmental evaluation and sustainability, and completed over 350 contracts as the CEO of the company that I founded and built from the ground up. I employed 11 people and over 30 contractors, and managed up to 35 projects at any given time.

Each project was an outlet for my passion in life and was a chance to serve and help communities find solutions.  My work included multi-year engagements like evaluating pilot projects across Canada to engage boys and men in gender-based violence prevention; working with the Miksew Cree First Nation to develop an environmental monitoring social enterprise in Northern Alberta; developing a youth mental health and resiliency building smartphone application; conducting a holistic food system assessment of Middlesex-London and then forming a food policy council; designing a hospice for the homeless with a group of doctors in downtown Toronto; working with Simcoe County on developing a highly innovative seniors housing hub on a 10 acre property in Orillia; and many more.  Each one of these projects was an attempt to solve a complex problem by using an inclusive consultation and co-design process to generate innovative solutions and then implement them.

One of the constant realizations I had throughout those 350 projects was that policy and financing were the difference makers, and often determined the success or failure of the most impactful projects.  And this is what drove me to politics. I decided to get involved in politics to create better policy; policy that enables and supports the realization of community-based solutions; policy that helps us scale-up the enterprises and innovations that address some of the toughest and most persistent challenges we face; policy that helps us incorporate social and environmental responsibility into how we do business.

Since being elected by the people of Whitby in 2019 and 2021, I’ve applied my skills and experience, and leveraged my passion for solving problems and my desire to make a difference, to advocate for dozens of projects in our community, as well as, many policy changes.

In September 2023, the Prime Minister of Canada appointed me Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and I currently serve on the Industry and Science & Research standing committees. I also chair the Social Innovation and Sustainable Finance Caucus which I founded. This year we hosted the Sustainable Finance Forum for the second year and hosted over 600 key stakeholders in the industry. From our advocacy, we were able to secure a Green Taxonony, Employee Ownership Trusts and Mandatory Climate-Transition Disclosures for climate-related companies in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement. This will ensure credibility in green investments, allow employees to work toward ownership and ensure that companies pay their fair share on carbon emissions.

Locally, I have secured many investments in our community, including:

  • Whitby Waterfront Trail investments
  • Affordable Housing at the Otter Creek Co-op through the Rapid Housing Initiative
  • Electric Charging Infrastructure for Durham Transit;
  • Rapid Bus Transit Route to improve public transit across Durham;
  • Broadband internet projects throughout Whitby to ensure people have access to reliable, high-speed internet;
  • Durham Greener Homes Program so people can easily improve the energy efficiency in their homes;
  • Renovations to the Civic Recreation Centre to make this facility more accessible and family-friendly;
  • Electric vehicle manufacturing for General Motors Canada to create jobs across Durham Region in a growing industry;
  • Bike lanes, trails, and park renovations to improve our outdoor and community spaces, and promote active, healthy lifestyles;
  • Electric vehicle charging stations to make it easier to charge-up while you are driving around Durham Region;
  • Affordable housing projects to ensure that more young families, seniors, women, and individuals with limited income can find a place to call home;
  • We currently have dozens more projects in the application phase and will see them come to fruition in 2024.

Every day I strive to serve the people of Whitby better and to make contributions to national policy that will help empower communities and scale innovative solutions! For as long as the people of Whitby will have me, I will continue to fight for them.

If you need anything or want to share your feedback or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at ryan.turnbull@parl.gc.ca or call 905-665-8182.

How can I help?