Lisa Sarah MacCormack Raitt PC MP (born May 7, 1968) is a Canadian politician, currently serving as the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. She is the Conservative Party deputy leader, and Member of Parliament for the Ontario riding of Milton since 2015, having previously represented Halton from 2008 to 2015. She is a professional administrator (1999–2008) turned politician (2008–present). Raitt served in several portfolios as a minister in the 28th Canadian Ministry of Stephen Harper.
Raitt in 2017
|Deputy Leader of the Opposition|
|Assumed office |
July 24, 2017
|Preceded by||Denis Lebel|
|Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party|
|Assumed office |
July 20, 2017
|Preceded by||Denis Lebel|
|Official Opposition Critic for Finance|
November 20, 2015 – October 15, 2016
|Preceded by||Nathan Cullen|
|Succeeded by||Gerard Deltell|
|Minister of Transport|
July 15, 2013 – November 4, 2015
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||Denis Lebel|
|Succeeded by||Marc Garneau|
|Minister of Labour|
January 19, 2010 – July 15, 2013
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||Rona Ambrose|
|Succeeded by||Kellie Leitch|
|Minister of Natural Resources|
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||Gary Lunn|
|Succeeded by||Christian Paradis|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament|
|Assumed office |
October 14, 2008
|Preceded by||Garth Turner|
Lisa Sarah MacCormack
May 7, 1968
Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
|Spouse(s)||David Raitt (divorced)|
|Alma mater||St. Francis Xavier University (BSc)|
University of Guelph (MSc)
Osgoode Hall Law School (LLB)
Raitt was born Lisa Sarah MacCormack in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and raised as the youngest of seven children. It was not until her early teens that she learned that the couple she thought were her parents were actually her grandparents, and that her mother, who as a young unmarried woman had almost given up her daughter to adoption, she believed was her sister. Her grandfather, Colin A. MacCormack, worked for a local coal mine, loading coal onto ships, and later served as city alderman, and secretary-treasurer and a lead negotiator for the Cape Breton Railway Transportation and General Workers. Her grandmother, Mary Christina "Tootsie" (Gillis), was a businesswoman. As a child, she participated in Girl Guides of Canada programs as a youth member. Raitt was married to Second City alumnus, playwright, and stay-at-home dad David Raitt and has two sons, John Colin (b. 2001) and Billy (b. 2004); they are now divorced. On September 2, 2016, she married her longtime partner, Bruce Wood, the President and CEO of the Hamilton Port Authority.
Raitt graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia with a Bachelor of Science. She went on to do a master's degree in chemistry, specializing in environmental biochemical toxicology, at the University of Guelph. Raitt possesses an LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School, and was called to the Ontario bar in 1998. That year, she was granted a Dr. Harold G. Fox Scholarship. As a result, she trained with barristers of the Middle Temple in London, United Kingdom, which specialized in international trade, commerce, transportation, and arbitration.
Toronto Port Authority (1999–2008)Edit
Raitt served as the TPA’s Corporate Secretary and General Counsel, and harbourmaster from April 2001. She was the first female harbourmaster of a Canadian port. In 2002, Raitt was appointed as president and chief executive officer of the Toronto Port Authority (TPA), a Canadian federal corporation that manages the Toronto Harbour as well as the Toronto City Centre Airport. See relinquished the post of harbourmaster to Angus Armstrong in 2004.
As General Counsel for the TPA, she filed a $1 billion lawsuit over 600 acres (240 ha) of land that was transferred in the 1990s to the City of Toronto's Toronto Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO) by the Toronto Harbour Commission (THC). The disputed lands, mostly the infill lands of the Don River delta, constituted around 85% of the THC's land assets as of the early 1990s. The lands had been transferred in two separate agreements, in 1991 and 1994 in exchange for a permanent subsidy for the THC. The TPA's legal claim was that the transfer had been done while the majority of directors of the THC were City-appointed, and who had acted in the City's interest and not in the Commission's fiduciary interest, and that the deals crippled the THC's ability to be self-sufficient by ending any potential revenues from those lands. Since the TPA was inheriting the role and activities of the THC, it was thus crippled itself. The TPA and the City settled out of court in exchange for a promised bridge to the Island Airport across the Western Gap and approximately $50 million. The bridge was never built; instead a pedestrian tunnel under the Western Gap was constructed and completed on July 30, 2015.
As CEO of the TPA, Raitt was responsible for building the International Marine Passenger Terminal, a Toronto home for the now-defunct Canadian American Transportation Systems, a Rochester, New York-based group. The ground was broken on 24 August 2004, and CATS operated for six months in 2005. The Rochester firm that initially owned the ferry had a 14-year lease on the use of the terminal that would have paid the City of Toronto $250,000 per year. The terminal was reported to have cost $10.5 million to construct, which makes a 0.33 cost recovery factor. The lease was terminated in December 2009 after payment of a $90,000 settlement. The terminal has seen little use since then except to dock cruise ships and as a movie set.
During her time as CEO of the TPA, the Air Canada Jazz service to the Toronto City Centre Airport was discontinued under a legal cloud.
New Democrat MP Olivia Chow called on Sheila Fraser, the federal auditor general, to conduct an audit of the port authority to investigate why Baird increased the membership of the board of directors from seven to nine - and why Raitt, while CEO of the authority, was allowed to run up almost $80,000 in travel and other expenses over two years. A November 2009 report by the Toronto Star claimed that Raitt signed off on her own expenses inappropriately, but the TPA claimed the Star's report was inaccurate. This followed another story in the Toronto Star that a TPA employee used the office computer to send emails about a Conservative fundraiser event. After an independent forensic review conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Toronto Port Authority released the results on September 14, 2010. These results showed that "all but one of the 15 complaints lodged by the former Directors were groundless".
In September 2008, Raitt was appointed to run as the Conservative candidate in Halton against Liberal incumbent Garth Turner. Turner was formerly a Conservative MP but he was suspended from the Conservative caucus in 2006 for breaching confidentiality. He later joined the Liberals after briefly sitting as an independent member. Raitt defeated Turner in the October 14, 2008, election.
Minister of Natural ResourcesEdit
At an October 6, 2009, meeting of the Oakville, Ontario, Chamber of Commerce, Raitt was on record discussing the possibilities of increased tourism and shipping opportunities in the North due to the melting polar ice cap.
Jasmine MacDonnell incidentEdit
On June 2, 2009, CTV News reported that a folder of confidential and secret ministerial briefing documents had been left by Raitt or her staff at the CTV News Ottawa office for a week. CTV News chose to reveal the contents which listed the funding for the Chalk River nuclear reactor which had recently shut down, causing a shortage of medical radioisotopes. There was also an audio tape, made on January 30, 2009, with Raitt and the aide.
On June 3, the opposition parties demanded that the government fire Raitt or accept her resignation. Raitt claimed to have offered her resignation and that the offer was rejected by the Prime Minister. A ministerial aide, Raitt's 26-year-old director of communications, Jasmine MacDonnell, offered her resignation which was accepted.
On June 8, 2009, CBC news online reported that a Nova Scotia court heard an argument to block the Halifax Chronicle-Herald from publishing a story about an audio recording involving Raitt. The judge ruled that the public interest over-rode the issue of confidentiality. On the tape, Raitt made comments on the radio isotope issue, describing it as "sexy ... Radioactive leaks. Cancer." and hard to control because it is "confusing to a lot of people". Raitt also made comments on the parliamentary skills of Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq and Manitoba MP Joy Smith, who introduced a private member's bill on human trafficking:
Minister of LabourEdit
The Ottawa Citizen and National Post reported Raitt's appearance at Lester B. Pearson Airport on March 22, 2012, and subsequent reaction by Air Canada baggage handlers was the reason a wildcat strike occurred the next day. According to Bill Trbovich, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), Raitt was walking through the airport when three workers started "clapping and saying ‘Oh, great job’. Raitt is alleged to have asked the RCMP to ‘arrest these animals’. The strike caused widespread disruption to Air Canada schedule, causing flight cancellations and delays. Raitt's office denied the allegation.
In 2011, Raitt used back to work legislation twice to end strikes by Air Canada's flight attendants and by employees of Canada Post. The following year she threatened to legislate workers with the Canadian Pacific Railway back to work on the first day of their strike. On each occasion she cited the country's fragile economy as the reason for using back to work legislation.
When Raitt was shuffled out of the Labour portfolio she received praise from both opposition critics and union leaders for her work as minister. Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner described Raitt as "tough, quick, funny and hard-working — she can give as good as she gets." Phil Benson of the Teamsters union said "she had an open door policy with us, was professional, courteous and good to deal with," and that he looked forward to working with her as Transportation Minister.
Minister of TransportEdit
Raitt was named Minister of Transport on July 15, 2013, nine days after the Lac-Mégantic derailment. She replaced Denis Lebel, MP for Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean who was previously Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. With her promotion to the transportation file she was considered to be one of the most senior women in cabinet, along with Public Works Minister Diane Finley.
On July 9, 2013, the Ministry of Transport was in full damage control mode owing to the LMD. Two Directors (Marie-France Dagenais and Luc Bourdon), and an Associate Deputy Minister (Gerard McDonald) tried to finesse their delayed reaction to a scathing December 2011 report by the Auditor General of Canada on rail safety. Raitt took over the Ministry on July 15. She issued a directive sometime in autumn 2013 requiring railways to inform municipalities about the kinds of dangerous goods they were carting through their communities, but a spokesman for Canadian National said on 8 January 2014, upon the occurrence of the hazardous derailment (PRD) near Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, that it was too soon for those regulations to have come into effect. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was forced to intervene during a stop in Inuvik on January 8, 2014, and said: "We have made significant investments in rail safety and rail inspections," he said. "We have increased both of those vastly."
Windsor Detroit Bridge AuthorityEdit
On July 30, 2014,she appointed Caroline Mulroney,her long-time friend, and three other individuals, including Mark R. McQueen, who was an employer of Mulroney (under the name Lapham) at Wellington Financial and also was a former employee of Brian Mulroney's Prime Minister's office, to the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority, a body to oversee a second bridge across the Detroit River that separates Windsor, Ontario from Detroit, Michigan. Tom Mulcair, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, mocked her appointment, as an instance of the kind of corruption her father was suspected of. The Business News Network noted: "The Harper government hasn't explained yet what Mulroney Lapham's qualifications are to serve as a director of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority."
Shortly after her promotion to the Ministry of Transport, National Post columnist John Ivison wrote that Raitt was quickly becoming a contender to succeed Prime Minister Stephen Harper when he decides to step down.
The Conservative government was defeated in the 2015 federal election, though Raitt was elected in Milton, essentially the western part of her old riding. In the aftermath of the Conservative defeat, Raitt was one of several names commonly mentioned as a potential leadership candidate. Raitt had said she is "seriously considering" a bid for the party leadership.
On October 14, 2016, Raitt stepped down as finance critic. On November 2, 2016, Raitt announced via Facebook that she was running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, though she eventually lost to Andrew Scheer.
After the 2014 Ontario election, Raitt was considered to be a contender to replace Tim Hudak for the leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. However, she declined the opportunity due to health issuses. In 2018, after Patrick Brown resigned over accusation of sexual assault, Raitt was named as a possible contender for the leadership, but announced on January 27, that she will not seek the leadership. She endorsed Caroline Mulroney and served as her campaign co-chair.
In a June 7, 2019 retweet of Ross McKitrick's Financial Post opinion piece defending Roger Pielke Jr. Raitt said that the "Bottom line is there's no solid connection between climate change and the major indicators of extreme weather, despite Trudeau's claims to the contrary. The continual claim of such a link is misinformation employed for political and rhetorical purposes."
Conservative Deputy LeaderEdit
On July 20, 2017, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer named Raitt as deputy leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Official Opposition. Raitt is the first woman to hold the role for the Conservatives.
When asked about the appointment, she stated she considered herself a feminist and women will 'see themselves' in her.
|Canadian federal election, 2015: Milton|
|New Democratic||Alex Anabusi||5,366||10.88||-5.65||$6,027.16|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||49,308||100.00||$204,958.27|
|Total rejected ballots||210||0.42||–|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|Canadian federal election, 2011: Halton|
|New Democratic||Patricia Heroux||12,960||16.0||+7.2|
|Christian Heritage||Tony Rodrigues||249||0.3||-0.2|
|Total valid votes||81,096||100.0|
|Total rejected ballots||290||0.4||+0.1|
|Canadian federal election, 2008: Halton|
|New Democratic||Robert Wagner||6,118||8.8||0.0||$3,421|
|Christian Heritage||Tony Rodrigues||337||0.5||–||$2,108|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||69,449||100.0||$107,026|
|Total rejected ballots||225||0.3|
|Conservative notional hold||Swing||+4.35|
- Stone, Laura (December 30, 2016). "Raitt says she's the 'one to beat' Justin Trudeau". The Globe and Mail. p. A13. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
- "New federal minister hasn't forgotten her Cape Breton roots". Cape Breton Post. November 6, 2008. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
- "Girl Guides hit the Hill - Macleans.ca". Macleans.ca. 2010-03-19. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
- Brennan, Richard (November 9, 2008). "Resources minister used to taking heat; Former head of Toronto Port Authority clashed with waterfront residents, city over island airport". Toronto Star. p. A8.
- "Labour Minister Lisa Raitt parted ways with her spouse". Ottawa Citizen. November 16, 2011. Archived from the original on November 18, 2011.
- "Former transport minister comes home to wed port CEO in Ben Eoin". Cape Breton Post. 2 September 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
- "Past Recipients". The Harold G. Fox Education Fund Website. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
- "Port CEO rips Martin for bridge comments". The Globe and Mail, Online Edition. 28 November 2003.
- "TPA: "Toronto Port Authority CEO Lisa Raitt taking leave of absence to seek public office" 9 Sep 2008" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
- "Covering the waterfront; Toronto's first female harbourmaster takes helm of complex port job". Toronto Star. 5 April 2001. p. B1..
- "Senior Management of Toronto Port Authority". Toronto Port Authority. Archived from the original on 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2008-09-12.
- Barber, John (November 7, 2002). "Taxpayers hit both ways in TPA lawsuit". The Globe and Mail. p. A26.
- Tassé(2006), pp.35–37
Debra Black (2006-05-06). "Beleaguered ferry heads off across the pond; Rochester unties Spirit of Ontario Sold for $29.8M to plug financial hole". Toronto Star. p. A 12. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
The Toronto Port Authority's terminal that accommodated the ferry at Cherry Beach will be put to other use, said Lundy. Other cruise vessels on the Great Lakes use it. And the Toronto Port Authority is also looking at other possibilities for the terminal.
Emily Mathieu (2009-12-18). "Rochester ends fast ferry lease". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
According to the Democrat & Chronicle, the ferry board agreed to pay the Toronto Port Authority a settlement of $90,000 (U.S.) to end the lease. The board also voted to dissolve the Rochester Ferry Co.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
Charles Wyatt (2005-08-18). "Port authority embarking on fresh start: Focus shifting to rebuilding ties, efficiency". Business Edge news magazine. Archived from the original on 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
The ferry is now owned by the City of Rochester and uses a $10.5-million international marine passenger terminal built by the Toronto Port Authority. The ferry is operating at 50-per-cent capacity, but usage is expected to increase.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Filming: Rates valid until August 31, 2012". Toronto Port Authority. 2012. Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-23.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- Dawson, Mary (June 25, 2009). The Watson Report, June 2009 (PDF). The Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, Government of Canada. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
- Statistics Canada (2008). "Shipping in Canada, 2006" (PDF). Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2009-09-08.
- "NDP urges probe of Raitt's expenses when she led Toronto Port Authority". June 8, 2009.
- Diebel, Linda (November 9, 2009). "NDP wants to see Lisa Raitt's expenses". Toronto: www.thestar.com. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
- "Toronto Port Authority responds to inaccuracies in Toronto Star articles". November 6, 2009.
- "Tory fundraiser sparks uproar". The Toronto Star. October 1, 2009.
- "Toronto Port Authority releases Forensic Review Report" (Press release). Toronto Port Authority. 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
- "Port Authority CEO to run for Tories". The Globe and Mail. 6 September 2008. p. A18. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- "Raitt leaves incumbent Turner in her wake". Toronto Star. October 15, 2008. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
- "The new face of cabinet". Toronto Star. October 30, 2008.
- Depko, Tina (October 9, 2008). "Sparks fly at Halton debate". The Oakville Beaver. p. 1.
- Findlay, Andrew (February 5, 2009). "Pipeline would bring tankers into B.C. inlets". straight.com. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
- "Minister grilled, aide resigns after secret documents left at news bureau". CBC news. June 3, 2009. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- "Court hearing begins over Raitt audiotape". CBC News. June 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
- "Outrage over Raitt 'sexy' cancer comment". Canadian Press. June 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
- parl.gc.ca: "Member of Parliament Profile (Current): Lisa Raitt"
- Akin, David; Fitzpatrick, Meagan (January 19, 2010). "Harper shuffles cabinet to focus on economy". Canwest News Service. Retrieved 2010-01-19.
- Stechyson, Natalie (2012). "Injunction ends Air Canada wildcat strike; accusations fly over comments to Raitt". ottawacitizen.com. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- National Post Staff (2012). "Suspension of Air Canada workers who slow clapped Lisa Raitt caused wildcat strike". nationalpost.com. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
asked that the RCMP ‘arrest these animals’
- "Stop meddling in Air Canada's labour dispute". The Globe and Mail. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
- Warren, Michael (22 May 2012). "Labour Minister Lisa Raitt is tilting the playing field against unions". Toronto Star. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
- "Back-to-work law for Canada Post tabled". CTV News. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
- Ivison, John (17 July 2013). "John Ivison: How Lisa Raitt became a possible contender to succeed Stephen Harper". National Post. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
- "Transport Canada vowed to fix inadequate oversight of dangerous goods transportation in 2011" o.canada 9 July 2013
- G+M: "New Brunswick train derailment fire renews questions of oil-by-rail’s dangers" 8 Jan 2014
- G+M: "Train derailment and fire involving crude oil tankers likely caused by brake malfunction" 8 jan 2014
- "Can Caroline Mulroney pull it off?". Retrieved 2018-02-13.
Steven Chase (July 30, 2014). "Transport Minister says Windsor-Detroit bridge to go ahead". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on January 9, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
Ms. Mulroney Lapham, a lawyer and former financial analyst, has most recently worked as vice-president of corporate development at Wellington Financial, Mr. McQueen's firm. She's co-founder and executive director of Shoebox Projects for Shelters, a charitable foundation, and has considerable not-for-profit board experience.
- Claire Brownell, Financial Post (30 July 2014). "Canada, U.S. form new agency to push forward on Detroit-Windsor crossing". Archived from the original on 2 March 2019.
The authority will oversee the new bridge's $4 billion construction, and the management of the bridge, once it has been completed, including setting the bridge tolls.
- Dave Baggatello, The Windsor Star (30 July 2014). "DRIC bridge executive teams loaded with financial expertise, but nobody local". Archived from the original on 2 July 2015.
- "HYPOCRISY ALERT: Mulroney-style patronage from Stephen Harper's Conservatives". New Democratic Party of Canada. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
All three are donors to the Conservative Party. Perhaps as homage to the previous king of Tory patronage, Conservatives have made Brian Mulroney's daughter Caroline their latest patronage appointment.
"Raitt unveils panel that will oversee new Detroit-Windsor bridge". Business News Network. July 30, 2014. Archived from the original on November 2, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
Caroline Mulroney Lapham, the daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, has been appointed to the board of Crown Corporation that will oversee the construction and operation of a new, second bridge across Canada's most vital trade link to the United States.
- "The Pollcast: Your primer on the Conservative leadership race". CBC News. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
- Herhalt, Chris (15 January 2016). "Conservative MP Lisa Raitt 'seriously considering' bid for party leadership". CP24. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
- "Lisa Raitt steps down as finance critic, in apparent move to Conservative party leadership bid | Toronto Star". thestar.com. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
- John Paul Tasker (November 2, 2016). "Lisa Raitt launches Conservative leadership bid ahead of debate deadline". CBC News. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
- "Potential contenders to replace Tim Hudak as leader of Ontario's Conservatives | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
- "John Ivison: Returning to work after health scare just Lisa Raitt's latest comeback". National Post. 2015-01-13. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
- "Brown's down, who's up? Potential successors to lead Ontario PCs". Toronto Sun. 2018-01-26. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
- "Will Lisa Raitt jump into Ontario PC leadership fray? It depends, she hints". Global News. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
- "Next Ontario PC leader 'will not be me,' says MP Lisa Raitt". CBC News. January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
- "Lisa Raitt announces she won't seek Ontario PC leadership". Global News. January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
- "Caroline Mulroney says she brings 'different kind of experience' to Queen's Park". CBC News. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
- McKitrick, Ross (June 7, 2019). "This scientist proved climate change isn't causing extreme weather — so politicians attacked". Financial Post. Opinion. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
- "Lisa Raitt". Twitter. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
- Payton, Laura (July 20, 2017). "Andrew Scheer names former rival Lisa Raitt as his deputy". CTV News.
- "As Conservative Party deputy leader, Lisa Raitt hopes women will 'see themselves' in her". Retrieved 2018-06-07.
- Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Milton, 30 September 2015
- Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates