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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. In 2017, he unsuccessfully ran for Conservative party leader.


Steven Blaney

Steven Blaney 2014-11-11.jpg
Official Opposition Critic for Canadian Heritage
Assumed office
September 25, 2017
LeaderAndrew Scheer
CritiquingPatty Hajdu
Preceded byDianne Watts
Official Opposition Critic for Veterans Affairs
In office
August 30, 2017 – September 24, 2017
LeaderAndrew Scheer
CritiquingSeamus O'Regan
Preceded byJohn Brassard
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
In office
July 15, 2013 – November 4, 2015
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Preceded byVic Toews
Succeeded byRalph Goodale
Chair of the Standing Committee on Official Languages
In office
May 31, 2007 – June 20, 2011
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Preceded byGuy Lauzon
Succeeded byMichael Chong
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded byConstituency established
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Lévis—Bellechasse
In office
January 23, 2006 – October 19, 2015
Preceded byRéal Lapierre
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1965-04-08) April 8, 1965 (age 54)
Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Political partyConservative (Federal)
CAQ (Provincial)
Spouse(s)Marie Bouchard
Alma materUniversity of Quebec, Montreal
University of Sherbrooke

Early lifeEdit

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.[1] 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.[2] Blaney was an active member of Réseau Environnement,[citation needed] Canada’s largest group of environmental professionals; he presided over the organization’s Québec-Chaudière-Appalaches chapter between 2003 and 2006.[1]

Political careerEdit

Provincial politicsEdit

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.[3]

Federal politicsEdit

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.[4] Blaney joined nine other Quebec MPs in Ottawa, following the Conservative Party breakthrough in Quebec that year.[5]

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.[6]

Moreover, he joined various other committees, ranging from Indian Affairs to Industry, Science and Technology, including the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee.[7] 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.[1] 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.[8]

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.[4]

Minister of Veterans AffairsEdit

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.[9] 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.[10] Preoccupied by the modernization of Veterans Affairs Canada, Blaney initiated the Cutting Red Tape for Veterans initiative[11] 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.[12]

Minister of Public SafetyEdit

 
Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney meets with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson
 
Canadian Minister of National Defence & MP for Niagara Falls Rob Nicholson (R), Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney (C) and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on the Ontario side of Peace Bridge

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.[13]

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”.[14]

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.[citation needed]

OppositionEdit

He was re-elected in the 2015 election. On October 14, 2016, Blaney announced that he was running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada,[15] though he eventually lost to Andrew Scheer.

Electoral recordEdit

FederalEdit

2015 Canadian federal election: Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Steven Blaney 31,872 50.92 +7.17
Liberal Jacques Turgeon 12,961 20.71 +14.89
New Democratic Jean-Luc Daigle 8,516 13.6 -20.21
Bloc Québécois Antoine Dubé 7,217 11.53 -3.36
Green André Bélisle 2,032 3.25 +1.71
Total valid votes/Expense limit 62,598 100.0   $234,497.01
Total rejected ballots 824 0.89
Turnout 63,422 68.62
Eligible voters 92,420
Conservative hold Swing +13.7
Source: Elections Canada[16][17]
2011 Canadian federal election: Lévis—Bellechasse
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Steven Blaney 25,850 43.95 -1.95 $85,522.71
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
Liberal Francis Laforesterie 3,421 5.82 -9.24 $16,904.21
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
Turnout 59,629 65.88 +3.43
Eligible voters 90,515
Conservative hold Swing -12.46
Sources:[18][19]
2008 Canadian federal election: Lévis—Bellechasse
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Steven Blaney 24,785 45.90 -0.50 $66,280.10
Bloc Québécois Guy Bergeron 13,747 25.46 -3.56 $18,536.02
Liberal Pauline Côté 8,130 15.06 +6.87 $14,138.27
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
Turnout 54,849 62.45 -3.47
Eligible voters 87,830
Conservative hold Swing +1.53
2006 Canadian federal election: Lévis—Bellechasse
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Steven Blaney 25,940 46.40 +27.35 $59,351.14
Bloc Québécois Réal Lapierre 16,223 29.02 -15.31 $61,706.32
Liberal Shirley Baril 4,581 8.19 -19.43 $9,831.42
Independent Normand Cadrin 4,275 7.65 $15,519.63
New Democratic Éric Boucher 2,590 4.63 +0.77 $868.27
Green Mathieu Castonguay 2,293 4.10 -0.69 $3,066.75
Total valid votes/Expense limit 55,902 100.0     $83,486
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 551 0.98 -1.24
Turnout 56,453 65.92
Eligible voters 85,635
Conservative gain from Bloc Québécois Swing +21.33

ProvincialEdit

1998 Quebec general election: Beauce-Nord
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Normand Poulin 12,137 46.39 +0.58
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
Liberal hold Swing +3.72

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Biography", Steven Blaney – Official Website
  2. ^ http://www.engineerscanada.ca/e/files/engineeringonthehill_issue_09.pdf[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ 1998 Québec General Elections- Results: District Beauce-Nord
  4. ^ a b History of Federal Ridings since 1867: Lévis-Bellechasse
  5. ^ "Conservatives make breakthrough in Quebec; Bloc wins 51 seats". CBC News. January 24, 2006. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  6. ^ Member of Parliament Profile- Steven Blaney
  7. ^ Idem.
  8. ^ Idem.
  9. ^ Backgrounder NVC
  10. ^ Helmets to Hardhats announcement Archived 2012-08-08 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Cutting Red Tape for Veterans – news release". Archived from the original on 2012-04-08. Retrieved 2012-06-19. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  12. ^ Martin, Stéphanie. "«Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge!» lance Blaney aux aînés." Le Soleil (Quebec City), 24 March 2011.
  13. ^ "Omar Khadr held illegally in federal prison, lawyer argues: 8-year sentence called unlawful". CBC News. 2013-08-13. Archived from the original on 2013-08-14. “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." Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=Hansard&Doc=174&Parl=41&Ses=2&Language=E&Mode=1#8583180
  15. ^ John Paul Tasker (Oct 24, 2016). "Steven Blaney kicks off Conservative leadership campaign with proposed niqab ban". CBC News. Retrieved Oct 24, 2016.
  16. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, 30 September 2015
  17. ^ "Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2018-09-12. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  18. ^ Elections Canada – Official voting results, Forty-first general election, 2011
  19. ^ Elections Canada – Candidate's electoral campaign return, 41st general election

External linksEdit