Chris Alexander (politician)

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The Honourable
Chris Alexander
Minister's word of encouragement (18975272533).jpg
Chris Alexander speaks at the opening of the 2015 Pan American Games
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Assumed office
15 July 2013
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Jason Kenney
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Ajax—Pickering
Assumed office
2 May 2011
Preceded by Mark Holland
Ambassador to Afghanistan
In office
October 2003 – 5 October 2005
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
Paul Martin
Preceded by Konrad Sigurdson
Succeeded by David Sproule
Personal details
Born (1968-09-09) September 9, 1968 (age 46)
Toronto, Ontario
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Hedvig Christine
Children 2

Christopher A. "Chris" Alexander (born September 9, 1968), PC,[1]MP is Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. He has represented the riding of Ajax—Pickering, in Ontario, in the Canadian House of Commons since 2011.

Alexander served as Canada's first resident Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005. Following this he served as a Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan till 2009. After winning his seat in the 2011 election, Alexander was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence. On July 15, 2013, he was appointed Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.


After graduating from the University of Toronto Schools, Alexander earned a B.A. in History and Politics from McGill University in 1989 and an M.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Balliol College, Oxford in 1991.


In 1991, Alexander joined the Canadian Foreign Service. He was posted to the Canadian embassy in Russia in 1993 as Third Secretary and Vice-Consul. In 1996, he returned to Ottawa to become an assistant to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1997, he became Deputy Director (Russia) of the Eastern Europe Division responsible for political and trade relations. In 2002 he returned to the Canadian embassy in Moscow as Minister Counsellor (Political). In August 2003 he became the first resident Canadian ambassador in Kabul, Afghanistan, relieving resident chargé d'affaires a.i. Keith Fountain.[2] From 2005 until mid-2009, he served as one of two deputy special representatives of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).[3][4][5]

In 2005, Alexander was selected as a Young Global Leader, an adjunct to the World Economic Forum.[6] In 2006 he was one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40.[7] He received the Atlantic Council of Canada Award in 2007, and in 2008 was made a 1st Class Grand Officer of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity.[8][9] In 2009 he was Honorary Chair of the UTS Centenary.[10] In 2010, he received the Birchall Leadership Award.[11]

On April 12, 2010, CBC News revealed that Alexander, as a senior official working with the United Nations, alleged that Asadullah Khalid, the former Governor of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan, had ordered the killing of five UN workers by bombing, presumably to protect his narcotics interests.[12]


Considered a star candidate,[13][14][15][16] Alexander became the Conservative Party of Canada candidate in the Regional Municipality of Durham riding of Ajax—Pickering on September 21, 2009[17] and he and his family moved to Ajax, Ontario. The riding was considered a key battleground riding.[18] Alexander won the seat at the 2011 federal election.[19][20] He has remained active on Afghanistan related issues, frequently speaking and writing on this subject.[21][22][23] In May 2011, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Defence Peter MacKay.[24][25][26]In that role in late 2012, Alexander frequently defended the government's position on the F-35 contract.[27] In July 2013, he was promoted to Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. In the Canadian order of precedence, Alexander is ranked in 28th place, making him the most junior full Minister.

In his role as Immigration and Citizenship Minister, Alexander sponsored Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, which strengthened the residency requirements for gaining citizenship to reduce the numbers of "Canadians of convenience" with weak bonds to the country.[28] The bill also allowed the Citizenship and Immigration Minister to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual citizens convicted of treason, espionage, or terrorism charges as well as those who engaged in armed conflict against Canada, which effectively created a two-tier Canadian citizenship.[29][28][30]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Foreign Affairs Department. "Listing of Posts". Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "UNAMA Biography of Chris Alexander". Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Afghanistan: Press conference by Chris Alexander, DSRSG and Nilab Mobarez, UNAMA Spokesperson's Office". Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  5. ^ Goold, Douglas (Spring 2007). "What Does the Future Hold for Chris Alexander?". International Journal 62 (2): 393–402. JSTOR 40204276. 
  6. ^ "List of Active Young Global Leaders As of 11 April 2011" (PDF). World Economic Forum. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Top 40 under 40". Globe and Mail. 2 May 2006. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "First Annual Atlantic Council of Canada Awards Dinner" (PDF). Atlantic Council of Canada Newsletter. Winter–Spring 2007. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Alexander Sig. Christopher Grande Ufficiale dell'Ordine della Stella della solidarietà italiana". Office of the President of Italy. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "UTS Alumni Magazine" (PDF). University of Toronto Schools. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Christopher Alexander To Receive 2010 Birchall Leadership Award At Legacy Dinner". eVeritas. 8 August 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  12. ^ "Afghan governor's rights abuses known in '07". CBC News. April 12, 2010. 
  13. ^ Gardner, Katie-Marie (18 September 2009). "The Liberals wanted him, the Tories won him over". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  14. ^ Geddes, John (September 17, 2009). "A new Tory star? Celebrated diplomat Chris Alexander may take a run in Ontario". Macleans. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  15. ^ Worthington, Peter. "Chris Alexander: The Best of the Best in Afghanistan". Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  16. ^ Coren, Michael (April 23, 2011). "Tories’ shining star Ajax-Pickering candidate restores one’s faith in Canadian politics". London Free Press / QMI Agency. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  17. ^ Szekely, Reka (Sep 24, 2009). "Former Afghan ambassador seeks Ajax-Pickering Conservative nomination". Ajax News Advertiser. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  18. ^ O'Connor, Joe (April 11, 2011). "Riding Profile: Scrappy Liberal incumbent battling star Tory challenger". National Post. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  19. ^ Pazzano, Sam (May 3, 2011). "". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  20. ^ Morrow, Adrian (May 3, 2011). "Ex-diplomat Alexander wins Ajax-Pickering for Conservatives". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  21. ^ "Chris Alexander discusses Canada's involvement in Afghanistan". Government of Canada. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  22. ^ Alexander, Chris. ""Afghanistan After Elections and Implications for Canada: What Will It Take to Finish the Job?" Remarks by Former Canadian Ambassador and Former Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General Chris Alexander to the Empire Club of Canada Royal York Hotel, September 17, 2009" (PDF). Empire Club of Canada. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  23. ^ Fillion, Kate (November 3, 2009). "The Interview: Chris Alexander". Macleans. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  24. ^ "Parliamentary Secretaries". Prime Minister of Canada. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  25. ^ Kleiss, Karen (May 25, 2011). "Edmonton MP Laurie Hawn shuffled out of defence secretary post". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  26. ^ Wherry, Aaron (May 25, 2011). "Secretaries day". Macleans. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  27. ^ Wherry, Aaron (10 December 2012). "Chris Alexander has the worst job in Ottawa". Maclean's. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  28. ^ a b "Bill C-24 is wrong: There is only one kind of Canadian citizen". Globe and Mail. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  29. ^ "Chris Alexander’s flawed overhaul of citizenship law". Globe and Mail. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  30. ^ McQuigge, Michelle (20 August 2015). "Civil rights groups launch constitutional challenge against Bill C-24". Global News. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 

External links[edit]

28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenship and Immigration