BACKGROUND: Witnessing the world around him, Patrick Boyer developed an emotional approach to ethics. This created an impulse for justice — legal justice for victims of wrongdoing, social justice for anyone left on the margins.
His instinct for justice gradually extended to feelings about the community itself, as an impulse to protect the public commons from predators and achieve a social harmony through equality for all and special privileges for none.
Pursuing “the Just Society” through lofty goals was inspirational, but Patrick sought realism in a harsh world. More immediate and tangible would be to create justice by removing injustice.
When it became clear to him that patterns in society emerge through the combined interaction of institutions and individuals, he sought to alter patterns of behaviour by engaging this relationship. Reform could not be a superficial quick-fix. It required a cultural shift. This, he realized, required a lifetime of engagement on many fronts, which led Boyer into journalism, law, politics, advocacy, and creating new organizations.
CAREER INFO ABOUT BOYER: Born in 1945, Boyer has worked as a typesetter and printer, reporter and television host, newspaper columnist and broadcast commentator. As a lawyer with a major Toronto firm he specialized in electoral law and communications law, government issues, and legal affairs in the far North. Patrick became Member of Parliament representing Toronto’s Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding from 1984 to 1993. In the Commons he chaired the Parliamentary Committee on Equality Rights, the Parliamentary Committee on the Status of Disabled Persons, and a committee on electoral law reform. He also served as Parliamentary Secretary for External Affairs, and later Parliamentary Secretary for National Defence.
He holds degrees from Carleton University in economics and political science, from University of Toronto in law and history, and also studied at Université de Montréal and the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Dr. Boyer taught political ethics as a faculty member at University of Guelph, and also taught history at York University, Canadian constitutional law at Wilfrid Laurier University, and the law of Canadian democracy at University of Toronto.
He founded The Northern Institute for Public Policy, Breakout Educational Network, and the Corinne Boyer Fund for Ovarian Cancer Research and Treatment (today Cancer Care Canada).
Author of some 20 books, including A Passion for Justice, Solitary Courage, Raw Life, and Hands-On Democracy, Patrick Boyer has also written more than 600 newspaper and magazine articles, and many parliamentary and professional reports.
As a book publisher, Boyer is president of Muskoka Books and Blue Butterfly Books, and is editor-at-large with Dundurn, another independent Canadian book publishing house. His most recent book published in April 2013, is Another Country, Another Life.