Geoff Regan

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The Honourable
Geoff Regan
Geoff Regan MP.jpg
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Halifax West
Assumed office
November 27, 2000
Preceded by Gordon Earle
In office
October 25, 1993 – June 2, 1997
Preceded by Howard Crosby
Succeeded by Gordon Earle
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
In office
December 12, 2003 – February 5, 2006
Prime Minister Paul Martin
Preceded by Robert Thibault
Succeeded by Loyola Hearn
Personal details
Born Geoffrey Paul Regan
(1959-11-22) November 22, 1959 (age 54)
Windsor, Nova Scotia
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Kelly Regan
Children Caitlin, Nicole, and Harrison
Residence Bedford, Nova Scotia
Profession Lawyer

Geoffrey Paul "Geoff" Regan, PC, MP (born November 22, 1959) is a Canadian politician. He holds the honourific "the Honourable" and the post-nominal "PC" for life by virtue of being made a privy councillor and a member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.

Personal life[edit]

Regan was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia. He grew up in a strong political family. He is the son of Carole (née Harrison) and former Nova Scotia Premier and Federal Cabinet Minister, Gerald Regan. His maternal grandfather was a Member of Parliament from Saskatchewan. His wife Kelly Regan is a provincial MLA. Two of his sisters are also well-known: Nancy Regan was a well-known local television personality with ATV, and Laura Regan is an actress.


Regan is a current Member of Parliament, representing the riding of Halifax West since 2000, and from 1993 to 1997, and sits in the Liberal caucus. Regan graduated from Sackville High School in 1977 and then earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. Francis Xavier University in 1980. Following university, Regan went on to earn a law degree from Dalhousie University, graduating in 1983. He was admitted to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society in 1984 and practiced real estate and commercial law before entering public life.

Regan served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, under Jean Chrétien and later as Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia in the newly formed government of Paul Martin, sworn in on December 12, 2003. After the 2004 federal election, Regan retained his position in cabinet in Martin’s minority government. In February 2004, Regan was appointed to act as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, in matters related to Maher Arar. Upon the defeat of the Liberal government in the 2006 election, he was appointed by Bill Graham, Interim Leader of the Official Opposition, to the shadow cabinet as the Official Opposition Critic for Human Resources and Skills Development. During his time as critic, Regan introduced a private members’ bill to expand Canada Access Grants for disabled and low income students. In January 2007, he was appointed to the newly created Liberal Priorities and Planning Committee, which was chaired by then Liberal Opposition Leader Stéphane Dion. In March 2008, Regan was named Chair of the Caucus Committee on Environmental Sustainability. Regan also served as Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans[edit]

One of the first projects Regan undertook as Minister of Fisheries and Oceans was to designate the Sable Gully as a Marine Protected Area. Located offshore of Nova Scotia, near Sable Island, the Gully contains a rich diversity of marine habitats and species, including deep-sea corals and northern bottlenose whales. The Gully is the largest marine canyon in eastern North America and is nationally and globally acknowledged as an important and incomparable marine habitat. The protection of the Gully was both crucial and timely as the surrounding waters had witnessed considerable growth in oil and gas exploration and development. He also helped designate three other areas as Marine Protected Areas. Gilbert Bay, on Labrador’s southeast coast, Basin Head, on the eastern tip of Prince Edward Island and Eastport Peninsula, on the northeast coast of Newfoundland all became Marine Protected Areas during Regan’s tenure as Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

During his time as Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Regan was a strong advocate for the elimination of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). Under Regan, The Department of Fisheries and Oceans made significant investment to expand aerial surveillance and at sea patrols in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Regulatory Area (NRA). The increase in patrols and surveillance led to reductions in non-compliant behaviour and a decrease of 29% in foreign vessels fishing in the NRA. Regan was also an active member of the High Seas Task Force, an international task force committed to stopping IUU in parts of the ocean not under the exclusive control of sovereign states. In addition to this, Regan hosted an intergovernmental conference on global overfishing. This meeting held in St. John’s attracted Fisheries and Oceans Ministers from around the world.

Regan introduced the Oceans Action Plan (OAP) in May 2005. The OAP enabled government-wide action to develop Canada’s ocean resources for the benefit of coastal communities, while protecting fragile marine ecosystems. The OAP was the framework to advance an integrated federal oceans agenda and was a key priority in the DFO’s strategic plan. It recognized that Canada, with almost 245,000 km of coastline, is an important maritime nation.

Awards and Honours[edit]

  • Metro Food Bank Society Community Leadership Award (1992)
  • Halifax Board of Trade Certificate of Merit (1992)
  • Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002)
  • Appointed member of the Queens’s Privy Council for Canada (2003)
  • Elisabeth Mann Borgese Medal (2005) The International Ocean Institute awarded Regan then Minister of Fisheries and Oceans for his "exemplary leadership in the field of Ocean Governance."
  • Lebanese Community Recognition Award (2008)
  • Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012)

In opposition[edit]

Regan was re-elected in the 2006, 2008, and 2011 federal elections, despite significant Liberal losses in all three. Under the leadership of Stephane Dion, Regan served as Opposition Critic for Human Resources and Skills Development. Under Michael Ignatieff, Regan served as Liberal Critic for Natural Resources, and later, Public Works and Government Services. He is currently acting as the Liberal Natural Resources under leader Justin Trudeau and serves as Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources.


External links[edit]