Cheryl Gallant

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Cheryl Gallant
Member of Parliament
for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke
Assumed office
November 27, 2000
Preceded byHec Clouthier
Personal details
Born (1960-05-23) May 23, 1960 (age 63)
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Political partyConservative (since 2003)
Other political
Alliance (2000–2003)
SpouseJamie Gallant
Residence(s)Pembroke, Ontario, Canada
Alma materUniversity of Western Ontario (BSc)
Insurance Executive[1]

Cheryl Gallant MP (born May 23, 1960) is a Canadian politician who represents the riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke in the House of Commons of Canada. She is a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. She is currently[when?] the longest-serving woman in the federal caucus[citation needed].

Early life and career[edit]

Gallant was born in Sarnia, Ontario. She attended the University of Western Ontario, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. Prior to becoming a politician, she worked for a major Canadian life insurance company as a group insurance executive and for a time as an office manager of a family-owned professional practice. Gallant has been married since 1985, and is the parent of four daughters.[2] She has served as the Chair of the City of Pembroke Downtown Development Commission and as a member of the Economic Advisory Committee for the city.

Political career[edit]

Gallant won her seat in the 2000 federal election, defeating Liberal incumbent Hec Clouthier and making history as the first woman elected to federal office in Renfrew County. Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke was one of only three Ontario federal riding districts not to elect a Liberal. Gallant took advantage of local opposition to Bill C-68, the Firearms Act, and benefited from backlash to Clouthier's support for gun control.[3]

She is currently a member of the Conservative Party of Canada in the House of Commons of Canada, having previously been a member of the Canadian Alliance party from 2000 to 2003. She is largely viewed as one of the most vocal social conservatives in the House of Commons. While a popular figure among the Christian Right and property rights activists, she regularly draws the ire of opponents. Serving in a riding with the largest military base and only national nuclear research facility in Canada, she has advocated for increased federal support for CFB Petawawa and the Chalk River Laboratories.

During the 37th Parliament, Gallant served as deputy house leader of the Official Opposition. She has served as CPC critic for science, research and development, was a member of the Commons Standing Committee on National Defence and Veteran's Affairs, and the Standing Committee on Industry. She has also served as opposition critic of Canadian Heritage, Amateur Sport, the National Capital Commission, Science, Research and Development, the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, and Small Business. In the 39th Parliament, she served as government vice-chair of the House NATO committee and on the House Committee for Natural Resources.

In the 38th Parliament, Gallant served as a member on the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Joint Committee on Library of Parliament, and the Library of Parliament.[4]

Her service continued in the 39th Parliament, where she served on the committee for the Status of Women, National Defence, and Library of Parliament.[4]

During the 40th Parliament, she served for varying lengths of time as a member on the following committees: National Defence, the Library of Parliament, the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure on the Standing Committee on National Defence, Scrutiny of Regulations, Natural Resources, and Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities.[4]

In the 2008 election, Gallant won her fourth term in Parliament, winning 28,906 of 47,314 votes (61.1% of the total). Her nearest rival, Liberal candidate Carole Devine, received 9,740 votes (20.6%).

Gallant won her fifth term in Parliament in a landslide election, collecting 27,462 of 51,398 votes (53.43% of the total). Her closest opponent, Independent Hec Clouthier, received 9,611 votes (18.70%).[5]

In the 41st Parliament, Gallant serves as a member of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology, as well as the Standing Committee on National Defence. She was elected by colleagues to represent Canada as Chair of the Canadian-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Parliamentary Association. The Canada-NATO Parliamentary Association consists of membership of all political parties represented in the House of Commons.

In March 2012, Gallant traveled to Norway to observe Canadian Forces from Petawawa participate in NATO exercises.[6] In April 2012, she received second place in The Hill Times poll for Best Conservative Constituency MP.[7]

Gallant was re-elected for a sixth term in 2015. In a statement on April 2, 2019, Gallant addressed the Speaker in the House regarding carbon pricing in Canada stating that the effects would necessitate higher tuition fees on college and university students to make up for increased heating and carbon payments.[8]

Gallant was challenged for the Conservative nomination in Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke for the 2019 election by Mike Coates, the campaign manager for former Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O'Leary.[9] However, Gallant was successful in winning the nomination 866 votes to 522.[10][11]

On October 21, 2019, Gallant was re-elected for her seventh term in office[12][13] after winning 30,387 of 57,506 ballots cast, or 52.67% of the vote.[14] She is the longest serving woman in the federal caucus.[15] During the ensuing 43rd Canadian Parliament, she introduced one private member bill, Bill C-222, An Act to amend the Expropriation Act (protection of private property) which sought to disallow the exemption of a public hearing in cases where private land is being expropriated for the purposes of "restoring historical natural habitats or addressing, directly or indirectly, climate variability". It was brought to a vote on February 17, 2021, but defeated with only Conservatives Party members voting in favour.[16][17] In the 2020 Conservative Party of Canada leadership election she endorsed Peter MacKay.[18]

She won re-election in 2021, despite being "nowhere to be found" during the campaign, according to CTV News Ottawa. During the campaign, Gallant claimed "Now that the pandemic is passing, they’re rebranding climate change as a climate emergency in order to justify climate lockdowns." The claim was cited by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as an example of a need for Conservative leader Erin O'Toole to control his candidates.[19]


In 2002, she made anti-gay remarks to then Minister of Foreign Affairs Bill Graham, when during a heated exchange, she shouted "Ask your boyfriend" and "How's your boyfriend?".[20][21]

Shortly before the 2004 election, Gallant made headlines for her criticism of Bill C-250, an amendment to the Criminal Code introduced by NDP MP Svend Robinson which would protect sexual orientation from hate propaganda. Among other things, Gallant claimed that the bill would limit freedom of opinion, make sections of the Bible "hate literature" and provide protection to pedophiles.[21]

During the 2004 election, a controversy erupted when Gallant compared abortion to the beheading of Iraq War hostage Nick Berg.[22] The Conservative Party then announced that she was suffering from laryngitis, and after this, she did not appear at some scheduled debates.

Gallant resurfaced in the spotlight on March 17, 2005, when she suggested that Christians were being persecuted by the Liberal Party in a flyer she sent to her constituents. Conservative leader Stephen Harper, confronted with the news, said "I'll let Cheryl Gallant explain those remarks herself; I haven't seen them."

Several constituents have accused Gallant of obtaining birth-date information from passport applications during the 2006 campaign. Her office regularly sent out greeting cards to constituents when their birthday came. One affected resident told the Ottawa Citizen, "The principle is really bothering me: that my information has been gathered without my knowledge. I don't know how it's going to be used." Two families who received cards have sent letters to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, asking confirmation the MP won't use the collected personal information. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has no jurisdiction in investigating such matters. Gallant's aide says the Member receives many requests for birthday and anniversary cards, and the office is unsure how the information was put on the list, since Gallant receives thousands of requests for salutations and the birth date could have been on one of the request forms returned by a constituent.[23][24] In addition, two constituents named Mr. and Mrs. White, who were unsatisfied with the response they received from Gallant's office, contacted the Liberal MP for Ottawa-Vanier Mauril Bélanger. Bélanger contacted the Office of the Ethics Commissioner on their behalf, who found grounds for and did conduct a preliminary inquiry into the matter. Although in their report they commented "personal information should only be used for the purpose for which it is gathered, or for a use consistent with that purpose,"[25] they found Gallant's use of the information did not further her private interests as alleged.[25] Because the use of the constituents' information did not meet the definition in Section 3(2) of the Member's Code for furthering private interests, the Office of the Ethics Commissioner discontinued their inquiry.[25][26]

Of around 60 major candidates in 15 Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec ridings, Gallant was the only one who didn't attending a meeting with the Ottawa Citizen editorial board. "Ms. Gallant's decision to duck every difficult question from the media is nothing short of childish", commented Citizen columnist Kelly Egan.[24] Gallant has stated that she was focused on campaigning locally in order to keep in touch with the concerns of local constituents.

In February 2011, during Defence Committee hearings in St. John's before an audience which included the family and co-workers of mariners lost at sea in recent accidents on the Atlantic, Gallant remarked, "In Ontario we have inland seas, the Great Lakes, and it would never occur to any of us, even up in the Ottawa River, to count on the Coast Guard to come and help us." Gallant said federal search and ocean rescue should be coordinated with privately operated resources and local governments.[27] Gallant's comparison of recreational boaters in sheltered inland waters to mariners on the Atlantic hundreds of miles from land drew outrage from many who had lost family at sea. She initially refused to apologize saying her remarks were misinterpreted, but on February 10, Gallant said she was sorry and did not mean to minimize ocean dangers.[28]

On March 28, 2011, after stating in a press release that she hoped for a clean election campaign,[29] Gallant compared Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Gallant wrote on her Twitter page: "No carbon tax please, Igaffi!"[30] Her initial tweet was deleted, but not before it was screen-captured and distributed to the national press.[31] She tweeted an apology to Ignatieff for her remarks on April 1.

In March 2016, Gallant caused further outrage and controversy by using the death of Corporal Nathan Cirillo as a means to generate money for her campaign through an Easter ham lottery. Cirillo was killed while standing guard at the National War Memorial on Oct. 22, 2014.[32]

In May 2016, Gallant accused the Rideau Institute of having ties to North Korea, Iran, and Russia on account of the Institute having those countries as options on their donation page when stating their nation of origin.[33]

In June 2017, Gallant was the only Member of Parliament to vote against a government motion re-affirming support for the Paris Agreement.[34]

In February 2021, Gallant was recorded on a Zoom meeting with a university student group, accusing Liberals of wanting to “normalize sexual activity with children”.[35]

During the so-called "Freedom Convoy", Gallant commented on her Facebook page to "Watch for Trudeau's gang to pull off false flag operations."[36] She advertised a Pembroke protest on her Facebook page, and has encouraged protests nationwide.[37]

Electoral record[edit]

2021 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Cheryl Gallant 28,967 49.5 -3.22
New Democratic Jodie Primeau 12,263 21.0 +6.10
Liberal Cyndi Mills 11,335 19.4 -0.16
People's David Ainsworth 4,469 7.6 +5.12
Green Michael Lariviere 1,111 1.9 -3.58
Independent Stefan Klietsch 373 0.6
Total valid votes 58,518
Total rejected ballots 459
Eligible voters
Source: Elections Canada[38]

2019 Canadian federal election: Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Cheryl Gallant 31,080 52.72 +6.89 $66,041.60
Liberal Ruben Marini 11,532 19.56 -13.10 $45,587.70
New Democratic Eileen Jones-Whyte 8,786 14.90 +6.34 $16,662.56
Green Ian Pineau 3,230 5.48 +3.55 $3,432.43
People's David Ainsworth 1,463 2.48 none listed
Independent Dan Criger 1,125 1.91 $9,173.74
Independent Dheerendra Kumar 917 1.56 none listed
Veterans Coalition Robert Cherrin 358 0.61 none listed
Libertarian Stefan Klietsch 266 0.45 none listed
Independent Jonathan Davis 200 0.34 none listed
Total valid votes/expense limit 58,957 99.21
Total rejected ballots 471 0.79 +0.33
Turnout 59,428 68.79 -3.93
Eligible voters 86,387
Conservative hold Swing +9.99
Source: Elections Canada[39][40]
2015 Canadian federal election: Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Cheryl Gallant 26,195 45.8 -7.63
Liberal Jeff Lehoux 18,666 32.7 +19.97
Independent Hec Clouthier 6,300 11.0 -7.7
New Democratic Dan McCarthy 4,893 8.6 -4.83
Green Stefan Klietsch 1,105 1.9 +0.19
Total valid votes/Expense limit 57,159 100.0   $222,926.86
Total rejected ballots 264
Turnout 57,423 73.5 +6.61
Eligible voters 78,080
Conservative hold Swing -13.8
Source: Elections Canada[41][42]
2011 Canadian federal election: Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Cheryl Gallant 27,462 53.43 -7.66
Independent Hec Clouthier 9,611 18.70
New Democratic Eric Burton 6,903 13.43 +2.50
Liberal Christine Tabbert 6,545 12.73 -7.84
Green Rosanne Van Schie 877 1.71 -5.05
Total valid votes/Expense limit 51,398 100.00  
Total rejected ballots 166 0.32 -0.08
Turnout 51,564 66.89 +3.74
Eligible voters 77,082
Conservative hold Swing +0.18

2008 Canadian federal election: Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Cheryl Gallant 28,908 61.10 +3.4 $55,331
Liberal Carole Devine 9,737 20.58 -3.52 $68,316
New Democratic Sue McSheffrey 5,175 10.94 -1.56 $25,911
Green Ben Hoffman 3,201 6.77 +3.67 $7,564
Independent Denis Gagné 293 0.62   $0
Total valid votes 47,314 100.00
Total rejected ballots 188
Turnout 47,502 63.15
Electors on the lists 75,223
Conservative hold Swing +3.46
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.
2006 Canadian federal election: Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Cheryl Gallant 29,992 57.7 +2.6
Liberal Don Lindsay 12,551 24.1 -5.5
New Democratic Sue McSheffrey 6,505 12.5 +1.0
Green Gordon S. McLeod 1,601 3.1 +0.7
Independent Paul Kelly 1,338 2.6 *
Total valid votes 51,987 100.0
Conservative hold Swing +9.0
2004 Canadian federal election: Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Cheryl Gallant 27,494 55.1 -0.4
Liberal Rob Jamieson 14,798 29.6 -9.4
New Democratic Sue McSheffrey 5,720 11.5 +8.0
Green Gordon S. McLeod 1,191 2.4
Marijuana Stanley Sambey 714 1.4 -0.2
Total valid votes 49,917 100.0
Conservative hold Swing +4.05
2000 Canadian federal election: Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Alliance Cheryl Gallant 20,634 44.2 +17.4
Liberal Hec Clouthier 18,211 39.0 -1.3
Progressive Conservative Bob Amaron 5,287 11.3 -14.1
New Democratic Ole Hendrickson 1,607 3.4 -3.2
Marijuana Stanley E. Sambey 762 1.6
Independent Thane C. Heins 121 0.3 *
Natural Law André Giordano 78 0.2 -0.2
Alliance gain from Liberal Swing +9.2
Total valid votes 46,700 100.0


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