Monte Solberg

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The Honourable
Monte Solberg
PC
Manning Centre party 2014 1079.jpg
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Medicine Hat
In office
October 25, 1993 – October 14, 2008
Preceded by Bob Porter
Succeeded by LaVar Payne
Personal details
Born Monte Kenton Solberg
(1958-09-17) September 17, 1958 (age 56)
Calgary, Alberta
Political party Conservative (2003-present)
Other political
affiliations
Reform (1993-2000)
Canadian Alliance (2000-2003)
Spouse(s) Debbie Solberg
Residence Brooks, Alberta
Profession Broadcaster, Businessman
Portfolio Minister of Human Resources and Social Development
Religion Evangelical[1]

Monte Kenton Solberg, PC (born September 17, 1958) is a former Canadian Member of Parliament, representing the riding of Medicine Hat in the Canadian House of Commons as a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. He was the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and later served as the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. He has also served as Critic for Foreign Affairs, National Revenue, and Human Resources Development. In addition to his high profile Cabinet positions, Solberg was consistently voted high in the Hill Times annual staffer survey for "Funniest MP" and "Best Jokes in Question Period." Solberg is now a Principal at New West Public Affairs, a Canadian national public affairs firm based in western Canada, and headquartered in Calgary, Alberta.

Early life[edit]

Solberg was born in Calgary, Alberta. A former broadcaster and businessman, Solberg is of Norwegian ancestry.[2]

Political career[edit]

He was elected as a Reform Party Member of Parliament (MP) in 1993 and 1997, and as a Canadian Alliance MP in 2000. In 2001, Solberg was one of 13 MPs who were suspended from the Canadian Alliance caucus for criticizing the leadership of Stockwell Day. He sat as an Independent Alliance MP for the summer, joining the Democratic Representative Caucus in September before returning to the Alliance in April 2002. He was also one of four Alliance MPs who agreed to sit with the Progressive Conservative caucus (to preserve their official party status) after the December 9, 2003 creation of the merged Conservative Party, as the Progressive Conservative and Canadian Alliance parliamentary caucuses were not officially merged until a few weeks later. He was re-elected as a Conservative MP in the 2004 election.

Solberg kept a high-profile blog, and in 2005, is thought to have made history when, using his BlackBerry, he blogged from the floor of the House of Commons immediately upon the passage of Bill C-38, which provided legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Solberg was opposed to the bill. In 2006, Solberg again won his Medicine Hat riding, with 79.7% of the vote, the second highest winning percentage in the country for the 2006 federal election. He suspended updating his blog after being appointed Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

In the January 4, 2007 cabinet shuffle, Solberg was appointed the new minister of Human Resources and Social Development, replacing Diane Finley.

Retirement and present status[edit]

Thought by some to seek a leadership bid of the Conservative party, Solberg surprised many when he announced on September 4, 2008 that he was retiring from politics and would not be a candidate in the 40th Canadian federal election.[3]

Solberg is now a columnist with the Calgary Sun, a contributor to Sun News Network, special lecturer, formerly a full-time consultant for Fleishman-Hillard Canada, and now Principal at New West Public Affairs, a public affairs firm based in Calgary. He also serves as a Governor with the International Development Research Center, a crown corporation dedicated to generating and applying new knowledge to meet the challenges facing the world's poorest countries.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper
Cabinet Posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
2007–2008
styled as Minister of Human Resources and Social Development
Diane Finley
Joe Volpe Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
2006–2007
Diane Finley