Mélanie Joly

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Mélanie Joly

Mélanie Joly, 2019-10-03 version 02.jpg
Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
Assumed office
November 20, 2019
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byNavdeep Bains (Economic Development)
Herself (Official Languages)
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 42)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Other political
Vrai changement pour Montréal (municipal)
Spouse(s)Félix Marzell, Frédéric Drouin (former spouse)
RelationsCarole-Marie Allard (stepmother)
Alma mater
OccupationLawyer, politician
AwardsChevening Scholarship

Mélanie Joly PC MP (born January 16, 1979) is a Canadian lawyer and politician who has served as the minister of economic development and official languages since 2019. A member of the Liberal Party, Joly represents the Montreal area riding of Ahuntsic-Cartierville in the House of Commons, taking office as 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 at Fleury Hospital in 1979, she grew up in Montreal's northern neighbourhood of Ahuntsic.[2] 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 and husband of Carole-Marie Allard, a lawyer, journalist and an MP representing Laval—East from 2000 to 2004.

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 the University of Oxford, where she obtained a master's degree (Magister Juris) in comparative and public law in 2003.[3] Joly also interned at Radio-Canada, in 2007.[4]


At the beginning of her career, Joly practised 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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7] She is also a member of the collective group Sortie 13, where she penned a contribution entitled "Les villes au pouvoir ou comment relancer le monde municipal québécois".[8]

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% of the votes, finishing six points behind the winner, Denis Coderre. However, she finished ahead of several more established challengers.[9]

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.[10] Joly won the riding with 47.5% of the vote, unseating incumbent Maria Mourani.[11] After the election, Joly was named as the minister of Canadian heritage as part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's 29th Canadian Ministry.[12]

On August 28, 2018, Joly was shuffled to the tourism, official languages, and La Francophonie portfolio.[13]

Electoral history[edit]

2019 Canadian federal election: Ahuntsic-Cartierville
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Mélanie Joly 28,904 52.45 +5.65
Bloc Québécois André Parizeau 11,974 21.73 +8.53
New Democratic Zahia El-Masri 6,284 11.4 -18.6
Conservative Kathy Laframboise 4,013 7.28 -0.02
Green Jean-Michel Lavarenne 3,352 6.08 +3.98
People's Raymond Ayas 584 1.06
Total valid votes/Expense limit 55,111 100.0
Total rejected ballots 1,022
Turnout 56,133 67.5
Eligible voters 83,176
Source: Elections Canada[14][15]
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[16][17]

Other activities[edit]

In addition to her professional activities, Joly is involved in the philanthropic sector. In 2010, she became the first Quebecker to receive the Arnold Edinborough award, which recognizes philanthropic involvement within the Canadian cultural community.[18] To this day, she is spokesperson for Logis Rose-Virginie and ambassador for La rue des Femmes.

Joly has served on several committees and boards of directors (see list below).

On October 15, 2014, she published her first book entitled Changer les règles du jeu (Changing the Rules of the Game). This publication dealt with the balance of power between the different levels of government and the division between political powers and the population. It also discussed other issues such as climate change, public transportation and the growth of social inequalities.

  • 2012–2013 — CHUM Foundation, member of the board of directors
  • 2011–2013 — Quebec Pension Plan, member of the board of directors
  • 2011 — Sortie 13, member of the think tank group
  • 2011–2013 — Entrepreneur organization (EO), member of forum 8
  • 2011–2012 — Governor General Award of Performing Arts, member of the national organizing committee
  • 2010–2013 — Canadian Circle, member of the board of directors
  • 2009–2012 — Laval Symphony Orchestra, member of the board of directors and founding president of future committee
  • 2009–2011 — Young Canadians in Finance (Business women’s division), founding member of the committee
  • 2009–2010 — Montreal Bach Festival, member of the board of directors
  • 2008–2013 — Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, member of the board of directors and president of the governance committee
  • 2008–2013 — Conseil supérieur de la langue française, member of the board of directors
  • 2007–2011 — Génération d’idées, cofounder and member of the board of directors
  • 2007–2011 — Ballets Jazz de Montréal, member of the Honouring Committee
  • 2007–2008 — Montreal Contemporary Art Museum, founding president of the Youth Committee and initiated the MCAM Spring Project
  • 2006–2007 — Montreal Contemporary Art Museum, member of the board of directors and founding president of the youth committee
  • 2006–2008 — Advisory Board of the dean of the Faculty of law at l’Université de Montréal, member of the board of directors


  1. ^ "Official Voting Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  2. ^ Patriquin, Martin (June 10, 2016). "The sunniest Liberal, Mélanie Joly". Maclean's Magazine. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  3. ^ "Mélanie Joly". LinkedIn. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly once interned at Radio-Canada". CBC.ca. 2015-11-07. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  5. ^ Campbell Clark, Liberal newcomers could bring wide-ranging experience to Trudeau's cabinet, The Globe & Mail, October 31, 2015.
  6. ^ "À PROPOS DE MÉLANIE JOLY". Le vrai changement pour Montréal - groupe Mélanie Joly. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  7. ^ Frigon, Gaétan (2013-06-01). "Mélanie qui? Mélanie Joly". La Presse. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  8. ^ Joly, Mélanie. "Les villes au pouvoir ou comment relancer le monde municipal québécois". Sortie13. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Élections municipales 2013 - Résultats | ICI.Radio-Canada.ca". Radio-Canada.ca. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  10. ^ De Grandpré, Hugo (February 19, 2015). "Mélanie Joly dans Ahuntsic: des libéraux réitèrent leur intention d'être candidats". La Presse. Retrieved February 19, 2015.
  11. ^ "Election results: Mélanie Joly wins as Maria Mourani fails to stop second wave in Ahuntsic-Cartierville". Montreal Gazette. October 20, 2015.
  12. ^ "The Honourable Mélanie Joly". Prime Minister's Office.
  13. ^ Leblanc, Daniel (2018-10-08). "Prime Minister Trudeau has last shot to help Michaëlle Jean stay on as Francophonie leader". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  14. ^ "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  15. ^ "Election Night Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  16. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Ahuntsic-Cartierville, 30 September 2015
  17. ^ "Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates". Archived from the original on 2015-08-15. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  18. ^ "Business for the Arts — Previous Winners". www.businessforthearts.org. Retrieved 2015-08-17.

External links[edit]

29th Ministry – Cabinet of Justin Trudeau
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Bardish Chagger (Tourism)
Marie-Claude Bibeau
(La Francophonie)
Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and la Francophonie
July 17, 2018 –
Shelly Glover Minister of Canadian Heritage
November 4, 2015 – July 17, 2018
Pablo Rodriguez