Dominic Agostino - Social Service Worker, 1981
2004 Community Services Recipient
A life spent in public service and a passion for social justice, are the hallmarks of Dominic Agostino, Liberal MPP for Hamilton East, until his death in March 2004.
Born in Messina, Sicily, Dominic Agostino immigrated to Canada in 1969 and settled with his family in Hamilton's North End. At the age of 10, he took his first tentative political steps offering to hand out flyers on behalf of the Honourable Lincoln Alexander, then MPP for Hamilton-West. Politics became his enduring passion.
After attending Cathedral Boys' High School and studying social work at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Dominic joined the Ontario March of Dimes as a rehabilitation counsellor. At 20, he became the youngest Trustee ever to sit on Hamilton's Catholic School Board, serving three terms.
In 1985, following an unsuccessful bid for the provincial riding of Hamilton East, he worked as special assistant to the Honourable Lily Munro. Two years later, he returned to local politics to become Alterman, Ward 5, a post he held for eight years. He served as chair of the Regional Health and Social Services Committee from 1990 to 1995.
In 1995, Dominic once again entered the provincial political arena, successfully campaigning to become MPP for Hamilton East. During ten years in office, he served as the Chief Whip for the Liberals, and critic for the government's Management Board. When the Liberal Party formed the government, he was appointed Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Environment.
Respected for being a champion for his principles and his constituents, Dominic Agostino died on March 24, 2004, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, after a battle with cancer. He was 44.