10 ways Nate made a difference as MP

Experience matters. But what one does with that experience matters even more.

Here are 10 ways that Nate has made a difference in his role as an MP since 2015.​


Principled Independence.

Nate has earned a reputation as a principled voice in the House of Commons. He stood up for constituents and respectfully disagreed with his party when it mattered.

He has been called a “breath of fresh air” by the Toronto Star and his independence has been the subject of profiles in The National Post and The Huffington Post.

Aaron Wherry has written about Nate’s principled leadership, saying “Maverick is the word usually applied to politicians who regularly go their own way, but the word suggests a wildness that doesn’t really fit Erskine-Smith, whose demeanor defaults to “measured.”

Nate has written about his role as a parliamentarian here.


Serious Climate Action.

Nate called a climate emergency debate in Parliament, introduced a bill to reduce Canadian greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050, and played an active role in efforts to improve the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. He has regularly used his voice both in Ottawa and locally for stronger action on climate change and plastic pollution

Major poverty reduction and support for workers.

Nate served as the chair of the all-party anti-poverty caucus, and led efforts to enhance the Canada Workers Benefit, lifting tens of thousands of low-income workers out of poverty. He also pushed for the fast passage of legislation to enact the Canada Disability Benefit.  When big grocer CEOs all canceled ‘hero pay’ bonuses at the same time, Nate held them accountable at the industry committee and worked to make wage-fixing illegal.

Saving Lives.

Nate has long called for a public health approach to the opioid crisis, including through the expansion of harm reduction and treatment options. He drafted and introduced legislation to divert people out of the justice system and into the health system, and the government ultimately adopted and passed his bill to better treat substance use as the health issue it is. In addition to securing federal funding for evidence-based addiction treatment, Nate also worked closely with a constituent and childhood cancer survivor to deliver $30 million for pediatric cancer research and treatment.

Putting Consumers First.

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Nate has been a leading advocate for consumer protections at home and abroad. He has specifically focused on stronger privacy laws, especially for our kids as they grow up online. He introduced a bill to strengthen our privacy laws, and led both Canadian and international efforts to hold social media platforms accountable
Nate has also held telecommunications companies accountable at committee, including Rogers for its slow response to an outage that left more than 12 million customers without service.

Defending Canadian values and human rights.

Nate has represented Canada on the world stage and defended human rights at the United Nations and global parliamentary conferences. He’s called for action to protect Rohingya refugees, to support Palestinian human rights, and to hold China accountable for its treatment of the Uyghurs and Hong Kong. Here at home, Nate worked to reform Harper’s over-reaching anti-terror Bill C-51, fix the no-fly list, support LGBTQ+ rights, shut down hate speech, and criticize Quebec’s Bill 21.

Advancing reconciliation with Indigenous people.

Nate worked to address Indigenous child welfare, supported government efforts to end long-term boil water advisories and helped to build a partnership between the 416 caucus and TASSC, Toronto’s umbrella group of 20+ local Indigenous service organizations. As a result of his advocacy, the government delivered $2 million to provide TASSC a permanent home. Nate has hosted Kimberly Murray, Murray Sinclair, and Cindy Blackstock on his Podcast.

Support for victims.

Nate has been there to support victims. He stood with his east end community in the wake of the Danforth shooting, and helped push for strong and sensible gun control. He led efforts at the privacy/ethics committee to hold Pornhub accountable for failing to protect young women on its platform. And he worked closely with victims of human trafficking to help them recover from identity theft and any related debt burden.

Stronger animal protections.

Nate’s been at the forefront of improving animal protections in Canada. He introduced a bill that led to government action to ban the shark fin trade and to address animal fighting and abuse. He also helped found the Liberal Animal Welfare Caucus, seconded legislation to ban the captivity of whales and dolphins, and acted as the House sponsor for the Jane Goodall Act. The Liberal platform included animal issues for the first time in 2021 thanks to Nate’s advocacy.

Doing politics differently.

Nate has always said that our politics should be about ideas, and through his political career he has focused on substantive debate and shown a willingness to work across the aisle. His podcast, Uncommons, features subject matter experts and parliamentary colleagues from different parties. He regularly sets out reasons to explain his voting record, goes beyond talking points, and makes being honest and accessible a real priority including through online Q&As. He has also made engaging young people a particular priority in his politics.