Diane Finley

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The Honourable
Diane Finley
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Haldimand—Norfolk
Assumed office
June 28, 2004
Preceded by Bob Speller
Personal details
Born (1957-10-03) October 3, 1957 (age 58)
Hamilton, Ontario
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Doug Finley
Residence Simcoe
Profession Businesswoman, executive, management consultant, school administrator

Diane Finley, PC, MP (born October 3, 1957) is a Canadian politician. From 2006 though 2015, she served in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Her ministerial portfolios included Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, or CMHC, and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. She is a member of the Canadian House of Commons, representing the riding of Haldimand—Norfolk for the Conservative Party.

Personal life[edit]

Diane Finley was raised in Port Dover and Charlotteville in Norfolk County, Ontario, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario. After graduation, she became the administrator of Western's French Immersion School. She then worked in a series of private and public sector jobs, in a variety of fields. She was named "one of Canada's future leaders" by the Governor-General’s Study Conference 2000.

Her husband was Doug Finley who was a Senator and former campaign manager and director of political operations for the Conservative Party of Canada.[1] The pair met while Diane was working as a summer hire at Rolls Royce where Doug was an executive.[2]

In 2006, Finley announced that she has Graves' disease, a non-life-threatening thyroid condition which causes increased sensitivity to bright lights and forces her to wear tinted glasses.[3]

Political career[edit]

Finley has promoted increased private-sector involvement in health services. She was the founder of Canada's largest publicly funded ambulance service company, Canadian Medical Response, and has been active in the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships.

Long involved in politics of the Conservative Party and its predecessors, Finley first ran for public office herself in the 2004 federal election. She defeated Bob Speller, a Liberal cabinet minister, by 1,645 votes. After being re-elected in the 2006 election, she was appointed to the cabinet as Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. An Order in Council transferred authority for Social Development Canada to her as well, and accordingly she served under the style Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. She was shuffled from the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada portfolio on January 4, 2007. The following year, Finley allegedly received threats from sex industry officials in relation to her support of Bill C-17, which sought to allow immigration officers to deny temporary visas to prospective strippers if they were suspected to be sex trafficking victims. Tim Lambrinos of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada (AEAC) said that "it's not plausible" that any of the AEAC strip clubs were responsible for the threats.[4]

On October 14, 2008, Finley won as the Conservative Party candidate for Haldimand—Norfolk in the 2008 election and re-elected May 2, 2011, in the 2011 election with 50.9% of the vote in her electoral riding. After her election victory she resumed her former post as Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development in the Conservative minority government, a post she continues to hold after the following election.[5]

In March 2015 a parliamentary ethics report on an affair linked to disgraced prime ministerial aide Nigel Wright found that Finley had breached conflict of interest rules in her capacity as minister by diverting funding to a favoured project in Markham whose promoter had close ties to the Conservative Party.[6]

After winning her seat once more in the 2015 federal election, Finley announced that she would be running for the position of interim leader of the Conservative Party, after Stephen Harper's resignation from the post.[7]

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2015
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Diane Finley 24,714 44.1 -6.8
Liberal Joan Mouland 20,487 36.6 +11.7
New Democratic John Harris 7,625 13.6 -6.4
Green Wayne Ettinger 1,857 3.3 0
Christian Heritage David Bylsma 884 1.6 +0.7
Independent Dustin Wakeford 272 0.5
Independent Leslie Bory 151 0.3
Total valid votes/Expense limit 55,990 100.0     $218,300.93
Total rejected ballots 312 0.55 +0.04
Turnout 56,302 68.44 +4.95
Eligible voters 82,261
Conservative hold Swing -9.25
Source: Elections Canada[8][9]
Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Diane Finley 25,655 50.9 +10.1
Liberal Bob Speller 12,549 24.9 -7.5
New Democratic Ian Nichols 10,062 20.0 +9.5
Green Anne Faulkner 1,665 3.3 -0.9
Christian Heritage Steven Elgersma 435 0.9 -0.1
Total valid votes/Expense limit 50,366 100.0 4.1
Total rejected ballots 256 0.51
Turnout 50,622 63.49
Eligible voters 79,729
Conservative hold Swing +8.8
Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Diane Finley 19,657 40.83 -7.5 $67,583
Liberal Eric Hoskins 15,577 32.35 -1.9 $72,913
New Democratic Ian Nichols 5,549 11.53 -1.3 $5,509
Independent Gary McHale 4,821 10.01 $22,798
Green Stephana Johnston 2,041 4.24 +0.7 $2,581
Christian Heritage Steven Elgersma 501 1.04 0.0
Total valid votes/Expense limit 48,146 100 $85,391
Majority 4,080 8.48
Total rejected ballots 248 0.51
Turnout 48,394
Conservative hold Swing -5.6
Canadian federal election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Conservative Diane Finley 25,885 48.33 +6.1
Liberal Bob Speller 18,363 34.29 -4.5
New Democratic Valya Roberts 6,858 12.80 -1.6
Green Carolyn Van Nort 1,894 3.54 +0.1
Christian Heritage Steven Elgersma 559 1.04 -0.2
Turnout 53,559
Conservative hold Swing +5.3
Canadian federal election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Conservative Diane Finley 20,981 42.2 -6.2
Liberal Bob Speller 19,336 38.8 -7.2
New Democratic Carrie Sinkowski 7,143 14.4 +9.8
Green Colin Jones 1,703 3.4
Christian Heritage Steven Elgersma 617 1.2
Majority 1,645 3.3
Turnout 49,780 63.3
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +1.0


External links[edit]

28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper
Cabinet Posts (4)
Predecessor Office Successor
Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Judy Foote
Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
Jason Kenney
Monte Solberg Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Jason Kenney
Belinda Stronach Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
styled as Minister of Human Resources and Social Development
Monte Solberg