|Minister of Veterans Affairs|
May 18, 2011
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||Jean-Pierre Blackburn|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament
January 23, 2006
|Preceded by||Réal Lapierre|
April 8, 1965 |
|Alma mater||Université de Sherbrooke|
|Profession||Businessman, Engineer, Environmental consultant|
Steven Blaney PC, MP (born April 8, 1965 in Sherbrooke, Quebec) is a Canadian businessman and Conservative politician currently serving as the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State for La Francophonie in the cabinet of the Prime Minister Stephen Harper. 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. His English has a marked Quebec accent, and French is his preferred language in Parliament.
Early life 
Steven 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. He graduated as a civil engineer from the Université de Sherbrooke in 1988; and later completed his MBA in Lévis, in 2002. 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 innovative environmental projects. Blaney was an active member of Réseau Environnement, Canada’s (and Quebec’s) largest group of environmental professionals; he presided over the organization’s Québec-Chaudière-Appalaches chapter between 2003 and 2006.
Political career 
Provincial politics 
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.
Federal politics 
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. Blaney joined nine other Quebec MPs in Ottawa, following the Conservative Party breakthrough in Quebec that year.
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; position that he held till September 2010.
Moreover, he actively joined various other committees, ranging from Indian Affairs to Industry, Science and Technology, including the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee. 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. 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.
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.
Minister of Veterans Affairs 
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. 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. Preoccupied by the modernization of Veterans Affairs Canada, Blaney initiated the Cutting Red Tape for Veterans initiative aimed at simplifying administrative processes for Veterans and at making all of Veterans Affairs Canada’s forms and decisions comprehensible for all.
- Steven Blaney – Official Website
- 1998 Québec General Elections- Results: District Beauce-Nord
- History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Lévis-Bellechasse
- Conservatives make breakthrough in Quebec; Bloc wins 51 seats CBC News. Tuesday, January 24, 2006.
- Member of Parliament Profile- Steven Blaney
- Backgrounder NVC
- Helmets to Hardhats announcement
- Cutting Red Tape for Veterans – news release
|28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper|
|Cabinet Post (1)|
|Jean-Pierre Blackburn||Minister of Veterans Affairs