Steven Blaney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Honourable
Steven Blaney
PC, MP
Steven Blaney 2014.jpg
Minister of Public Safety
Incumbent
Assumed office
July 15, 2013
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Vic Toews
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Lévis—Bellechasse
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 23, 2006
Preceded by Réal Lapierre
Personal details
Born (1965-04-08) April 8, 1965 (age 49)
Sherbrooke, Quebec
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Marie Bouchard
Residence Saint-Rédempteur, Quebec
Alma mater Université de Sherbrooke
Profession Businessman, Engineer, Environmental consultant
Religion Catholicism

Steven Blaney PC, MP (born April 8, 1965 in Sherbrooke, Quebec) is a Canadian businessman and Conservative politician serving as the minister of Public Safety Canada since July 15, 2013 and previously as the minister of Veterans Affairs and minister of State for La Francophonie in the cabinet of the Prime Minister Stephen Harper (May 18, 2011 to July 14, 2013). He represents the Québec riding of Lévis—Bellechasse in the Canadian House of Commons since the 2006 federal election. Despite his Anglophone-sounding name, Blaney is a francophone.

Early life[edit]

Blaney was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and was raised in Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce. Today, he lives in Lévis along with his wife Marie Bouchard and his two children, William-Antoine and Alexandra.[1] He graduated as a civil engineer from the Université de Sherbrooke in 1988; and later completed his MBA in Lévis, in 2002.[1] Steven Blaney is an engineer specialized in urban infrastructures and in the environment. For 15 years, he worked in Quebec’s engineering sector, more particularly in water purification and energy efficiency. Blaney started up two companies specializing in environmental technology and carried out many environmental projects.[2] Blaney was an active member of Réseau Environnement[citation needed], Canada’s (and Quebec’s) largest group of environmental professionals; he presided over the organization’s Québec-Chaudière-Appalaches chapter between 2003 and 2006.[1]

Political career[edit]

Provincial politics[edit]

Blaney’s first political stint occurred during the Quebec general elections of 1998; he was a candidate of the Action démocratique du Québec in the provincial electoral district of Beauce-Nord. Blaney arrived in third place, behind Normand Poulin (PLQ) and Gaston Gourde (PQ), collecting 14.42% of the votes.[3]

Federal politics[edit]

Following many years of activity with the Conservative Party in Quebec, Blaney decided to run for the first time for a seat at the House of Commons during the 2006 federal elections in the riding of Lévis-Bellechasse. He successfully defeated Bloc Québécois incumbent Réal Lapierre with 46.40% of the votes.[4] Blaney joined nine other Quebec MPs in Ottawa, following the Conservative Party breakthrough in Quebec that year.[5]

After his victory in 2006, Blaney was appointed Vice-President of the Quebec conservative caucus. On May 31, 2007, he was selected as Chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages; a position that he held till September 2010.[6]

Moreover, he joined various other committees, ranging from Indian Affairs to Industry, Science and Technology, including the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee.[7] In January 2006, Blaney visited Canadian soldiers in Kandahar as part of a trip organized by the Standing Committee on National Defence for its members. He is also Vice-Chair of the Canada-France Interparliamentary Association.

After his reelection in 2008, Blaney became the new President of the Quebec conservative caucus.[1] Furthermore, he promised to offset the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from his activities through tree planting, in cooperation with Tree Canada and the Comité de restauration de la rivière Etchemin, thus becoming the first carbon neutral MP.[8]

On May 2, 2011, Blaney was reelected for a third mandate as representative of Lévis-Bellechasse at the House of Commons earning 43.95% of the votes, beating the NDP candidate with more than 10% of the votes, receiving 1065 more votes than during the 2008 election.[4]

Minister of Veterans Affairs[edit]

On May 18, 2011, Blaney was appointed to the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He assumed the position of Minister of Veterans Affairs taking over this role from Jean-Pierre Blackburn, who was defeated in the May 2 election. Blaney also sits as a member of the Cabinet Committee on Social Affairs and the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence. Blaney carried on the policies launched by his two conservative predecessors. During the summer following the elections, Blaney announced regulatory changes to the Enhanced Veterans Charter Act to revamp the pension system that was set up following World War I and World War II.[9] The New Veterans Charter (NVC) was designed to provide Veterans with the support they required to successfully transition from military to civilian life.

As Minister of Veterans Affairs, Blaney can be credited for improving the benefits and services for Veterans suffering from severe diagnosed medical conditions or/and disabilities. He also launched the Helmet to Hardhats Program which assists many former Canadian Forces members find well-paid jobs in the construction sector.[10] Preoccupied by the modernization of Veterans Affairs Canada, Blaney initiated the Cutting Red Tape for Veterans initiative[11] aimed at simplifying administrative processes for Veterans and at making all of Veterans Affairs Canada’s forms and decisions comprehensible for all.

In March 2011, Blaney sparked controversy by telling a meeting of seniors, "Et rappelez-vous, le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge!" (And remember—Heaven is blue, Hell is red!), referring to the colours of the Conservative and Liberal parties. The slogan was used by the government of Maurice Duplessis in the mid-20th century during the period of church-state collaboration in Quebec known as the Grande Noirceur.[12]

Minister of Public Safety[edit]

On July 15, 2013, Blaney assumed the position of Minister of Public Safety, taking over this role from Vic Toews who announced his retirement on July 9, 2013. The announcement of the appointment was made during the Prime Minister Stephen Harper's 2013 Cabinet shuffle.

On August 13, 2013, in response to a brief from Dennis Edney arguing that Omar Khadr should be held in a youth facility not an adult prison, because he was a minor when the crimes he was convicted of occurred, Blaney asserted that the Harper government would fight to keep Khadr in adult prisoner for the full term of his sentence.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Biography", Steven Blaney – Official Website
  2. ^ http://www.engineerscanada.ca/e/files/engineeringonthehill_issue_09.pdf
  3. ^ 1998 Québec General Elections- Results: District Beauce-Nord
  4. ^ a b History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Lévis-Bellechasse
  5. ^ Conservatives make breakthrough in Quebec; Bloc wins 51 seats CBC News. Tuesday, January 24, 2006.
  6. ^ Member of Parliament Profile- Steven Blaney
  7. ^ Idem.
  8. ^ Idem.
  9. ^ Backgrounder NVC
  10. ^ Helmets to Hardhats announcement
  11. ^ Cutting Red Tape for Veterans – news release
  12. ^ Martin, Stéphanie. "«Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge!» lance Blaney aux aînés." Le Soleil (Quebec City), 24 March 2011.
  13. ^ "Omar Khadr held illegally in federal prison, lawyer argues: 8-year sentence called unlawful". CBC News. 2013-08-13. Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. “Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to very serious crimes, including the murder of American army medic Sgt. Christopher Speer," he said. "The government of Canada will vigorously defend against any attempted court action to lessen his punishment for these crimes." 

External links[edit]

28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper
Cabinet Posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety
2013–
incumbent
Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of Veterans Affairs
2011–2013
Julian Fantino