|Official Opposition Critic for Public Services|
November 20, 2015 – September 29, 2016
|Preceded by||Pat Martin|
|Succeeded by||Kelly McCauley|
|Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness|
July 15, 2013 – November 4, 2015
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||Vic Toews|
|Succeeded by||Ralph Goodale|
|Chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages|
May 31, 2007 – June 20, 2011
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||Guy Lauzon|
|Succeeded by||Michael Chong|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis
October 19, 2015
|Preceded by||Constituency established|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament
January 23, 2006 – October 19, 2015
|Preceded by||Réal Lapierre|
|Succeeded by||Constituency abolished|
April 8, 1965 |
Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
|Political party||Conservative (Federal)
|Alma mater||University of Quebec, Montreal
University of Sherbrooke
Steven Blaney PC, MP (born April 8, 1965) is a Canadian businessman and Conservative politician. He served as the minister of Public Safety Canada (July 15, 2013 – November 4, 2015) and previously as the minister of Veterans Affairs and minister of State for La Francophonie in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper (May 18, 2011 – July 14, 2013). He has represented the Québec riding of Lévis—Bellechasse in the Canadian House of Commons since the 2006 federal election. Despite his Anglophone-sounding name, Blaney is a Francophone. He was reelected in the 2015 election.
Blaney was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and was raised in Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce. Today, he lives in Lévis along with his wife, Marie Bouchard, and his two children, William-Antoine and Alexandra. For 15 years, he worked in Quebec’s engineering sector, more particularly in water purification and energy efficiency. Blaney started up two companies specializing in environmental technology and carried out many environmental projects. Blaney was an active member of Réseau Environnement, Canada’s largest group of environmental professionals; he presided over the organization’s Québec-Chaudière-Appalaches chapter between 2003 and 2006.
Blaney entered politics during the Quebec general elections of 1998; he was a candidate of the Action démocratique du Québec in the provincial electoral district of Beauce-Nord. Blaney arrived in third place, behind Normand Poulin (PLQ) and Gaston Gourde (PQ), collecting 14.42% of the votes.
Following many years of activity with the Conservative Party in Quebec, Blaney decided to run for the first time for a seat at the House of Commons during the 2006 federal elections in the riding of Lévis-Bellechasse. He successfully defeated Bloc Québécois incumbent Réal Lapierre with 46.40% of the votes. Blaney joined nine other Quebec MPs in Ottawa, following the Conservative Party breakthrough in Quebec that year.
After his victory in 2006, Blaney was appointed Vice-President of the Quebec conservative caucus. On May 31, 2007, he was selected as Chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages; a position that he held till September 2010.
Moreover, he joined various other committees, ranging from Indian Affairs to Industry, Science and Technology, including the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee. In January 2006, Blaney visited Canadian soldiers in Kandahar as part of a trip organized by the Standing Committee on National Defence for its members. He is also Vice-Chair of the Canada-France Interparliamentary Association.
After his reelection in 2008, Blaney became the new President of the Quebec conservative caucus. Furthermore, he promised to offset the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from his activities through tree planting, in cooperation with Tree Canada and the Comité de restauration de la rivière Etchemin, thus becoming the first carbon neutral MP.
In 2010, Blaney supported the federal government attempt to spend $175 million for Videotron Centre in Quebec City.
On May 2, 2011, Blaney was reelected for a third mandate as representative of Lévis-Bellechasse at the House of Commons earning 43.95% of the votes, beating the NDP candidate with more than 10% of the votes, receiving 1065 more votes than during the 2008 election.
Minister of Veterans Affairs
On May 18, 2011, Blaney was appointed to the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He assumed the position of Minister of Veterans Affairs taking over this role from Jean-Pierre Blackburn, who was defeated in the May 2 election. Blaney also sits as a member of the Cabinet Committee on Social Affairs and the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence. Blaney carried on the policies launched by his two conservative predecessors. During the summer following the elections, Blaney announced regulatory changes to the Enhanced Veterans Charter Act to revamp the pension system that was set up following World War I and World War II. The New Veterans Charter (NVC) was designed to provide Veterans with the support they required to successfully transition from military to civilian life.
As Minister of Veterans Affairs, Blaney can be credited for improving the benefits and services for Veterans suffering from severe diagnosed medical conditions or/and disabilities. He also launched the Helmet to Hardhats Program which assists many former Canadian Forces members find well-paid jobs in the construction sector. Preoccupied by the modernization of Veterans Affairs Canada, Blaney initiated the Cutting Red Tape for Veterans initiative aimed at simplifying administrative processes for Veterans and at making all of Veterans Affairs Canada’s forms and decisions comprehensible for all.
In March 2011, Blaney told a meeting of seniors, "Et rappelez-vous, le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge!" (And remember—Heaven is blue, Hell is red!), referring to the colours of the Conservative and Liberal parties. The slogan was used by the government of Maurice Duplessis in the mid-20th century during the period of church-state collaboration in Quebec known as the Grande Noirceur.
Minister of Public Safety
On July 15, 2013, Blaney assumed the position of Minister of Public Safety, taking over this role from Vic Toews who announced his retirement on July 9, 2013. The announcement of the appointment was made during the Prime Minister Stephen Harper's 2013 Cabinet shuffle.
On August 13, 2013, in response to a brief from Dennis Edney arguing that Omar Khadr should be held in a youth facility not an adult prison, because he was a minor when the crimes he was convicted of occurred, Blaney asserted that the Harper government would fight to keep Khadr in adult prisoner for the full term of his sentence.
On January 30, 2015, Steven Blaney introduced Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015. This Bill was tabled in response to jihadist terrorist attacks on Canada, namely the 2014 Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu ramming attack and the 2014 shootings at Parliament Hill, Ottawa.
The Bill has 6 key elements, namely:
- Creating a criminal offence for the advocacy or promotion of terrorism,
- Allow judges to issue seizure order for terrorist propaganda,
- Allow CSIS to engage in threat disruption,
- Enhance the Passenger Protect Program to stop known terrorists from boarding planes,
- Lower the threshold for obtaining a terrorism related peace bond, and
- Enable the sharing of national security information across relevant agencies
Notably, during the debate on this legislation, Blaney said “the important point that often seems to be forgotten around this place, that it is the jihadis who represent a threat, not our own police officers and those protecting us”.
The legislation received Royal Assent on June 18, 2015.
On October 7, 2014, Steven Blaney introduced Bill C-42, the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act. There were eight measures designed to make Canada’s firearms laws more safe and sensible. These measures included:
- A six-month grace period at the end of the five-year licence period to stop people from immediately becoming criminalized for paperwork delays around license renewals;
- Streamline the licensing system by eliminating the Possession Only Licence (POL) and converting all existing POLs to Possession and Acquisition Licences (PALs);
- Make classroom participation in firearms safety training mandatory for first-time licence applicants;
- Amend the Criminal Code to strengthen the provisions relating to orders prohibiting the possession of firearms where a person is convicted of an offence involving domestic violence;
- End needless paperwork around Authorizations to Transport by making them a condition of a licence for certain routine and lawful activities;
- Provide for the discretionary authority of Chief Firearms Officers to be subject to limit by regulation;
- Authorize firearms import information sharing when restricted and prohibited firearms are imported into Canada by businesses; and,
- Allow the Government to have the final say on classification decisions, following the receipt of independent expert advice.
These measures were supported by hunting and outdoors groups from across the country, such as the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. They were also supported by many frontline law enforcement officers.
|Canadian federal election, 2015: Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis|
|New Democratic||Jean-Luc Daigle||8,516||13.6||-20.21||–|
|Bloc Québécois||Antoine Dubé||7,217||11.53||-3.36||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||62,598||100.0||$234,497.01|
|Total rejected ballots||824||0.89||–|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|Canadian federal election, 2011: Lévis—Bellechasse|
|New Democratic||Nicole Laliberté||19,890||33.81||+22.97||$336.36|
|Bloc Québécois||Danielle-Maude Gosselin||8,757||14.89||-10.57||$44,495.06|
|Green||Sacha Dougé||903||1.54||-1.00||none listed|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||58,821||100.0||$94.740.90|
|Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots||808||1.36||-0.19|
|Canadian federal election, 2008: Lévis—Bellechasse|
|Bloc Québécois||Guy Bergeron||13,747||25.46||-3.56||$18,536.02|
|New Democratic||Gabriel Biron||5,856||10.84||+6.21||none listed|
|Green||Lynne Champoux-Williams||1,370||2.54||-1.56||none listed|
|Marxist–Leninist||Normand Fournier||113||0.21||–||none listed|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||54,001||100.0||$90,335|
|Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots||848||1.55||+0.57|
|Canadian federal election, 2006: Lévis—Bellechasse|
|Bloc Québécois||Réal Lapierre||16,223||29.02||-15.31||$61,706.32|
|New Democratic||Éric Boucher||2,590||4.63||+0.77||$868.27|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||55,902||100.0||$83,486|
|Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots||551||0.98||-1.24|
|Conservative gain from Bloc Québécois||Swing||+21.33|
|Quebec general election, 1998: Beauce-Nord|
|Parti Québécois||Gaston Gourde||10,126||38.70||-6.85|
|Action démocratique||Steven Blaney||3,772||14.42||–|
|Socialist Democracy||Serge Foisy||127||0.49||-5.62|
|Total valid votes||26,162||100.00||–|
- "Biography", Steven Blaney – Official Website
- 1998 Québec General Elections- Results: District Beauce-Nord
- History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Lévis-Bellechasse
- Conservatives make breakthrough in Quebec; Bloc wins 51 seats CBC News. Tuesday, January 24, 2006.
- Member of Parliament Profile- Steven Blaney
- http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/former-prime-minister-leading-charge-to-return-nordiques-to-quebec-1.1723541/. Missing or empty
- Backgrounder NVC
- Helmets to Hardhats announcement
- Cutting Red Tape for Veterans – news release
- Martin, Stéphanie. "«Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge!» lance Blaney aux aînés." Le Soleil (Quebec City), 24 March 2011.
- "Omar Khadr held illegally in federal prison, lawyer argues: 8-year sentence called unlawful". CBC News. 2013-08-13. Archived from the original on 2013-08-13.
“Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to very serious crimes, including the murder of American army medic Sgt. Christopher Speer," he said. "The government of Canada will vigorously defend against any attempted court action to lessen his punishment for these crimes."
- Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, 30 September 2015
- Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates
- Elections Canada – Official voting results, Forty-first general election, 2011
- Elections Canada – Candidate's electoral campaign return, 41st general election
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Steven Blaney.|
- Steven Blaney MP official site
- Profile at Parliament of Canada
- Steven Blaney – Parliament of Canada biography
- Speeches, votes and activity at OpenParliament.ca
|28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper|
|Cabinet posts (2)|
|Jean-Pierre Blackburn||Minister of Veterans Affairs
|Vic Toews||Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness