Phil Edmonston

Phil Edmonston

Infobox CanadianMP |name=Louis-Phillip Edmonston

|term_start= February 12, 1990
term_end= 1993
predecessor= Richard Grisé
birth_date= birth date and age |1944|05|26
birth_place= Washington, D.C., USA
successor= Ghislain Lebel
profession= Consumer advocate, editor, journalist, writer
party=New Democratic Party
party colour=NDP

Louis-Phillip (Phil) Edmonston (born May 26, 1944 in Washington, D.C.) is a Canadian consumer advocate, writer and former politician;cite web |url= |title=The Writers' Union of Canada - Phil Edmonston |accessdate=2008-01-02 |format= |] making him one of the few politicians with dual American/Canadian citizenship to be elected to Canadian Parliament.cite web |url= |title=Phil Edmonston's |accessdate=2008-01-02 |format= |]

He is best known for his series of annual "Lemon-Aid" car guides.


Edmonston served as a United States Army infantry medic in Panama from 1961 to 1964 and graduated from the Canal Zone College. He subsequently immigrated to Montreal where he became known as a journalist and consumer advocate.

In journalism, Edmonston has worked as a television reporter, a syndicated newspaper columnist, and as a host of his own open-line show.cite web |url= |title=Phil Edmonston - Authors - Random House |accessdate=2008-01-02 |format= |]

Consumer advocate

In 1968, he founded the Automobile Protection Association which uncovered and disseminated information about automobile defects and successfully pressured the auto industry for several recalls. Edmonston was president of the APA until 1987. As President of the APA, Edmonston worked on thousands of consumer claims against automobile manufacturers and won million dollar settlements and hundreds of lawsuits for consumers.

His work with the association led to the "Lemon-Aid" series of car manuals, issued annually since the 1970s.

Edmonston has served as a pro-bono witness on automobile defects and safety before numerous courts and government committees. In 1982, he testified on inadequate automobile quality and rust protection before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Technology and successfully pressured Ford to become the first automaker to provide a corrosion compensation warranty.

He is the author of over 100 best-selling books on consumer rights and the automobile industry.

Political career

Edmonston entered politics in the 1988 federal election as a candidate for the New Democratic Party (NDP) in Chambly placing second. He won the riding in his second attempt, a 1990 by-election in which he defeated former Quebec cabinet minister Clifford Lincoln by almost 20,000 votes becoming the first-ever Member of Parliament from Quebec to be elected for the NDP.cite web |url= |title=History of Federal Ridings since 1867 |accessdate=2008-01-02 |format=HTML |work=Parliament of Canada] (Another Quebec MP, Robert Toupin from Terrebonne, had previously crossed the floor to the NDP in 1986.)

His relationship with the NDP was at times turbulent. During the party's 1989 leadership campaign, he threatened to resign from the party if Dave Barrett became leader. A Quebec nationalist, Edmonston was offended by Barrett's view that western alienation was more important than Quebec's grievances over the constitution. Edmonston's differences with the NDP over its position on Canadian federalism and against decentralization and devolving powers to Quebec contributed to his decision not to run for re-election in the 1993 election.


External links

* []
* [ Audio interview with THECOMMENTARY.CA November 2007]

s-ttl|title=Member of Parliament for Chambly

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