|Official Opposition Critic for Innovation, Science, and Economic Development|
November 20, 2015 – April 7, 2016
|Preceded by||Peggy Nash|
|Succeeded by||Diane Finley|
|Minister of Small Business and Tourism|
May 18, 2011 – November 4, 2015
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||Rob Moore|
|Succeeded by||Bardish Chagger|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
August 13, 2007 – May 26, 2008
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||Peter MacKay|
|Succeeded by||David Emerson|
|Minister of Industry|
February 6, 2006 – August 13, 2007
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||David Emerson|
|Succeeded by||Jim Prentice|
|Chair of the Standing Committee on
March 9, 2009 – June 20, 2011
|Preceded by||Rick Casson|
|Succeeded by||James Bezan|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament
January 23, 2006
|Preceded by||Claude Drouin|
January 18, 1963 |
|Profession||Businessman, lawyer, consultant|
He served as the Minister of Industry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, and Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism and Agriculture in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He is now the Official Opposition Critic for Innovation, Science, and Economic Development.
Prior to entering federal politics in 2006, Bernier was vice-president of Standard Life of Canada and manager of corporate and international relations at the Commission des valeurs mobilières du Québec.
Bernier was born in Saint-Georges, Quebec, the son of Doris (Rodrigue) and Gilles Bernier. He has two sisters, Brigitte and Caroline, and one brother, Gilles Bernier, Jr. His father represented the riding of Beauce from 1984 to 1997, first as a Progressive Conservative and then as an independent. In his teens Bernier played football and was a member of the Condors, the team of the Séminaire St-Georges, when they won the Bol d’Or at the Olympic Stadium in 1980. He has participated in several marathons and runs daily. He obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and went on to complete his law degree at the University of Ottawa. He was called to the Quebec Bar in 1990. Bernier has held positions in several financial and banking institutions, including the National Bank, the Securities Commission of Québec, and Standard Life of Canada, to that of Executive Vice-President of the Montreal Economic Institute. The father of two children, Bernier and their mother have been divorced for several years. On September 29, 2013, he trained for and ran an ultramarathon for thirteen hours and raised $153,000 for a local food bank.
Bernier became the Conservative Party candidate in the riding of Beauce for the 2006 federal election. The Conservatives had been shut out of Quebec in the 2004 election but Bernier was well known and well liked in the area, partly due to his father's legacy. The Conservatives thought that he represented their best chance of winning a seat in Quebec. On election day the Conservatives made big gains in the province and elected 10 Members of Parliament, including Bernier. He won 67 per cent of the popular vote in the riding, which was the largest majority for a Conservative MP outside Alberta.
Bernier has long been viewed as one of the most libertarian politicians in Canada, favouring smaller government and reduced taxes. “It’s not the job of the government to give money to businesses,” he said at the 2016 Manning Centre Conference in Ottawa. “I think people understand that. Small businesses don’t have the connections or the time to get a handout from the government.” His beliefs have caused him to be nicknamed "Mad Max" or the Albertan from Quebec by his Ottawa colleagues.
He told Huffington Post Canada in December 2015 that he'll focus his platform on a "more decentralized federalism, a smaller government less involved in Canadians' day-to-day lives, as well as more personal freedoms".
On March 19, 2016, at the Conservative Future's Conference he cited the liberalization of China, India, "other 3rd world countries" that lifted "millions of people out of poverty." specifically citing "less government and more freedom". In the same speech he also criticized policies creating "more government" to address poverty and unfairness in the free market as "nonsense."
Bernier has suggested that there are uncertainties or exaggerations about anthropogenic climate change and its significance. Bernier later clarified that he wants politicians, not scientists, to determine policy.
He did not support the Iraq war.
In a speech in 2011, Bernier criticised the controversial Bill 101 since he believed that the government should not infringe on individual freedom to protect its culture and language. It was condemned by Thomas Mulcair and Gilles Duceppe
Bernier was one of the higher-profile freshman MPs from Quebec, and as such, on February 6, 2006, he was appointed Minister of Industry. He was also the minister responsible for Statistics Canada, and by virtue of being appointed as the Minister of Industry, Bernier also served as the Registrar General. During his time as Industry Minister Bernier set in motion steps that led to deregulation of the telecommunication industry.
Foreign Affairs Minister
Couillard affair and resignation
In April 2008, Bernier inadvertently left a dossier containing sensitive government documents at Couillard's home. The documents related to a NATO summit in Romania, and addressed NATO's relationship with Russia; expansion to the Balkans; Afghan prisoners; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; AECL reactors in Estonia; and the presence of Al-Qaida in Pakistan, among other topics. Bernier resigned his cabinet post on May 26, 2008.
Although Prime Minister Stephen Harper had initially dismissed Bernier's relationship with Couillard as irrelevant, he accepted Bernier's resignation. (International Trade Minister David Emerson became the interim minister of Foreign Affairs following Bernier's resignation, and in June became his permanent replacement.)
An internal government report dated 16 July 2008 found that Bernier did not adequately safeguard the NATO conference briefing materials, in leaving the documents unattended in an unlocked briefcase both in a Bucharest hotel room and in Canada. The review (conducted by the Department of Foreign Affairs) found that the content of the documents, if disclosed, "would not have caused significant injury to the national interest", but also found "the incident itself was injurious to the national interest by tarnishing Canada's good reputation within NATO circles for safeguarding classified information."
Several weeks later, Bernier apologized to his family members, who felt dishonored by his actions. Whenever asked about the incident,Bernier mentions that he keeps documents within his office while staying up late.
Minister of State
On May 18, 2011, Bernier was appointed as Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism). His responsibilities were expanded with his appointment on July 15, 2013 to Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism and Agriculture) He served in this last role until the new cabinet was sworn in on November 3, 2015, following the Harper Government's defeat on October 19, 2015.
|Canadian federal election, 2015|
|New Democratic||Daniel Royer||5,443||9.74||-20.26||–|
|Bloc Québécois||Stéphane Trudel||4,144||7.42||+0.75||–|
|Green||Céline Brown MacDonald||943||1.69||+0.08||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||55,882||100.0||$222,691.43|
|Total rejected ballots||712||1.25||0.02|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|Canadian federal election, 2011|
|New Democratic||Serge Bergeron||15,831||29.95||+21.43||$1,165.17|
|Bloc Québécois||Sylvio Morin||3,535||6.69||-7.29||$19,711.99|
|Green||Etienne Doyon Lessard||852||1.61||-3.16||$2.00|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||52,850||100.0||$90,992.37|
|Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots||681||1.27||-0.30|
|Canadian federal election, 2008|
|Bloc Québécois||André Côté||7,143||13.98||-5.99||$13,263,15|
|New Democratic||Véronique Poulin||4,352||8.52||+5.97||$2,575.32|
|Green||Nicolas Rochette||2,436||4.77||+2.23||none listed|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||51,084||100.0||$87,470|
|Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots||817||1.57||+0.75|
|Canadian federal election, 2006|
|Bloc Québécois||Patrice Moore||10,997||19.97||-16.29||$66,069.90|
|New Democratic||Cléo Chartier||1,405||2.55||-0.50||$1,020.20|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||55,078||100.0||$81,497|
|Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots||454||0.82||-1.42|
|Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||+33.11|
- "The Canadian Parliamentary Guide". P. G. Normandin. January 1, 1996. Retrieved October 31, 2016 – via Google Books.
- "Genealogy Doris Rodrigue". Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- "Biography". Maxime Bernier. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "In training with Maxime Bernier". Maclean's. 14 May 2013.
- "Maxime Bernier's latest challenge: an ultramarathon". CBC. 29 September 2013.
- "Maxime Bernier: Ottawa should quit intruding on provincial lurisdiction". National Post. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- Taber, Jane (10 September 2010). "Maxime Bernier breaks ranks on arena funding". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "Maxime Bernier wants to have an adult conversation". Globe and Mail. 17 October 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "Harper targets attainable Quebec ridings". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "Conservatives make breakthrough in Quebec; Bloc wins 51 seats". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 January 2006. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- "Maxime Bernier and the politics of ideas". Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- "From 'Mad Max' to The Running Man: Tory MP finishes 107-km marathon for local charity". National Post. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
- "Maxime Bernier Preparing Bid For Conservative Party". Retrieved 21 March 2016.
- "VIDEO: Conservative MP Maxime Bernier wishes Canada had "more freedom" like China". Press Progress.
- "Maxime Bernier: China has "less government and more freedom" than Canada". 29 March 2016.
- Taber, Jane (February 24, 2010). "Maxime Bernier has 'long history' of climate-change denial". The Globe and Mail. Toronto.
- "Bernier questions climate science". MacLean's. 24 February 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "Climate skeptics gathering influence in Tory Senate seats". Edmonton Journal. 22 January 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "Une position sage". La Presse. 22 February 2010.
- "Press review: my opinion piece on climate change « Maxime Bernier blog". www.maximebernier.com. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
- Stephenson, Dan. "The Shotgun: Maxime Bernier agrees with Harper: "Iraq war was a mistake"". westernstandard.blogs.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
- "We need more Max Berniers". vigile.quebec. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
- "Maxime Bernier Maverick Watch - Macleans.ca". Macleans.ca. Retrieved 2016-04-19.
- "Who's on our side?: Here's how your MPs voted on Bill C-51 because it had the time-limited "Sunset Clause".". Openmedia. 30 September 2016.
- "More Quebec MPs named to cabinet than expected". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 6 February 2006. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- "CRTC gives thumbs-up to telecom complaints agency". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 22 December 2006. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "Conservatives overrule CRTC on regulation of internet phones". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 15 November 2006. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "Ottawa accelerates deregulation of local phone service". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 11 December 2006. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "Opposition leaders slam Harper's cabinet shuffle". CTV News. 15 August 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "Quebecers gain key cabinet roles". Montreal Gazette. 14 August 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2012. "Maxime Bernier resigns as foreign affairs minister". CTV. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
- "Who is Julie Couillard?". Montreal Gazette. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "Maxime Bernier resigns as foreign affairs minister". CTV News. 26 May 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
- Bruce Cheadle (3 September 2009). "Dossier that cost Bernier his job released". The Globe and Mail. CP. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
- "Harper shrugs off new concerns about minister's ex-flame". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 26 May 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "Emerson adds high-profile post to other duties". The Vancouver Sun. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "Foreign Affairs Minister Emerson set to retire: sources". Canadian Broadcasting. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- "Bernier hurt Canada's reputation: gov't report". CTV News. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
- "Bernier's slip hurt Canada, review says". Toronto Star. CP. 2 August 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
- Strombo (February 3, 2012). "FULL INTERVIEW: Maxime Bernier". Retrieved October 31, 2016 – via YouTube.
- "Stephen Harper to step down as leader after Conservative defeat". Canadian Broadcasting. 19 October 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
- "Quebec MP Maxime Bernier officially enters Conservative leadership race - Toronto Star". Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- "Voter Information Service - Who are the candidates in my electoral district?". Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- "Elections Canada On-line - Élection Canada en-ligne". Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- "OVR / ROS". Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- "Financial Reports: Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return". Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- CPC biography page of Maxime Bernier
- Maxime Bernier's Official Blog
- Profile at Parliament of Canada
- Maxime Bernier – Parliament of Canada biography
- Speeches, votes and activity at OpenParliament.ca
- Final Report on the Administrative Review into the Security Incident Reported By Maxime Bernier
|28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper|
|Cabinet Posts (2)|
|Peter MacKay||Minister of Foreign Affairs
|David Emerson||Minister of Industry
|Special Cabinet Responsibilities|
|Josée Verner||Minister responsible for La Francophonie