|Name Greg Gogan||Role Politician|
Greg Gogan is a Canadian politician and businessman. During the early 1990s, he was the leader of a short-lived political party called Option Canada.
Gogan was a private entrepreneur before starting his political career. He was the founder of Tricom Personal Financial Planning Corp., and worked as an insurance salesman and financial planner in St. Hubert, Quebec during the 1980s. Gogan resigned as Tricom's president in 1988 and registered with Concordia University as a mature student, planning to earn a Master's Degree in Soviet history. In January 1991, he withdrew from the university to establish Option Canada as a federal party representing Quebec's linguistic minorities (Montreal Gazette, 29 April 1991).
Option Canada was founded in response to Quebec's language tensions of the early 1990s. Its stated purpose was to create an eleventh Canadian province, carved out of the predominantly English-speaking regions of southwestern Quebec. Gogan, recognized as the party's leader, argued that English-speaking Quebecers had legitimate grievances against the "restrictive language policies [of] the provincial government", and would not tolerate being "second-class citizens in a first-class country" (Montreal Gazette, 25 April 1991).
Gogan also stated that he would abandon his proposal for an eleventh province if the Canadian Constitution were amended to remove the "notwithstanding clause", which allows governments to override binding decisions by the courts. This clause had been used in Quebec to perpetuate restrictions on English-language advertising.
Gogan, who was thirty-eight years old at the time, was able to attract national attention for his movement despite having no prior political experience (Vancouver Sun, 16 May 1991). In June 1991, he announced that his party had signed up 2,000 members since its founding (Montreal Gazette, 13 June 1991). The party received a warm reception in numerous anglophone communities, and one party event in Westmount was described in the media as " revival meeting for disfranchised West Island anglophones". Gogan emphasized that the party was not limited to anglophones, and predicted that half of its membership would be francophone within a year. (Montreal Gazette, 11 July 1991) The party was unable to maintain its early support base, however, and largely vanished from the public eye after the summer of 1991.
Gogan spoke out against the Charlottetown Accord in 1992, claiming that it did not protect the interests of Canadians (Toronto Star, 12 October 1992). He appeared in television advertisements for the "No" campaign in the same style as those used by Jacques Parizeau and the PQ.
Option Canada dissolved in 1993, in Gogan subsequently became a member of Mel Hurtig's National Party of Canada. He became an official spokesperson for the party, and contested the Ontario riding of Scarborough West in the 1993 federal election. The Toronto Star newspaper cited him as saying that Canadians should "speak out and reclaim both the country and control of their future" (Toronto Star, 22 October 1993). He received 578 votes (1.47%), finishing fifth against Liberal incumbent Tom Wappel.
Gogan later joined the New Democratic Party, and campaigned as that party's candidate in Scarborough Centre for the 2004 federal election. He received 6,156 votes, finishing third against Liberal incumbent John Cannis.
He has also returned to his practice as a chartered financial planner. At the time of the 2004 election, he was on the board of directors of an organic food producer.
Gogan joined a non-profit credit counselling organization in 2005, and served as its President until 2012.
He considered seeking the Liberal nomination in Scarborough Southwest, but abandoned the process in July 2007 and resigned from the Liberal Party in September 2007.