Ted Opitz - Biography
Ted Opitz was born in the Parkdale area of Toronto in 1961 and is the youngest of four children. Ted's parents were originally from Poland and immigrated to Canada shortly after World War II. In 1978, Mr. Opitz enrolled as a private in the Canadian Army Reserves and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel during 33 years of service. In 1998 and early 1999, he served in Bosnia as a member of NATO's Stabilization Force (SFOR). Prior to being elected to Parliament, LCol Opitz was the Commanding Officer of The Lincoln and Welland Regiment until his election in May 2011.
Mr. Opitz relies on his military foundations, where no one gets left behind and he believes strongly that each and every person in Etobicoke Centre has a right to his undivided attention and that he has a duty to provide it.
Between 2009 and 2011, Ted was a Senior Regional Advisor to the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. This was a formative role for Mr. Opitz. During this time he had a chance to work closely with the GTA’s diverse communities and address their concerns.
In 2011 Ted was elected to Parliament. Mr. Opitz sat on four committees over this period; the Standing Committee on National Defence, Citizenship and Immigration, Veterans Affairs and the prestigious Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.
During his tenure as a Member of Parliament, Mr. Opitz served as the Chair of Canada-Ukraine and Canada-Croatia Parliamentary Friendship Groups.
In February 2012, Mr. Opitz was chosen as a delegate to represent the Parliament of Canada at the 56th Conference on the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
Mr. Opitz was also tasked to attend several international conferences on Somalia, focusing on the recovery of that nation after years of war and political turmoil. He has also accompanied Prime Minister Harper overseas to Ukraine, Poland and Italy.
In March 2014 Opitz was one of thirteen Canadians banned from travelling to Russia by President Vladimir Putin for his opposition to Russia’s aggression in eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea. He posted his response on Twitter saying, "Today's sanctions by Russia on myself and colleagues demonstrate Canada has been an effective voice in the world in support of Ukraine.” Mr. Opitz has been praised for his contributions and advocacy of Ukraine’s defensive needs and was instrumental in securing the first 30 000 uniforms that were delivered to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Mr. Opitz has earned many honours and awards over the years. Most recently he was honoured by the Polish government for fostering close relations between Canada and Poland. He received the prestigious Commanders Cross of the Order of Merit for his contributions.
Ted Opitz resides in Etobicoke Centre with his wife Cynthia since 1993. He holds a BA degree in English from York University.