|Raitt in 2009|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament
|Preceded by||Garth Turner|
|Minister of Natural Resources|
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||Gary Lunn|
|Succeeded by||Christian Paradis|
|Minister of Labour|
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||Rona Ambrose|
May 7, 1968
Sydney, Nova Scotia
|Spouse(s)||David Raitt (separated)|
Lisa Raitt, PC, MP (born May 7, 1968) is a Canadian politician, who is the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for the riding of Halton. She is the current Minister of Labour in the Cabinet of Canada.
Raitt was born Lisa MacCormack in Sydney, Nova Scotia as the youngest of seven children. Her father, Colin A. MacCormack, worked for a local coal mine, loading coal onto ships, and later served as city alderman, and secretary-treasurer and a lead negotiator for the Cape Breton Railway Transportation and General Workers. Her mother, Tootsie, worked as a businesswoman. Raitt is married to Second City alumnus, playwright and stay-at-home dad David Raitt and has two sons, John Colin (b. 2002) and Billy (b. 2005).
Raitt graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia with a bachelor of science degree. She went on to do a Masters degree in chemistry, specializing in environmental biochemical toxicology, from the University of Guelph. Raitt possesses an LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School, and was called to the Ontario bar in 1998. That year, she was granted a Dr. Harold G. Fox Scholarship. As a result, she trained with barristers of the Middle Temple in London, United Kingdom, which specialized in international trade, commerce, transportation and arbitration.
Toronto Port Authority
Prior to the election campaign, Raitt was the president and chief executive officer of the Toronto Port Authority (TPA), a Canadian federal corporation that manages commerce, transportation (including the Toronto City Centre Airport) and recreation in the Toronto Harbour. She also served as the TPA’s Corporate Secretary and General Counsel, and harbourmaster (she was the first female harbourmaster of a Canadian port).
New Democrat MP Olivia Chow called on Sheila Fraser, the federal auditor general, to conduct an audit of the port authority to investigate why Baird increased the membership of the board of directors from seven to nine - and why Raitt, while CEO of the authority, was allowed to run up almost $80,000 in travel and other expenses over two years when the organization was running a deficit.
A November 2009 report by the Toronto Star detailed that Raitt signed off on her own expenses, at least on one occasion when the TPA board chair wouldn't do so. This followed the finding that a staffer in Raitt's office at the TPA used TPA resources on Raitt's election campaign. After an independent forensic review conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Toronto Port Authority released the results on September 14, 2010. These results showed that "all but one of the 15 complaints lodged by the former Directors were groundless".
Raitt also initiated a 2006 political libel action against Community Air, a citizen group that had criticized her. The suit was eventually settled out of court when Community Air agreed to retract its statements and apologize.
||The neutrality of this section is disputed. (July 2011)|
In September 2008, Raitt was appointed to run as the Conservative candidate in Halton against Liberal incumbent Garth Turner. Turner was formerly a Conservative member but was suspended from the Conservative caucus in 2006 for breaching confidentiality. He later joined the Liberals after briefly sitting as an independent member. A bitter campaign between Turner and Raitt ensued. Turner made public accusations of dirty tricks by the local Conservative association and Raitt, calling Raitt a "master of deceit." Raitt made controversial comments about the North and global warming. At an October 6 meeting of the Oakville, Ontario, Chamber of Commerce, Raitt was on record cheering about the possibilities of increased tourism and shipping opportunities in the North, thanks to the melting polar ice cap.
On October 14, 2008, Raitt defeated Turner by over 7,000 votes. Raitt was named to the Cabinet of Canada on October 30, 2008 as Minister of Natural Resources, one of eleven women named to the Cabinet.
Secret documents left at news bureau
On June 2, 2009, CTV News reported that a folder of confidential and secret ministerial briefing documents had been left by Raitt or her staff at the CTV News Ottawa office for a week. CTV News chose to reveal the contents which listed the funding for the Chalk River nuclear reactor which had recently shut down, causing a shortage of medical radioisotopes. On June 3, the opposition parties demanded that the government fire Raitt or accept her resignation. Raitt claimed to have offered her resignation and that the offer was rejected by the Prime Minister. A ministerial aide, Raitt's 26-year-old director of communications, Jasmine MacDonnell, offered her resignation which was accepted.
Some critics attempted to draw parallels to a similar occurrence in 2008 involving Maxime Bernier, who ultimately was forced to resign his cabinet post as Minister of Foreign Affairs after leaving sensitive documents pertaining to a NATO conference at the home of an ex-girlfriend. Speaking to reporters, the Prime Minister said that "Minister Raitt was working at the time. She was undertaking employment activity, ministerial activity in the company of her staff who were responsible for these documents, certainly for accounting for these documents later." Addressing the parallel he added, "[i]n the case of Minister Bernier, his actions were much more personal in nature and that was the difference in the responsibility."
Taped comments about radio isotope shortage
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
On June 8, 2009, CBC news online reported that a Nova Scotia court heard an argument to block the Halifax Chronicle-Herald from publishing a story about an audio recording involving Raitt. The injunction was denied. On the audio tape, made on January 30, 2009 by the same aide who resigned on June 2, was a discussion between Raitt and the aide over the radioisotopes shortage. The judge ruled that the public interest over-rode the issue of confidentiality.
On the tape, Raitt made comments on the radio isotope issue, describing it as "sexy ... Radioactive leaks. Cancer." and hard to control because it is "confusing to a lot of people". Raitt also made comments on the parliamentary skills of Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq:
"Oh, God, she's such a capable woman, but it's hard for her to come out of a co-operative government into this rough-and-tumble. She had a question in the House yesterday, or two days ago, that planked. I really hope she never gets anything hot."
"Speaking of career-limiting moves, I’m in shock that that MP, Joy Smith, brought forward private member’s legislation on human trafficking. She’s on Canada AM. And the reason being is that there’s no way any of us should be introducing anything around justice issues or finance issues right now. You just can’t touch those two things."
Move to Labour Ministry
On January 19, 2010, Raitt was moved from the Ministry of Natural Resources to the Labour Ministry. Prime Minister Harper publicly defended Raitt, saying she has "a great future."
Incident at Lester B. Pearson Airport
The Ottawa Citizen and National Post reported Raitt's appearance at Lester B. Pearson Airport on March 22, 2012 and subsequent reaction by Air Canada baggage handlers was the reason a wildcat strike occurred the next day. According to Bill Trbovich, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), Raitt was walking through the airport when three workers started “clapping and saying ‘Oh, great job’. Raitt is alleged to have asked the RCMP to ‘arrest these animals’. The strike caused widespread disruption to Air Canada schedule, causing flight cancellations and delays. Raitt refused to comment directly about the incident.
- Ottawa Citizen Newspaper (November 16, 2011). "Labour Minister Lisa Raitt parted ways with her spouse". Ottawa Citizen Newspaper.
- Brennan, Richard (November 9, 2008). "Resources minister used to taking heat; Former head of Toronto Port Authority clashed with waterfront residents, city over island airport". Toronto Star. p. A8.
- "Past Recipients". The Harold G. Fox Education Fund Website. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
- "Port CEO rips Martin for bridge comments". The Globe and Mail, Online Edition. 28 November 2003.
- "Covering the waterfront; Toronto's first female harbourmaster takes helm of complex port job". Toronto Star. 5 April 2001. p. B1..
- Diebel, Linda (November 9, 2009). "NDP wants to see Lisa Raitt's expenses". Toronto: www.thestar.com. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
- Oakville Beaver Editorial (October 28, 2009). "Time for Raitt to speak up". Oakville Beaver. p. 1.
- "Toronto Port Authority releases Forensic Review Report" (Press release). Toronto Port Authority. 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
- Barber, John (June 21, 2006). "Port Authority's cynical SLAPP aimed at silencing its critics". The Globe and Mail. p. A13.
- Gray, Jeff (May 3, 2007). "Port agency settles suit against Community Air". The Globe and Mail. p. A15.
- "Port Authority CEO to run for Tories". The Globe and Mail. 6 September 2008. p. A18.
- "Raitt leaves incumbent Turner in her wake". Toronto Star. October 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- Depko, Tina (October 9, 2008). "Sparks fly at Halton debate". The Oakville Beaver. p. 1.
- Findlay, Andrew (February 5, 2009). "Pipeline would bring tankers into B.C. inlets". straight.com. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
- "The new face of cabinet". Toronto Star. October 30, 2008.
- "Minister grilled, aide resigns after secret documents left at news bureau". CBC news. June 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
- "Under fire, Raitt keeps job;PM refuses offer of resignation over mishandled documents". Ottawa Citizen. June 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-09.[dead link]
- "Minister won't lose job over lost documents". The Canadian Press via Canoe CNEWS Politics. June 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-09.[dead link]
- "Court hearing begins over Raitt audiotape". CBC News. June 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
- "Outrage over Raitt 'sexy' cancer comment". Canadian Press. June 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
- Rabson, Mia (June 9, 2009). "Raitt's shot at Manitoba MP Joy Smith caught on tape". Winnipeg Free Press.
- Akin, David; Fitzpatrick, Meagan (January 19, 2010). "Harper shuffles cabinet to focus on economy". Canwest News Service. Retrieved 2010-01-19.
- Stechyson, Natalie (2012 [last update]). "Injunction ends Air Canada wildcat strike; accusations fly over comments to Raitt". ottawacitizen.com. Retrieved March 23, 2012. "Lisa Raitt"
- National Post Staff (2012 [last update]). "Suspension of Air Canada workers who slow clapped Lisa Raitt caused wildcat strike | News | National Post". nationalpost.com. Retrieved March 23, 2012. "asked that the RCMP ‘arrest these animals’"
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Lisa Raitt|
- Lisa Raitt official site
- Profile at Parliament of Canada
- Lisa Raitt - Parliament of Canada biography
- Speeches, votes and activity at OpenParliament.ca
- Twitter feed from Lisa Raitt
- Twitter feed to Lisa Raitt