Ralph Goodale

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Ralph Goodale

Ralph Goodale 2013.jpg
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
In office
September 7, 2010 – November 3, 2015[1]
LeaderMichael Ignatieff
Bob Rae (interim)
Justin Trudeau
Preceded byMichael Ignatieff
Succeeded byVacant
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
In office
November 4, 2015 – November 20, 2019
Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau
Preceded bySteven Blaney
Succeeded byBill Blair
Minister of Finance
In office
December 11, 2003 – February 6, 2006
Prime MinisterPaul Martin
Preceded byJohn Manley
Succeeded byJim Flaherty
Minister of Public Works and Government Services
In office
May 26, 2002 – December 11, 2003
Prime MinisterJean Chrétien
Preceded byDon Boudria
Succeeded byStephen Owen
Minister of Natural Resources
In office
June 11, 1997 – January 14, 2002
Prime MinisterJean Chrétien
Preceded byAnne McLellan
Succeeded byHerb Dhaliwal
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
In office
November 4, 1993 – June 10, 1997
Prime MinisterJean Chrétien
Preceded byCharles Mayer
Succeeded byLyle Vanclief
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Regina—Wascana
In office
October 19, 2015 – October 21, 2019
Preceded byRiding established
Succeeded byMichael Kram
In office
October 25, 1993 – June 2, 1997
Preceded byLarry Schneider
Succeeded byRiding dissolved
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Wascana
In office
June 2, 1997 – October 19, 2015
Preceded byRiding established
Succeeded byRiding dissolved
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for Assiniboia-Gravelbourg
In office
Preceded byAllen Engel
Succeeded byJack Wolfe
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Assiniboia
In office
July 8, 1974 – May 22, 1979
Preceded byBill Knight
Succeeded byLeonard Gustafson
Personal details
Ralph Edward Goodale

(1949-10-05) October 5, 1949 (age 70)
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Pam Goodale
Alma materUniversity of Regina
University of Saskatchewan

Ralph Edward Goodale PC (born October 5, 1949) is a Canadian politician and former Minister of Public Safety under Justin Trudeau. He was Canada's Minister of Finance from 2003 to 2006, and leader of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party from 1981 to 1988. He was the Liberal Member of Parliament for Regina-Wascana from 1993 to 2019 (the riding was known as simply Wascana from 1997 to 2015), having previously served as the member for Assiniboia from 1974 to 1979. He was named Opposition House Leader by interim Liberal leader Bill Graham in 2006, and continued to serve in this role under the leadership of Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff until September 2010 when he was promoted to Deputy Leader—a post he retained under Trudeau.

Early life[edit]

Goodale was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and raised on a farm near Wilcox, Saskatchewan, the son of Winnifred Claire (Myers) and Thomas Henry Goodale.[2][3] He was a member of Scouts Canada and earned the rank of Queen's Scout.[4] He first attended the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus and then obtained a law degree from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where he was awarded the Gold Medal for academic achievement.

Federal politics, 1974–1979[edit]

Active at politics from a young age, he was first elected to the Parliament of Canada in the 1974 election at the age of 24 from the seat of Assiniboia. He served as a government backbencher until the 1979 election, when he was defeated.

Provincial politics[edit]

In 1981, Goodale was named leader of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party.

He led that party to a very poor showing in the 1982 provincial election, in which the party received 4.51% of the popular vote and won no seats in the provincial legislature. However, Goodale was the only Liberal candidate to receive more than 1,000 votes.[5]

The party won 9.99% of the vote in the 1986 provincial election, but only Goodale was elected to the legislature. Goodale ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility in this election, arguing that both the Progressive Conservative and New Democrat (NDP) parties favoured excessive spending policies, typified by their proposals for a Keynesian-style stimulation of the provincial economy through subsidized home improvement and renovation schemes.

Return to federal politics[edit]

Defeated in 1988 election[edit]

Goodale resigned as leader to run for the federal Liberals in the 1988 election for the seat of Regina—Wascana, but he was narrowly defeated by former Regina mayor Larry Schneider, who later went on to serve briefly in Kim Campbell's cabinet. Beginning earlier that year and prior to his resignation, Goodale's executive assistant was Jason Kenney. Kenney would become a Conservative Party of Canada MP in a Calgary riding and later Premier of Alberta.

Goodale then spent five years in the private sector, working for companies such as the Pioneer Life Assurance Company, Pioneer Lifeco Inc., and Sovereign Life Insurance Co.; he has stated in interviews that he felt his political career had ended.[citation needed]

In government, 1993-2006[edit]

Goodale in 2004.

Goodale contested Regina-Wascana again in the 1993 federal election and was elected as part of the Liberal landslide that year. As a member of the new Chrétien cabinet, Goodale was named Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. He has the prenominal "the Honourable" and the postnominal "PC" for life by virtue of being made a member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada on November 4, 1993.[6] He has been reelected for this riding, known as Wascana from 1997 to 2015, at every election since then.

In 1997, he became the Minister of Natural Resources. In May 2002, he was named Minister of Public Works and Government Services, a few weeks after the Auditor General Sheila Fraser issued a report accusing the department of inappropriate contracting practices.[7] This began the exposure of the Sponsorship scandal.

A close ally of Paul Martin, Goodale was appointed to the senior portfolio of Finance Minister when Martin became Prime Minister on December 12, 2003. In that capacity he tabled two consecutive balanced budgets and launched the Government's productivity agenda.

On December 28, 2005, a letter surfaced from Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli confirming the force was launching a criminal investigation into whether details regarding government tax policies relating to income trust funds were leaked from the Finance Minister's office. Goodale said he would co-operate completely with any investigation, but would not step aside while the RCMP continued their probe. The investigation dealt only with the Department of Finance, and not the minister himself.[8] On February 15, 2007 the RCMP announced the conclusion of the income trust investigation and laid a charge of 'Breach of Trust' against Serge Nadeau, an official in the Department of Finance,[9] who pleaded guilty in 2010.[10] Goodale was cleared of any wrongdoing,[11] and blamed the NDP's Judy Wasylycia-Leis for sabotaging the Liberals in the 2006 election.[12]

In opposition, 2006-2015[edit]

Goodale was re-elected to the House of Commons in the general election on January 23, 2006 but lost his cabinet position with the Liberal defeat.

2006 Liberal Party leadership election[edit]

After the Liberals' defeat and Paul Martin's election night announcement that he would be resigning as party leader, Goodale initially indicated that he was not interested in succeeding Martin in that post. "I do not anticipate ever having to cross that bridge," he said. "I rule it out."[13] On March 13, 2006, the Toronto Star reported that Goodale was reconsidering his decision, and stated that he may enter the Liberal leadership election after all.[14] In the end, he declined, citing his inability to speak French as a key reason. On November 28, 2006, he endorsed Bob Rae to be the next leader of the Liberal Party.[15] After the third ballot, Bob Rae, who finished third, was eliminated. Goodale then endorsed Stéphane Dion, the eventual winner.

Goodale was opposed to David Orchard's candidacy in the by-election for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River.[16] Dion terminated the nomination contest and appointed Joan Beatty as the candidate.

Proposed coalition government, 2008[edit]

Goodale was re-elected once more in the fall of 2008. One month later,in November 2008, the three opposition parties in the Canadian parliament indicated their intention to defeat the Stephen Harper government in a motion of no confidence, and expressed their desire for Governor General Michaëlle Jean to ask a member of the opposition to form a new government. While there was initially some speculation that Goodale would become Prime Minister of Canada as leader of the proposed coalition government,[17] the coalition agreement simply made "the leader of the Liberal Party" Prime Minister. The Liberals agreed shortly after that Stéphane Dion would lead the government on an interim basis until a new Liberal leader was chosen.[18] In the end, parliament was prorogued by Jean at the request of the prime minister before a confidence vote could be put to the house. By the time parliament resumed in January 2009, Michael Ignatieff had become interim leader of the party. He did not seek to bring down the government and agreed to support Harper's budget with amendments.

2011 election[edit]

Goodale was one of the 34 Liberal MPs who was returned in the 2011 federal election, the worst showing by the Liberal Party of Canada in history.

The NDP surpassed the Liberals in number of seats, becoming the official opposition, resulted in priority in choosing parliamentary offices. They requested that Goodale forfeit his suite in the coveted Central Block. The Liberals saw this as a measure of disrespect to Goodale, noting that he had seniority as a former cabinet minister and house leader, despite this being standard practice and noting the Conservatives had not asked any Liberals to give up their offices.[12]

In government, 2015-2019[edit]

The Liberals won a majority government in the 2015 federal election, and Goodale was re-elected to a ninth term in the House of Commons, once again representing Regina—Wascana as a consequence of redistricting. He was named Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.[19] He is the only MP to serve in government with both Pierre and Justin Trudeau.[20] Mr Goodale has announced that he will seek re election in the 2019 federal election.

An order in council on November 4, 2015,[21] places Goodale as first in line to assume the prime minister's powers & duties as acting prime minister, should Prime Minister Justin Trudeau become incapacitated. Trudeau did not appoint a deputy prime minister.

Despite having represented the riding since 1993, Goodale was defeated in the 2019 federal election by more than 16 percentage points.

Electoral record[edit]


2019 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Michael Kram 22,186 49.56 +19.29
Liberal Ralph Goodale 14,998 33.50 -21.63
New Democratic Hailey Clark 5,722 12.78 +0.23
Green Tamela Friesen 1,290 2.88 +0.82
People's Mario Milanovski 443 0.99 -
Independent Evangeline Godron 128 0.29 -
Total valid votes/Expense limit 100.0  
Total rejected ballots
Turnout 44,767
Eligible voters
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +20.46
Source: Elections Canada[22]
2015 Canadian federal election: Regina-Wascana
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Ralph Goodale 23,552 55.13 +13.37 $96,786.47
Conservative Michael Kram 12,931 30.27 -5.44 $89,000.81
New Democratic April Bourgeois 5,362 12.55 -7.53 $21,735.49
Green Frances Simonson 878 2.06 -0.4 $4,601.01
Total valid votes/Expense limit 42,723 100.0     $193,043.93
Total rejected ballots 176
Turnout 42,889 75.4
Eligible voters 56,656
Source: Elections Canada[23][24][25]
2011 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal (x) Ralph Goodale 15,823 40.8 -5.2 $65,366
Conservative Ian Shields 14,291 36.9 +2.3 $74,976
New Democratic Marc Spooner 7,681 19.8 +5.1 $25,821
Green Bill Clary 954 2.5 -2.1 $755
Total valid votes 38,749 100.0
Total rejected ballots 106 0.3 0.0
Turnout 38,855 68.1 +3.9
Eligible voters 57,034
2008 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal (x) Ralph Goodale 17,028 46.0 -5.7 $66,057
Conservative Michelle Hunter 12,798 34.6 +4.4 $66,686
New Democratic Stephen Moore 5,418 14.7 +0.2 $19,393
Green George Wooldridge 1,706 4.6 +1.1 $4,204
Total valid votes/Expense limit 36,950 100.0 $77,030
Total rejected ballots 121 0.3 +0.1
Turnout 37,071 64.2 -6
2006 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal (x) Ralph Goodale 20,666 51.8 -5.4 $66,648
Conservative Brad Farquhar 11,990 30.0 +5.8 $67,579
New Democratic Helen Yum 5,880 14.7 -1.3 $30,123
Green Nigel Taylor 1,378 3.5 +0.9 $1,653
Total valid votes 39,914 100.0
Total rejected ballots 94 0.2 0.0
Turnout 40,008 70 +7
2004 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal (x) Ralph Goodale 20,567 57.2 +16.0 $43,226
Conservative Doug Cryer 8,709 24.2 -11.9 $57,802
New Democratic Erin M.K. Weir 5,771 16.0 -5.5 $29,783
Green Darcy Robilliard 928 2.6
Total valid votes 35,975 100.0
Total rejected ballots 80 0.2 -0.1
Turnout 36,055 63.1 +0.9
2000 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal (x) Ralph Goodale 14,244 41.2 -0.7 $56,685
Alliance James Rybchuk 12,492 36.1 +7.2 $59,667
New Democratic Garth Ormiston 7,446 21.5 -6.8 $58,098
Canadian Action Wayne Gilmer 401 1.2 +0.4 $1,619
Total valid votes 34,583 100.0
Total rejected ballots 98 0.3 -0.1
Turnout 34,681 62.3 -4.0
1997 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal (x) Ralph Goodale 14,077 41.9 -2.4 $54,021
New Democratic John Burton 9,530 28.4 +7.2 $37,942
Reform Glen Blager 7,261 21.6 +5.9 $39,285
Progressive Conservative Michael Morris 2,477 7.4 -8.4 $18,266
Canadian Action Walter P. Sigda 264 0.8 $1,822
Total valid votes 33,609 100.0
Total rejected ballots 136 0.4
Turnout 33,745 66.2
1993 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal (x) Ralph Goodale 19,555 44.3 +11.5
New Democratic Donna Shire 9,323 21.1 -11.8
Progressive Conservative Larry Schneider 6,943 15.7 -18.3
Reform Andrew Jackson 6,935 15.7
National John Keen 734 1.7
Natural Law C. Angus Hunt 228 0.5
Christian Heritage Hugh Owens 192 0.4
Independent Barry James Farr 185 0.4
Canada Party Walter P. Sigda 64 0.1
Total valid votes 44,159 100.0
1988 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes %
Progressive Conservative (x) Larry Schneider 15,339 34.0
New Democratic Dickson Bailey 14,829 32.9
Liberal Ralph Goodale 14,804 32.8
Communist Kimball Cariou 76 0.2
Libertarian Ian Christopher Madsen 65 0.1
Total valid votes 45,113 100.0


Saskatchewan General Election 1986: Assiniboia-Gravelbourg
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Ralph Edward Goodale 3,246 41.01 +8.66
New Democratic Allen Willard Engel 2,395 30.26 -3.43
     PC Bill Fancourt 2,273 28.72 +0.14
Total 7,914 100.00
Saskatchewan General Election 1982: Assiniboia-Gravelbourg
Party Candidate Votes % ±
New Democratic Allen Willard Engel 2,875 33.69 -4.80
Liberal Ralph Edward Goodale 2,760 32.34 -0.43
     PC Rene Archambault 2,438 28.57 -0.13
Western Canada Concept Hugh Clarke 459 5.37 -
Total 8,532


1980 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes
Progressive Conservative Len Gustafson 11,251
Liberal Ralph Goodale 10,167
New Democratic Randy MacKenzie 9,710
Social Credit Walton Eddy 178
1979 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes
Progressive Conservative Len Gustafson 12,365
New Democratic Bill Knight 11,183
Liberal Ralph Goodale 9,955
Social Credit Walton Eddy 292
1974 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes
Liberal Ralph Goodale 9,986
New Democratic Bill Knight 9,441
Progressive Conservative Tom Hart 7,105
Social Credit Rod McRae 246


  1. ^ Library of Parliament
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3] Archived November 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ [4] Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Biodata Archived August 12, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Martin, Lawrence Iron Man, Toronto: Viking, 2003 page 358
  8. ^ "RCMP to investigate allegations of income trust leak". CBC News. 2005-12-29. Retrieved 2015-11-10.
  9. ^ "RCMP investigation conclusion". News.gc.ca. 2011-04-20. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
  10. ^ "Former Finance Department bureaucrat pleads guilty to illegal stock trades". www.guelphmercury.com. Guelph Mercury. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Goodale cleared in trust case". Canada.com. 2007-02-16. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
  12. ^ a b Taber, Jane (May 31, 2011). "First went their colleagues, now the Grits are losing office space". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved 2015-11-10.
  13. ^ "Ralph Goodale rules out run for Liberal leadership | CBC News". CBC News. April 21, 2006. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  14. ^ Gordon, Sean (March 13, 2006). "Rae speaks today, and Liberals are listening; Ex-NDP premier not expected to formally announce leadership bid yet But Winnipeg address raises profile in a crowded field of potential rivals". The Toronto Star.
  15. ^ Whittington, Les (November 29, 2006). "Goodale backing boosts Rae bid". The Toronto Star. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  16. ^ Delacourt, Susan (January 5, 2008). "Dion accused of snubbing Orchard". The Toronto Star. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  17. ^ Whittington, Les; Tonda MacCharles; Bruce Campion-Smith (November 30, 2008). "Tories blink first in showdown". Toronto Star. Retrieved December 14, 2018. One prominent name being mentioned is former Liberal finance minister Ralph Goodale.
  18. ^ "Liberals, NDP, Bloc sign deal on proposed coalition". CBC News. December 1, 2008. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  19. ^ "Saskatchewan MP Ralph Goodale sworn in as minister of public safety". CBC News. November 4, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  20. ^ Cassidy, Tiffany (October 21, 2015). "Ralph Goodale only MP to serve under both Trudeau prime ministers". CBC News. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  21. ^ Office, Government of Canada Privy Council. "Orders in Council - Search". www.pco-bcp.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
  22. ^ "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  23. ^ "Voter Information Service - Who are the candidates in my electoral district?". www.elections.ca.
  24. ^ Canada, Elections. "Error page".
  25. ^ Canada, Elections. "Résultats du soir d'élection - Circonscriptions".

External links[edit]

26th Ministry – Cabinet of Jean Chrétien
Cabinet posts (4)
Predecessor Office Successor
Don Boudria Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Stephen Owen
  Minister of State
NB: no portfolio specified (while House Leader)
Anne McLellan Minister of Natural Resources
Herb Dhaliwal
Charlie Mayer Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
NB: "Minister of Agriculture" before 1995
Lyle Vanclief
Special Cabinet Responsibilities
Predecessor Title Successor
New office Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board
Reg Alcock
Anne McLellan Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians
Denis Coderre
Special Parliamentary Responsibilities
Predecessor Title Successor
Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Don Boudria
27th Ministry – Cabinet of Paul Martin
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
John Manley Minister of Finance
Jim Flaherty
Political offices
Preceded by
Jay Hill
Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons
Succeeded by
David McGuinty
29th Ministry – Cabinet of Justin Trudeau
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Steven Blaney Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Bill Blair