Candice Bergen (politician)

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The Honourable
Candice Bergen
Candice Bergen 2014.jpg
Shadow Minister for Natural Resources
Assumed office
20 November 2015
Leader Rona Ambrose
Minister of State for Social Development
In office
July 15, 2013 – November 4, 2015
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by None, office first created
Succeeded by Jean-Yves Duclos
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety
In office
May 25, 2011 – July 15, 2013
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Dave MacKenzie
Succeeded by Roxanne James
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Portage—Lisgar
Assumed office
October 14, 2008
Chair of the Standing Committee on
Human Resources
In office
March 8, 2010 – June 20, 2011
Minister Diane Finley
Preceded by Dean Allison
Succeeded by Ed Komarnicki
Preceded by Brian Pallister
Personal details
Born (1964-09-28) September 28, 1964 (age 51)
Morden, Manitoba
Political party Conservative Party of Canada

Candice Marie Bergen, PC, MP (born September 28, 1964) is a Canadian federal politician. She was previously Minister of State for Social Development, and Member of the Canadian Parliament in the Harper administration. She has represented the Manitoba riding of Portage—Lisgar in the House of Commons since her election in 2008 and is a member of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Elected under the name Candice Hoeppner, Ms. Bergen announced on September 17, 2012 that she would resume her birth name of Bergen.[1][2]


Bergen was born in Morden, Manitoba. She previously worked in the financial planning industry. In 2004, she was the Manitoba campaign manager for Stephen Harper's leadership bid for the Conservative Party of Canada. She has acted as an advisor to several Members of Parliament, and served as chief organizer for the Conservative Party in Manitoba.

Federal politics[edit]

On November 19, 2008, Bergen introduced the motion in the House of Commons to accept the Speech from the throne (the traditional speech in which the Governor General outlines the government's agenda at the start of a new Parliament). In fall 2011, Bergen was given the opportunity to chair a panel of MP’s (one from each recognized party) for the selection of Supreme Court judges. Bergen was also a member of the legislative committee studying the controversial Bill C-18, an omnibus bill which would purportedly give marketing freedom to western grain farmers. Many farmers claim that this bill has, in fact, profoundly hurt the grain farmers it was claimed to benefit.[3] Previously, Bergen served as Chair of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. She was the Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee for the Status of Women and sat on the House of Commons Standing Committee for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. Additionally, she has been a member of the Liaison Committee as well as the Panel of Legislative Committee Chairs.[4]

Bergen has been involved in several special Parliamentary groups. She was on the Executive on the Canada-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Group. She is also the former Chair of the Canada-Australia-New Zealand Parliamentary Friendship Group, in addition to sitting on a number of other parliamentary groups.[4]

On May 15, 2009, Bergen introduced Bill C-391, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act, which would repeal the long-gun registry. On November 4, 2009, Bill C-391 passed second reading in the House of Commons by a vote of 164 to 137.[5]

On September 22, 2010, a Liberal motion to kill debate on Bill C-391 was passed 153-151, after six NDP MPs who backed Bergen's bill changed their votes, along with several Liberal MPs, enough to ensure the passage of the motion, keeping the registry alive. Bergen proceeded to make veiled threats towards those MPs who changed their votes.[6] On May 2, 2011, at the 41st Canadian General Election, Bergen was returned as Member of Parliament for Portage and Lisgar with 76.0 per cent of the vote.[7] On May 25, 2011, Bergen was appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety. In her role as Parliamentary Secretary, Bergen had the opportunity to work alongside the Minister of Public Safety on the Government Bill C-19, Ending the Long Gun Registry Act which became law on April 5, 2012.[4]

In cabinet[edit]

On July 15, 2013, Bergen was appointed Minister of State (Social Development).[8]

In opposition[edit]

After Stephen Harper resigned as Conservative leader after the party became the Official Opposition after the 2015 election, Bergen, who was re-elected, announced that she would run for the interim leadership.[9] Rona Ambrose was chosen instead.[10]

Election results[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2015
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Candice Bergen 25,060 60.8 -15.2
Liberal Ken Werbiski 10,621 25.8 +19.5
New Democratic Dean Harder 2,554 6.2 -3.6
Green Bev Eert 1,631 4.0 -1.6
Christian Heritage Jerome Dondo 1,320 3.2 +0.9
Total valid votes/Expense limit 41,187 100.0     $207,937.66
Total rejected ballots 159 0.25 -0.15
Turnout 41,346 66.52 +5.92
Eligible voters 62,153
Conservative hold Swing -17.35
Source: Elections Canada[11][12]
Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Candice Hoeppner 26,899 76.0 +7.7
New Democratic Mohamed Alli 3,478 9.8 +2.5
Liberal MJ Willard 2,221 6.3 -7.3
Green Matthew Friesen 1,996 5.6 -2.5
Christian Heritage Jerome Dondo 805 2.3 -0.5
Total valid votes/Expense limit 35,399 100.0  
Total rejected ballots 147 0.4 0.0
Turnout 35,546 60.6 +6.8
Eligible voters 58,624
Conservative hold Swing +7.5
Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Candice Hoeppner 22,036 68.3 -1.5 $57,186
Liberal Ted Klassen 4,374 13.6 +2.2 $19,807
Green Charlie Howatt 2,606 8.1 +3.0 $3,649
New Democratic Mohamed Alli 2,353 7.3 -4.1 $2,873
Christian Heritage Len Lodder 911 2.8 +0.1 $8,429
Total valid votes/Expense limit 32,280 100.0   $83,296
Total rejected ballots 116 0.4 0.0
Turnout 32,396 53.8
Conservative hold Swing +1.85


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