Joe Oliver (politician)

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For the former mayor of Toronto, see Joseph Oliver (politician).
The Honourable
Joe Oliver
Joe Oliver.JPG
38th Minister of Finance
Assumed office
March 19, 2014
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Jim Flaherty
Minister of Natural Resources
In office
May 18, 2011 – March 19, 2014
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Christian Paradis
Succeeded by Greg Rickford
Member of Parliament
for Eglinton-Lawrence
Assumed office
May 30, 2011
Preceded by Joe Volpe
Personal details
Born (1940-05-20) May 20, 1940 (age 75)
Montreal, Canada
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Golda Goldman
Alma mater McGill University
Harvard University

Joseph "Joe" Oliver PC MP (born May 20, 1940) is a Canadian politician and Member of Parliament, currently serving as the Minister of Finance. He was elected to the House of Commons in the 2011 federal election[1] and represents the electoral district of Eglinton—Lawrence as a member of the Conservative Party.

Early life and career[edit]

Oliver was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec to a Canadian Jewish family. His father was a dentist and his mother was a teacher. He grew up attending Congregation Shaar Hashomayim.[2] He is currently married to Golda Goldman and has two sons, David and Jeffrey and two stepsons Eric and Jeremy.[3]

Oliver received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1961 and a Bachelor of Civil Law degree in 1964 from McGill University.[4] He received a MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1970.[5]

Following his studies he became an investment banker with Merrill Lynch and then Nesbitt Thomson. He became executive director of the Ontario Securities Commission and was also named the CEO of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada.

Political career[edit]

He ran in the 2008 election, but lost in a close race to the longtime Liberal incumbent, Joe Volpe. In the 2011 election, he defeated Volpe to win the seat.[6]

On May 18, 2011, Oliver was sworn in as the Minister of Natural Resources.[7] In June 2011, Oliver repeated Harper's campaign promise to support Quebec's asbestos industry, by claiming that chrysotile asbestos, a carcinogen that causes lung disease, could be used “in a safe and controlled manner.”[6] As Natural Resources Minister, Oliver also oversaw SNC-Lavalin's purchase of Atomic Energy of Canada.[6] Oliver has also defended pipeline projects for Canada's oil sands such as Keystone XL and the Northern Gateway.[6] In a January 2012 open letter defending Keystone XL Oliver called Canadians who opposed the project "radicals" who “use funding from foreign special interest groups to undermine Canada’s national economic interest.”[6] During his time as natural resources minister, the ministry's advertising budget grew from $237,000 in 2010-11 to $40 million in 2012-13.[6]. Also under Oliver, the regulatory checks on the energy industry's super-projects such as Keystone were streamlined.[6]

On March 19, 2014, Oliver was appointed to replace Jim Flaherty as Minister of Finance.[8]

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Joe Oliver 22,652 46.81 +7.56
Liberal Joe Volpe 18,590 38.42 -5.57
New Democratic Justin Chatwin 5,613 11.60 +3.18
Green Paul Baker 1,534 3.17 -5.17
Total valid votes 48,389 100.00
Total rejected ballots 302 0.62 +0.12
Turnout 48,691 68.02 +8.27
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +6.57

Source: Elections Canada

Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Joe Volpe 19,133 43.99 -8.90 $46,582
Conservative Joe Oliver 17,073 39.25 +9.00 $82,193
New Democratic Justin Chatwin 3,663 8.42 -3.07 $4,729
Green Andrew James 3,629 8.34 +3.22 $6,136
Total valid votes/Expense limit 43,498 100.00 $82,294
Total rejected ballots 219 0.50
Turnout 43,717 59.75
Liberal hold Swing -8.95


  1. ^ Election 2011: Eglinton—Lawrence. The Globe and Mail, May 2, 2011.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "JOE OLIVER, BA’61, BCL’64". 
  5. ^ "The Honourable Joe Oliver". 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Kingston, Anne (5 September 2014). "The PM’s latest secret weapon: Joe Oliver". Maclean's. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  7. ^ Canada, Parliament of. "Member of Parliament Profile". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Josh Wingrove, Steven Chase, Bill Curry And Shawn McCarthy (March 19, 2014). "New Finance Minister Joe Oliver enters with a whisper". The Globe and Mail. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Joe Volpe
Member of Parliament
for Eglinton-Lawrence

Political offices
Preceded by
Christian Paradis
Minister of Natural Resources
Succeeded by
Greg Rickford
Preceded by
Jim Flaherty
Minister of Finance