Mélanie Joly

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Melanie Joly
Mélanie Joly - G7 at NATO - 2022 (51989993816) (cropped).jpg
Joly in 2022
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Assumed office
October 26, 2021
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byMarc Garneau
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
In office
November 20, 2019 – October 26, 2021
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byNavdeep Bains (Economic Development)
Herself (Official Languages)
Succeeded byMary Ng (Economic Development)
Ginette Petitpas Taylor (Official Languages)
Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario
In office
November 20, 2019 – October 26, 2021
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byNavdeep Bains
Succeeded byPatty Hajdu
Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
In office
July 18, 2018 – November 20, 2019
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded by
Succeeded byHerself (as Minister for Official Languages)
Minister of Canadian Heritage
In office
November 4, 2015 – July 18, 2018
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byShelly Glover
Succeeded byPablo Rodríguez
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Ahuntsic-Cartierville
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded byMaria Mourani
Personal details
Born (1979-01-16) January 16, 1979 (age 44)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Other political
Vrai changement pour Montréal (municipal)
RelationsCarole-Marie Allard (stepmother)
Residence(s)Le Plateau, Montreal, Quebec[1]
Alma mater
  • Lawyer
  • politician
AwardsChevening Scholarship

Melanie Joly PC MP (born January 16, 1979) is a Canadian lawyer and politician who has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs since October 2021. A member of the Liberal Party, Joly represents the Montreal-area riding of Ahuntsic-Cartierville in the House of Commons, taking office as a member of Parliament (MP) following the 2015 federal election. She has held a number of portfolios including Canadian heritage, tourism, and La Francophonie. Joly ran for mayor of Montreal in the 2013 Montreal municipal election, placing second behind eventual winner Denis Coderre.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Joly graduated from Université de Montréal and Brasenose College, Oxford.

Early and personal life[edit]

Born on January 16, 1979,[2] she grew up in Montreal's northern neighbourhood of Ahuntsic.[3] Joly's father is Clément Joly, an accountant who was president of the Liberal Party's finance committee in Quebec and manager of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority from 2002 to 2007. Her stepmother, Carole-Marie Allard, is a lawyer and journalist, who was an MP representing Laval—East from 2000 to 2004.

Education and career[edit]

After completing her degree in law at the Université de Montréal in 2001, Joly became a member of the Barreau du Québec. She subsequently received the Chevening scholarship and continued her studies at Brasenose College, Oxford, where she received a Magister Juris in comparative and public law in 2003.[4] Joly also interned at Radio-Canada, in 2007.[5]

At the beginning of her career, Joly practiced law at two major Montreal law firms, Stikeman Elliott and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg. At the latter firm, her mentor was former Parti Quebecois premier Lucien Bouchard, who supplied her with a letter of recommendation for her Oxford application.[6] She worked primarily in the areas of civil and commercial litigation, bankruptcy and insolvency law. She was also a prosecutor before the Gomery Commission of inquiry.[7]

In 2010, she became the first Quebecer to receive the Arnold Edinborough award, which recognizes philanthropic involvement within the Canadian cultural community.[8]

In 2013, she was appointed to head the Quebec Advisory Committee for Justin Trudeau’s leadership campaign of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Along with her colleagues, she founded Generation of Ideas, which is a political forum for 25- to 35-year-olds.[9] She is also a member of the collective group Sortie 13, for which she wrote "Les villes au pouvoir ou comment relancer le monde municipal québécois".[10]

Political career[edit]

Municipal campaign[edit]

Joly met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv, 2022

In June 2013, Joly announced her candidacy for mayor of Montreal in the elections which occurred in the same year. She founded a new party, Vrai changement pour Montréal, to support her candidacy. On November 3, election day, she obtained 26.50 per cent of the votes, finishing six points behind the winner, Denis Coderre. However, she finished ahead of several more established challengers.[11]

Federal politics[edit]

In 2015, Joly left municipal politics and announced her candidacy for the nomination of the Liberal Party of Canada in the new electoral district of Ahuntsic-Cartierville for the 2015 federal election.[12] Joly won the riding with 47.5 per cent of the vote, unseating incumbent Maria Mourani.[13]

In Cabinet[edit]

After the election, Joly was named as the minister of Canadian heritage as part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's new government.[14] On August 28, 2018, Joly was named to the tourism, official languages, and La Francophonie portfolio.[15]

She assumed the position of Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages on December 13, 2019. Her mandate was marked by the introduction of separate regional development agencies for Western Canada: Canada Economic Development for the Prairies (PrairieCan)[16] and Canada Economic Development for the Pacific (PacifiCan).[17]

On June 15, 2021, she introduced Bill C-32 in the House of Commons, an Act to achieve substantive equality of English and French and to strengthen the Official Languages Act.[18] The first reform since 1988, Joly's modernization was intended to ensure that the government's broad range of measures in support of official languages responded to and adapted to the challenges faced by these languages in the various regions of the country.[19]

Minister of Foreign Affairs[edit]

Joly met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in Los Angeles, 2022

Joly took office as Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs on October 26, 2021.[20] On December 20, 2021, Joly announced that she had tested positive for COVID-19.[21]

Amidst global concerns about a buildup of Russian troops on the country's eastern border,[22][23][24] she visited Ukraine in January 2022.[25] She visited again on May 8, 2022 when she accompanied Trudeau on an unannounced visit to Kyiv to reopen the Canadian embassy amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In May 2022, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan voiced his opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, accusing the two countries of tolerating groups which Turkey classifies as terrorist organizations, including the Kurdish militant groups PKK and YPG and the supporters of Fethullah Gülen, a US-based Muslim cleric accused by Turkey of orchestrating a failed 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt.[26] Joly held talks with Turkey to convince the Turkish government of the need for two Nordic nations integration.[27]

Electoral record[edit]

2021 Canadian federal election: Ahuntsic-Cartierville
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Mélanie Joly 26,402 52.38 –0.07
Bloc Québécois Anna Simonyan 11,112 22.04 +0.31
New Democratic Ghada Chaabi 5,844 11.59 +0.19
Conservative Steven Duarte 4,247 8.43 +1.15
Green Luc Joli-Coeur 1,491 2.96 –3.12
People's Manon Chevalier 1,313 2.60 +1.54
Total valid votes 50,409 100.00 $110,827.67
Total rejected ballots 1,054 2.05 +0.23
Turnout 51,463 64.16 –3.34
Eligible voters 80,206
Liberal hold Swing –0.19
Source: Elections Canada[28][29]
2019 Canadian federal election: Ahuntsic-Cartierville
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Mélanie Joly 28,904 52.45 +5.65 $75,399.95
Bloc Québécois André Parizeau 11,974 21.73 +8.53 none listed
New Democratic Zahia El-Masri 6,284 11.4 −18.6 none listed
Conservative Kathy Laframboise 4,013 7.28 −0.02 $0.00
Green Jean-Michel Lavarenne 3,352 6.08 +3.98 $7,837.28
People's Raymond Ayas 584 1.06 $7,512.42
Total valid votes/expense limit 55,111 100.0
Total rejected ballots 1,022
Turnout 56,133 67.5
Eligible voters 83,176
Liberal hold Swing −1.44
Source: Elections Canada[30][31]
2015 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Mélanie Joly 26,026 46.8 +15.7 $149,387.67
New Democratic Maria Mourani 16,684 30.0 +0.1 $86,722.49
Bloc Québécois Nicolas Bourdon 7,346 13.2 -15.1 $27,931.96
Conservative Wiliam Moughrabi 4,051 7.3 -1.3 $12,346.58
Green Gilles Mercier 1,175 2.1 +0.7
Rhinoceros Catherine Gascon-David 285 0.5
Total valid votes/Expense limit 100.0     $220,041.13
Total rejected ballots
Eligible voters 82,863
Source: Elections Canada[32][33]


  1. ^ "Search For Contributions". Elections Canada. Retrieved June 23, 2021.
  2. ^ "The Hon. Mélanie Joly, P.C., M.P." Parliament of Canada. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  3. ^ Patriquin, Martin (June 10, 2016). "The sunniest Liberal, Mélanie Joly". Maclean's Magazine. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  4. ^ "Mélanie Joly". LinkedIn. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  5. ^ "Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly once interned at Radio-Canada". CBC.ca. November 7, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  6. ^ Campbell Clark, Liberal newcomers could bring wide-ranging experience to Trudeau's cabinet, The Globe & Mail, October 31, 2015.
  7. ^ "À PROPOS DE MÉLANIE JOLY". Le vrai changement pour Montréal - groupe Mélanie Joly. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  8. ^ "Business for the Arts — Previous Winners". www.businessforthearts.org. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  9. ^ Frigon, Gaétan (June 1, 2013). "Mélanie qui? Mélanie Joly". La Presse. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  10. ^ Joly, Mélanie. "Les villes au pouvoir ou comment relancer le monde municipal québécois". Sortie13. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  11. ^ "Élections municipales 2013 - Résultats | ICI.Radio-Canada.ca". Radio-Canada.ca. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  12. ^ De Grandpré, Hugo (February 19, 2015). "Mélanie Joly dans Ahuntsic: des libéraux réitèrent leur intention d'être candidats". La Presse. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  13. ^ "Election results: Mélanie Joly wins as Maria Mourani fails to stop second wave in Ahuntsic-Cartierville". Montreal Gazette. October 20, 2015.
  14. ^ "The Honourable Mélanie Joly". Prime Minister's Office. November 4, 2015.
  15. ^ Leblanc, Daniel (October 8, 2018). "Prime Minister Trudeau has last shot to help Michaëlle Jean stay on as Francophonie leader". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  16. ^ "Prairies Economic Development". August 9, 2021.
  17. ^ "Pacific Economic Development". June 27, 2021.
  18. ^ "Introduction of Bill C-32, an Act for the Substantive Equality of French and English and the Strengthening of the Official Languages Act". June 15, 2021.
  19. ^ "Modernization of the Official Languages Act". February 3, 2021.
  20. ^ Curry, Bill; Kirkup, Kristy; Raman-Wilms, Menaka; Dickson, Janice (October 26, 2021). "Trudeau cabinet shuffle: Anita Anand moves to Defence, Steven Guilbeault to Environment, Mélanie Joly to Foreign Affairs". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
  21. ^ Raycraft, Raycraft (December 20, 2021). "Foreign Affairs Minister Joly tests positive for COVID-19". CBC News.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ "Russian ships, tanks and troops on the move to Ukraine as peace talks stall". the Guardian. January 23, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  23. ^ Gordon, Joanna Sugden, Yaroslav Trofimov and Michael R. (January 25, 2022). "What Does Russia Want With Ukraine? Tensions Between Putin and NATO Explained". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  24. ^ "Momentum is building for war in Ukraine". The Economist. January 22, 2022. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  25. ^ Canadian foreign minister to visit Ukraine, retrieved January 15, 2022
  26. ^ "Erdogan says Turkey not supportive of Finland, Sweden joining NATO". Reuters. May 13, 2022.
  27. ^ Brzozowski, Alexandra (May 16, 2022). "Sweden takes formal decision to apply for NATO membership". www.euractiv.com.
  28. ^ "Election Night Results — Ahuntsic-Cartierville". Elections Canada. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  29. ^ "Final Election Expenses Limits for Candidates — 44th Canadian Federal Election". Elections Canada. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  30. ^ "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  31. ^ "Election Night Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  32. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, 30 September 2015
  33. ^ "Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates". Archived from the original on August 15, 2015. Retrieved April 11, 2020.

External links[edit]

29th Ministry – Cabinet of Justin Trudeau
Cabinet posts (3)
Predecessor Office Successor
Marc Garneau Minister of Foreign Affairs
October 26, 2021 – present
Bardish Chagger (Tourism)
Marie-Claude Bibeau
(La Francophonie)
Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and la Francophonie
July 17, 2018 – November 20, 2019
Shelly Glover Minister of Canadian Heritage
November 4, 2015 – July 17, 2018
Pablo Rodriguez