Peter Penashue

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The Honourable
Peter Penashue
PC
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
In office
May 18, 2011 – March 14, 2013
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Josée Verner
Succeeded by Denis Lebel
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Labrador
In office
May 30, 2011 – March 14, 2013
Preceded by Todd Russell
Succeeded by Yvonne Jones
Personal details
Born (1964-04-09) April 9, 1964 (age 50)
Sheshatshiu, Newfoundland and Labrador
Nationality Canadian
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Mary Ann
Children 4
Profession Innu leader, businessman
Cabinet Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
Website Official website

Peter Penashue, PC (/pɛˈnæʃw/; born April 9, 1964) is a Canadian politician from Newfoundland and Labrador. He was elected as the Conservative Party of Canada Member of Parliament for the riding of Labrador in the 2011 federal election.[1] Penashue was the first Innu from Labrador to be elected to the House of Commons of Canada, the first Innu cabinet minister in Canadian history, and the first Conservative to be elected from the riding of Labrador since 1968.[2]

Following allegations of irregularities in his campaign spending, Penashue announced on March 14, 2013 that he would resign his seat and run again as a candidate in a new by-election.[3][4] In the resulting by-election, held on May 13, 2013, he was defeated by Yvonne Jones of the Liberal Party.[5]

Background[edit]

Penashue was born in the Innu community of Sheshatshiu, Newfoundland and Labrador. He attended elementary and secondary school in Sheshatshiu before continuing his education in St. John's, where he graduated from Brother Rice High School and pursued studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Penashue assumed a number of leadership roles in the Labrador Innu community, from Land Claims Director, Executive Director and Financial Administrator with the Naskapi Montagnais Innu to Grand Chief of the Innu Nation.

Penashue was elected President of the Innu Nation at the age of 26, and served as Grand Chief of the Innu Nation, for twelve years, from 1990 to 1997 and 1999 to 2004, and was the driving force behind the negotiation of the impacts-benefit agreement between the Innu Nation and the Voisey's Bay Nickel Company. He was also elected to the position of Deputy Grand Chief of the Innu Nation in Sheshatshiu in 2007 and stepped down on March 9, 2010.[6]

Federal politics[edit]

Penashue was elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the Canadian federal election, 2011, in the riding of Labrador. Penashue's challenger, Liberal incumbent Todd Russell, had originally been declared by the media as retaining his seat early on election night but after the last five polls were counted Penashue overtook Russell and was ultimately declared the winner.[7] Penashue's original margin of victory of 231 votes was reduced to 79 votes on recount.[8]

Penashue was one of two Innu in Parliament. Jonathan Genest-Jourdain, the New Democratic MP from the neighbouring riding of Manicouagan in Quebec, is the other.[9]

Cabinet Minister[edit]

Penashue was the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada from May 18, 2011 until his resignation on March 14, 2013.

2011 election campaign irregularities[edit]

Penashue's campaign took 28 ineligible campaign contributions totaling $27,850 in cash and $18,710 in in-kind contributions from Provincial Airlines for services provided. Elections Canada deemed the contributions ineligible and Penashue's campaign was forced to pay $26,850 on November 28, 2012 and $18,710 on March 4, 2013 to the Receiver General of Canada.

After the 2011 election the Peneshue campaign had $4000 but still owed $15,000 from a $25,000 zero interest loan to the Innu Development Limited Partnership, a firm managed by his brother-in-law, Paul Rich. Interest free loans are not allowed by Canadian election law. In November 2012 The Conservative Party transferred $30,000 to the campaign and a further $14,350 on March 1, 2013.[4][10][11]

On March 14, 2013 Penashue resigned and announced he would run again as a candidate in a new by-election.[3][4] In the resulting by-election, held on May 13, 2013, he was defeated by Yvonne Jones of the Liberal Party.[5]

Personal life[edit]

He is married and currently lives in Sheshatshiu with his wife Mary Ann. They have four children, Jean-Paul, Peter Robert, Thea and Pupun Halina, and four grandchildren, Seth Connor, Grayson, Meshkuss and Starla.

Election results[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2011: Labrador
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Peter Penashue 4,256 39.81 +31.84 $89,997.05
Liberal Todd Russell 4,177 39.07 -31.21 $30,016.49
New Democratic Jacob Larkin 2,120 19.83 +1.98 $29,968.41
Green George C.R. Barrett 139 1.30 -2.61 $0.00
Total valid votes/Expense Limit 10,692 100.0   –   $84,468.09
Total rejected, declined and unmarked ballots 52 0.48 -0.37
Turnout 10,744 52.91 +14.31
Eligible voters 20,305
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +31.52
Conservative candidate Peter Penashue was found to have spent above the mandated expense limit, precipitating his resignation and subsequent by-election.
Sources:[12] [13]


Canadian federal by-election, May 13, 2013: Labrador
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Yvonne Jones 5,812 47.99 +8.92 $76,859.63
Conservative Peter Penashue 3,924 32.40 -7.41 $70,866.91
New Democratic Harry Borlase 2,324 19.19 -0.64 $81,475.53
Libertarian Norman Andrews 50 0.41   $236.16
Total valid votes/Expense Limit 12,110 100.0   –   $ 89,852.84
Total rejected, declined and unmarked ballots 27 0.22 -0.26  
Turnout 12,137 59.93 +6.49  
Eligible voters 20,251      
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +8.17
Called on the resignation of Peter Penashue, March 14, 2013
Source: "By-election May 13, 2013". Elections Canada. May 13, 2013. Retrieved December 14, 2013. 


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Penashue appointed to federal cabinet". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  2. ^ "Innu leader delivers Conservatives from N.L. shutout". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2011-05-02. Retrieved 2011-05-03. 
  3. ^ a b "Peter Penashue quits over campaign donations". CBC News, March 14, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Payton, Laura (2013). "Peter Penashue campaign took in 28 ineligible contributions - Politics - CBC News". cbc.ca. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Liberals take Labrador, as Jones wins big over Penashue". CBC News, May 13, 2013.
  6. ^ "Peter Penashue joins Conservative push into Labrador". Northern Pen. 2011-03-30. Retrieved 2-11=05-18.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ "Innu leader delivers Conservatives from N.L. shutout". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2011-05-03. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  8. ^ "Penashue margin of victory reduced". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2011-05-09. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  9. ^ Akin, David. "A style note: Aboriginal vs Indian, Metis, Inuit and Innu" Canadian Online Explorer, May 18, 2011. (accessed 13 January 2012)
  10. ^ "Penashue offers few details on campaign spending". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2012-08-14. Retrieved 2012-08-114.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  11. ^ O'Malley, Kady. "CBC News Politics - Peter Penashue and the Mystery of the Moribund Riding Association". CBC News Politics. CBC News Politics. Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  12. ^ Elections Canada – Official voting results, Forty-first general election, 2011
  13. ^ Elections Canada – Candidate's electoral campaign return, 41st general election

External links[edit]

28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper
Cabinet Posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Josee Verner President of the Privy Council
2011-2013
Denis Lebel
Josee Verner Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
2011-2013
Denis Lebel