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 WW2. During the war, Ted’s mother suffered in Nazi Germany as a forced labourer and his father served in the Polish 2nd Corps after being released by the Soviets as a prisoner of war in a gulag. Like all immigrant families, Ted’s parents came to Canada to start a better life.
In 1978, while still in high school and only a teenager, Ted 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, his career brought him overseas to Bosnia as a member of NATO’s Stabilization Force (SFOR), where he served to bring peace, stability and security to the region. During his rich military career, Ted undertook various roles ranging from Assistant to the Chief of Staff at Canadian Forces College, a course instructor and military planner for Pope John Paul II and his World Youth Day visit to Canada in 2002. Prior to running and being elected to Parliament, Ted was the Commanding Officer of The Lincoln and Welland Regiment. Ted is grateful to the Canadian military for teaching him the values of leadership, responsibility, humility, duty and service to Canada.
During his military service, Ted also had parallel careers in the telecom industry as well as completing a BA in English at York University. Starting as a technician, Ted worked his way up to sales and marketing and managerial roles in product management and high speed internet development. For the past two years, Ted was the Senior Regional Advisor to the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. In that role, he represented the Government of Canada and the Minister in the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario.
In Etobicoke, Ted has been recognized for his volunteer work with the Polish community and youth in the region. Ted has dedicated many hours to his community to make it a safer, healthier and prosperous place. Ted has lived in Etobicoke Centre with his wife Cynthia since 1994 and was elected as the Member of Parliament in May 2011.
As your Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre, Ted is committed to being a strong and effective representative in Ottawa. A firm believer in accessibility, Ted looks forward to meeting and working with as many people in the community as possible. Since being elected to Parliament in the spring, Ted has dedicated his time to helping seniors and working with the Government to create jobs and opportunities in the region.
Honours and Awards:
- Canadian Government Volunteer Award
- United Nations Volunteer Award
- Commanders Commendation for service to World Youth Day 2002
- The Polish Combatant’s Association Gold Cross
- Canadian Forces Decoration with two bars for 32 years military service
- NATO Decoration for service in the former Yugoslavia
- Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal
- Queen’s Jubilee Medal
- Serving Brother of St John (St John Ambulance)
- Pro Memoria Medal (Poland)
- Knight’s Cross Order of Merit (Poland)