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Marco Mendicino

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Marco Mendicino
Mendicino in 2023
Minister of Public Safety
In office
October 26, 2021 – July 26, 2023
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byBill Blair
Succeeded byDominic LeBlanc
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
In office
November 20, 2019 – October 26, 2021
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded byAhmed Hussen
Succeeded bySean Fraser
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
In office
August 31, 2018 – November 20, 2019
MinisterFrançois-Philippe Champagne
Preceded byMarc Miller
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
In office
January 30, 2017 – August 30, 2018
MinisterJody Wilson-Raybould
Preceded byBill Blair
Succeeded byArif Virani
Member of Parliament
for Eglinton—Lawrence
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded byJoe Oliver
Personal details
Born (1973-07-28) July 28, 1973 (age 50)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Residence(s)Bedford Park,[1] Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Alma materCarleton University
University of Windsor
York University
  • Politician
  • lawyer

Marco Mendicino PC MP (Italian: [ˈmarko mendiˈtʃiːno]; born July 28, 1973) is a Canadian politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Eglinton—Lawrence in the House of Commons since 2015. He served as the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship from 2019 to 2021 and the Minister of Public Safety from 2021 to 2023.

Early life[edit]

Mendicino was born to Italian immigrant parents.[2] He studied political science at Carleton University, before attending law school at the University of Windsor. Later in his career he also studied human resources management at York University's Schulich School of Business.[3]

As Crown counsel[edit]

Mendicino worked as a federal prosecutor for ten years, during which time he was involved in the handling of the Toronto 18 terrorism case.[4]

He also worked for the Law Society of Upper Canada, served as the president of the Association of Justice Counsel, and taught as an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School.[4]

Political career[edit]

Mendicino was occasional member of the Eglinton—Lawrence Liberal riding executive, and served as legal counsel to provincial Liberal candidate Mike Colle's campaign in 2014.


Mendicino stood for the federal nomination for the 2015 general election. He faced a major battle for the nomination after Conservative MP Eve Adams crossed the floor to join the Liberal Party.[5] With the support of party leader Justin Trudeau, sought the Liberal nomination in Eglinton—Lawrence. Mendicino secured the support of former interim Liberal leader Bob Rae and nearby incumbent MP Judy Sgro.[4] He defeated Adams at the July 26, 2015, nomination meeting by 1,936 to 1,100 votes.[6]

In the general election, Mendicino faced the incumbent Conservative MP Joe Oliver, who was Minister of Finance, as well as a surprise New Democratic Party nominee in former Saskatchewan finance minister Andrew Thomson. Mendicino attacked Thomson as a parachute candidate.[7] Ultimately, Mendicino won the election.[8][9]

On January 30, 2017, Mendicino was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada serving under Jody Wilson-Raybould.

On August 31, 2018, he became Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities[10] serving under François-Philippe Champagne.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (2019–2021)[edit]

Mendicino was re-elected in the 2019 federal election and subsequently named Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.[11]

Minister of Public Safety (2021–2023)[edit]

Mendicino was re-elected in the 2021 federal election, and was appointed Minister of Public Safety on October 26.[12]

Emergencies Act[edit]

Minister Mendicino oversaw the first ever invocation of the Emergencies Act in response to the 2022 Freedom Convoy protests in February 2022.[13] Scrutiny from media and opposition followed regarding whether the use of the Act was necessary.

Media questioned whether law enforcement asked for the Act's use. This question stems from testimony on 26 April before the DEDC committee, in which he noted in response to a question from Bloc Quebecois MP Rheal Fortin that the government "invoked the act because it was the advice of non-partisan professional law enforcement that the existing authorities were ineffective at the time to restore public safety."[14][15] In response to questions from Liberal MP Rachel Bendayan he said:[16]

We invoked the act because it was the advice of non-partisan professional law enforcement that existing authorities were ineffective at the time to restore public safety at all of the ports of entry you mentioned.

Mendicino then addressed the media's questions surrounding cabinet confidence, and whether this provision would be lifted for the purposes of the public inquiry that is written into the Emergencies Act, called the Rouleau inquiry.[17]

On April 27, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the House of Commons that "police were clear that they needed tools not held by any federal, provincial or territorial law."[18]

On 19 May 2022 Shadow Minister of Emergency Preparedness Dane Lloyd asked Mendicino about the need for the invocation of the Emergencies Act and elicited the comment that the latter "stands by previous statements that the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act on the recommendation of law enforcement officials."[19]

On 11 May 2022 RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki stated under oath to the DEDC committee that "while her agency was consulted, it never requested nor recommended the [Emergency Act]'s use".[20] On 17 May the interim Ottawa police chief Steve Bell testified at PROC committee that he did not request the invocation of the Emergencies Act from the government.[21][14][22][23] Another police service that was involved in the Freedom Convoy protests was the Ontario Provincial Police, and testimony on 24 March before the SECU committee from its commissioner Thomas Carrique led many to believe that Carrique made the request,[24][25] Mendicino clarified in testimony given to the SECU committee on 17 May when he prevaricated.[26]

Mendicino's Deputy Minister answered questions before the DEDC committee on 8 June, in which he testified that the minister "was misunderstood",[18] and on 14 June the Official Opposition called for Mendicino to resign.[27]

On 15 June before the DEDC committee, Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland spoke to questions about recommendations from law enforcement to invoke the Emergencies Act. Minister Blair notes, "I’m not aware of any recommendation of law enforcement. Quite frankly, this is a decision of government." Deputy Prime Minister Freeland said "I would like to take the personal responsibility for that decision [to invoke the Emergencies Act], it was my opinion it was the correct decision," and "a last resort". DEDC committee co-chair Fortin was unable to get a direct answer to his questions about what steps the federal government tried taking before invoking the last resort. MP and committee co-chair Matthew Green repeatedly asked whether Freeland "took notes at high-level meetings she had with bank officials about the economic measures in the emergency declaration," and after getting no response during his allotted time for questions, a frustrated Green said "that is unreal."[28]

Chinese government interference in Canadian federal elections[edit]

On February 19, 2023 while speaking to Mercedes Stephenson of Global News' The West Block, Mendicino did not answer whether the panel appointed to review the integrity of recent federal elections ever saw the CSIS intelligence reports that warned of attempts by China at election interference.[29] In the interview, Mendicino stated: “We’ve always been up front with the fact that there is foreign interference, that we need to be eyes wide open and vigilant about it”.[30]

On March 10, 2023, Mendicino held a press conference to announce that the Liberal Government would begin consultations on foreign influence registry to combat Chinese interference.[31] He took questions from the media surrounding the lack of timeline for the project, and why Canada is not acting faster, when other commonwealth nations have had established registries for foreign influence for years.[32]

Paul Bernardo transfer[edit]

In May 2023, after spending a decade at Millhaven Institution, serial rapist and serial killer Paul Bernardo was transferred to La Macaza Institution, a medium-security facility in Quebec.[33] The transfer caused controversy and the reason for the transfer was not provided to the public. On June 15, Mendicino said that there was a "breakdown in information flow" in his office and did not explain why he was unaware of preparations to transfer Bernardo. Mendicino's office first learned of Bernardo's potential transfer on March 2. The transfer occurred on May 29, but Mendicino was not informed of the transfer until the day after, despite his office being informed by the Correctional Service of Canada on May 25.[34]

Mendocino was dropped from cabinet and replaced as Public Safety Minister by Dominic LeBlanc during a cabinet shuffle on July 26, 2023 with the media attributing his demotion to the controversy around the Bernardo transfer.[35]

Electoral record[edit]

2019 Canadian federal election: Eglinton—Lawrence
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Marco Mendicino 29,850 53.3 +4.41 $86,046.25
Conservative Chani Aryeh-Bain 18,549 33.1 -10.14 $71,631.04
New Democratic Alexandra Nash 4,741 8.5 +2.12 $10,049.32
Green Reuben DeBoer 2,278 4.1 +3.27 $3,248.70
People's Michael Staffieri 586 1.0 - $5,424.02
Total valid votes/expense limit 56,004 100.0  
Total rejected ballots 394
Turnout 56,398
Eligible voters 82,811
Liberal hold Swing +4.41
Source: Elections Canada[36][37]
2015 Canadian federal election: Eglinton—Lawrence
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Marco Mendicino 27,278 48.89 +10.47 $155,849.60
Conservative Joe Oliver 23,788 42.64 -4.18 $183,256.52
New Democratic Andrew Thomson 3,505 6.28 -5.32 $114,205.95
Green Matthew Chisholm 799 1.43 -1.74 $217.60
Libertarian Ethan Buchman 308 0.55
Animal Alliance Rudy Brunell Solomonvici 114 0.20 $5,129.72
Total valid votes/expense limit 55,792 100.00   $210,250.86
Total rejected ballots 328 0.58
Turnout 56,120 72.45
Eligible voters 77,463
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +7.32
Source: Elections Canada[38][39]


  1. ^ "Search For Contributions". Elections Canada. Retrieved 2021-06-23.
  2. ^ "Marco Mendicino, who beat Eve Adams to the nomination, on staying in Justin Trudeau's good books". Toronto Life. August 31, 2015.
  3. ^ Marco Mendicino LinkedIn Profile.
  4. ^ a b c Zilio, Michelle (July 26, 2015). "The man who defeated Eve Adams: Who is Marco Mendicino?". CTV News.
  5. ^ "Eve Adams, former Conservative MP, joins Liberal caucus". CBC News. February 9, 2015.
  6. ^ "Tory defector Eve Adams defeated by Marco Mendicino in Liberal nomination fight". National Post. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  7. ^ Curry, Bill (August 14, 2015). "NDP recruits former Saskatchewan finance minister to run against Joe Oliver". The Globe & Mail.
  8. ^ Ngabo, Gilbert. "Liberal Marco Mendicino unseats finance minister Joe Oliver". Metro News. Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  9. ^ "Canada Votes". The Toronto Star. October 20, 2015. pp. GT13–GT15.
  10. ^ "Prime Minister announces changes to parliamentary secretaries". Prime Minister of Canada. August 31, 2018. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  11. ^ "Marco Mendicino appointed new Canadian Immigration Minister". CIC News. 2019-11-20. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  12. ^ MacCharles, Tonda; Ballingall, Alex (October 26, 2021). "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stakes out his political future with new cabinet". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved February 7, 2022.
  13. ^ Aiello, Rachel (February 14, 2022). "Trudeau makes history, invokes Emergencies Act to address trucker protests". CTV News. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  14. ^ a b Ritchie, Sarah (17 May 2022). "Ottawa's interim police chief didn't ask for Emergencies Act during Freedom Convoy". CBC. The Canadian Press.
  15. ^ Kirkup, Kristy; Marhnouj, Safiyah (26 April 2022). "Decision to invoke Emergencies Act based on law enforcement advice, says Marco Mendicino". The Globe and Mail Inc.
  16. ^ Wherry, Aaron (25 May 2022). "To understand Ottawa's use of the Emergencies Act, we need to know what cabinet knew". CBC.
  17. ^ Ritchie, Sarah (27 April 2022). "Emergencies Act inquiry 'could' get access to cabinet secrets, Marco Mendicino says". The Globe and Mail Inc.
  18. ^ a b Ritchie, Sarah (8 June 2022). "Mendicino was 'misunderstood' in saying police asked for Emergencies Act: deputy minister". CTV News an arm of BellMedia. Canadian Press.
  19. ^ Kirkup, Kristy; Carbert, Michelle (19 May 2022). "Public Safety Minister stands by statements that law enforcement recommended using Emergencies Act". The Globe and Mail Inc.
  20. ^ Benson, Stuart (11 May 2022). "RCMP neither requested nor planned for Emergencies Act powers, commissioner tells MPs, Senators". Hill Times Publishing.
  21. ^ Woods, Michael (17 May 2022). "No direct request for Emergencies Act from Ottawa police, interim chief says". BellMedia. CTV News.
  22. ^ Kirkup, Kristy; Spearchief-Morris, Joy (17 May 2022). "Ottawa Police did not make direct request for invocation of Emergencies Act, says interim chief". The Globe and Mail Inc.
  23. ^ Ritchie, Sarah (17 May 2022). "Ottawa interim police chief Steve Bell didn't ask feds to invoke Emergencies Act". BellMedia. CP24.
  24. ^ Ibrahim, Erika (24 March 2022). "Convoy protest was a national security threat, Ontario police boss says". Victoria Times Colonist Glacier Media Digital. The Canadian Press.
  25. ^ Boutilier, Alex (24 March 2022). "Committee examining Liberals' emergency powers debates scope of inquiry". Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
  26. ^ Ballingall, Alex (17 May 2022). "Public safety minister won't say if police asked for the Emergencies Act to help clear the trucker protests". Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd.
  27. ^ Raycraft, Richard (14 June 2022). "Questions about who wanted Emergencies Act deployed prompt Conservative calls for Mendicino to resign". CBC.
  28. ^ Ritchie, Sarah (15 June 2022). "Police did not ask for Emergencies Act: Emergency Preparedness Minister". Canada's National Observer. Canadian Press.
  29. ^ "Mendicino mum on if election integrity panel saw reports on Chinese interference - National | Globalnews.ca". Global News. Retrieved 2023-03-10.
  30. ^ The West Block: Feb. 19, 2023 | Top-secret Chinese interference leaks, retrieved 2023-03-10
  31. ^ "Liberals to begin public consultations on setting up a foreign influence registry". CBC News. The Canadian Press. March 10, 2023. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  32. ^ "Liberals begin consultations on foreign influence registry, but with no timeline". CTVNews. 2023-03-10. Retrieved 2023-03-10.
  33. ^ MacAlpine, Ian (2 June 2023). "Notorious child killer Paul Bernardo transferred to Quebec institution". Montreal Gazette. Postmedia News. Retrieved 2 June 2023.
  34. ^ Aiello, Rachel (15 June 2023). "Mendicino says he's 'dealt with' internal information 'breakdown' over Bernardo transfer". CTV News. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  35. ^ "Evening Update: Justin Trudeau retools his cabinet in a major shuffle". Globe and Mail. July 26, 2023. Retrieved January 15, 2024.
  36. ^ "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  37. ^ "Election Night Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  38. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Eglinton—Lawrence, 30 September 2015
  39. ^ Elections Canada – Final Candidates Election Expenses Limits

External links[edit]