Glen's Story

Glen Murray was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. He attended Concordia University’s School of Community and Public Affairs for four years, majoring in Urban Studies. While at Concordia, he served as student union president. He moved to Winnipeg in the 1980s to work in communications and lead Canada’s first AIDS clinic. Moved by what he saw in the AIDS epidemic he ran for public office and served as a City of Winnipeg councillor for nine years, and then as Mayor of Winnipeg for six years. His political life led him to Toronto where – after a time in the private sector – he successfully ran in Canada’s most populous and culturally diverse riding Toronto Centre as a Liberal candidate. While sitting in the Ontario legislature for eight years he held several portfolios including the Minister of the Environment. His vision about climate change, its causes and collaborative  solutions have attracted attention from around the world. He is a highly sought after public speaker on the environment and how creating the conditions for a healthy, thriving society takes teamwork.

2018 – 2020

Chief Innovation Officer for creative applications for Sustainable Technologies and Senior Strategic Advisor for Emerge Knowledge the North American leader in circular economy information technology.

2019 - 2020

Board member of Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

2017 – 2018

CEO of the Pembina Institute

2014 – 2017

Ontario Minister for the Environment leading such initiatives as:

  • Ontario’s groundbreaking zero waste and circular economy act
  • Ontario’s cap-and-trade system
  • Quebec-Ontario-California carbon market
  • the Great Lakes Protection Act
  • the remediation of mercury and restoration of the Wabigoon River around Grassy Narrows and the establishment of an $85 million dollar fund overseen by the First Nations after 50 years of neglect

Received Canada’s “Clean 50” for his leadership in fighting climate change

2010, 2011 and 2014

Elected to Ontario legislature as the MPP for Toronto Centre Ontario – Cabinet Minister with several portfolios including Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Minister of Infrastructure, Minister of Transportation, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Minister of Research and Innovation

2008 – 2010

Member of the Advisory Panel to the Premier of Ontario on the Development of a Provincial Climate Action Plan

2005 – 2008

Chair of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) served under Prime Ministers Paul Martin and Stephen Harper

1998 – 2004

Mayor of Winnipeg leading the national charge for fairer municipal funding, which led the federal government to transfer the equivalent of 5 cents a litre of federal tax on gas to municipalities for infrastructure renewal and construction

1989 – 1998

City of Winnipeg Councillor

1992 – 1993

Councillor and Chair of the City of Winnipeg Standing Committee of Planning Property and Development and a Member of the Executive Committee.


Co-created environmental small business Envirofit that helped other small businesses reduce energy and material consumption and help them shift to recovered resources

Urban Planning

2007 – 2010

President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute

2006 – 2008

Served on the Advisory Committee to the Premier of Ontario on a New City of Toronto Act and the creation of a new model for municipal government funding and revenue.

2005 – 2007

Managing Partner of AuthentiCITY, a Toronto based Urban Sustainability consulting and planning firm

2003 – 2005

Cofounded the C5 with Jane Jacobs, building a cross sector leadership group in Canada’s regional hub cities that developed the ideas and foundation for the “New Deal” for cities

2002 – 2004

Chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Big City Mayors’ Caucus


Created Winnipeg’s first urban Aboriginal policy, First Steps: Municipal Aboriginal Pathways


Worked with Winnipeg business leaders to build a new city sports and entertainment complex and bring the Jets back to Winnipeg as an NHL team


Served on the executive board of Federation of Canadian Municipalities and on numerous committees on public safety, infrastructure and new fiscal arrangements for cities


Awards / Acknowledgements / Appointments


Received Canada’s “Clean 50” for leadership in fighting climate change


Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding public service


President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Canadian Institute of Planners


Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Design and Senior Resident at Massey College, University of Toronto


National recipient of Fighting for LGBT Justice & Equality Award from Egale Canada


Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding community service


Honourary Member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada


Recipient of an Eagle Feather from Winnipeg’s First Nations leaders while Mayor of Winnipeg


Health, Education, Human Rights


Board member for Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights


Worked to successfully move the Province of Ontario to gift (return) land to Ashinawbe Heath Centre for the establishment of a comprehensive indigenous cultural, health and community centre and housing


Created Ontario’s student assistance programs that led to dramatic reductions in postsecondary education tuition

1998 – 2002

Rode thousands of kilometers in North America for Habitat for Humanity’s affordable housing fundraisers


Was a champion for the creation of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the first national museum outside of Ottawa


Founding member of the Canadian AIDS Society, founder and member of AIDS Services Organizations working group of the World Health Organization Global Program on AIDS

1987 – 1992

Director of Health Education and HIV Prevention Services at the Village Clinic/9 Circles Community Health Centre in Winnipeg


Toronto Gay Patrol

Over the Years

Glen has served on several university, hospital and community boards, including, Riverview Health Centre, the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR), the Expo 2015 Bid Committee and the Toronto District School Board’s Reference Group for Improving Services for Marginalized Students.