Diane Finley

Diane Finley PC MP (born October 3, 1957) is a Canadian politician. From 2006 though 2015, she served in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Her ministerial portfolios included Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, or CMHC, and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. She is a member of the House of Commons of Canada, representing the riding of Haldimand—Norfolk for the Conservative Party.

Diane Finley

Conservative Party-Caucus Liaison
Assumed office
September 25, 2017
LeaderAndrew Scheer
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Haldimand—Norfolk
Assumed office
June 28, 2004
Preceded byBob Speller
Minister of Public Works and Government Services
In office
February 2, 2006  January 3, 2007
LeaderStephen Harper
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
In office
January 4, 2007  October 29, 2008
LeaderStephen Harper
Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
In office
October 30, 2008  July 14, 2013
LeaderStephen Harper
Minister of Public Works and Government Services
In office
July 15, 2013  November 4, 2015
LeaderStephen Harper
Official Opposition Critic for Innovation
In office
April 8, 2016  August 29, 2017
LeaderRona Ambrose
Andrew Scheer
Preceded byMaxime Bernier
Succeeded byMaxime Bernier
Personal details
Born (1957-10-03) October 3, 1957
Hamilton, Ontario
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Doug Finley
ProfessionBusinesswoman, executive, management consultant, school administrator

Personal life

Diane Finley was raised in Port Dover and Charlotteville in Norfolk County, Ontario, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario. After graduation, she became the administrator of Western's French Immersion School. She then worked in a series of private and public sector jobs, in a variety of fields. She was named "one of Canada's future leaders" by the Governor-General's Study Conference 2000. As a child, she participated in Girl Guides of Canada youth programs.[1]

Her husband was Doug Finley who was a Senator and former campaign manager and director of political operations for the Conservative Party of Canada.[2] The pair met while Diane was working as a summer hire at Rolls Royce where Doug was an executive.[3]

In 2006, Finley announced that she has Graves' disease, a non-life-threatening thyroid condition which causes increased sensitivity to bright lights and forces her to wear tinted glasses.[4]

Political career

Finley has promoted increased private-sector involvement in health services. She was the founder of Canada's largest publicly funded ambulance service company, Canadian Medical Response, and has been active in the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships.

Long involved in politics of the Conservative Party and its predecessors, Finley first ran for public office herself in the 2004 federal election. She defeated Bob Speller, a Liberal cabinet minister, by 1,645 votes. After being re-elected in the 2006 election, she was appointed to the cabinet as Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. An Order in Council transferred authority for Social Development Canada to her as well, and accordingly she served under the style Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. She was shuffled from the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada portfolio on January 4, 2007. The following year, Finley allegedly received threats from sex industry officials in relation to her support of Bill C-17, which sought to allow immigration officers to deny temporary visas to prospective strippers if they were suspected to be sex trafficking victims. Tim Lambrinos of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada (AEAC) said that "it's not plausible" that any of the AEAC strip clubs were responsible for the threats.[5]

On October 14, 2008, Finley won as the Conservative Party candidate for Haldimand—Norfolk in the 2008 election and re-elected May 2, 2011, in the 2011 election with 50.9% of the vote in her electoral riding. After her election victory she resumed her former post as Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development in the Conservative minority government, a post she continues to hold after the following election.[6]

In March 2015, a parliamentary ethics report on an affair linked to disgraced prime ministerial aide Nigel Wright found that Finley had breached conflict of interest rules in her capacity as minister by diverting funding to a favoured project in Markham whose promoter had close ties to the Conservative Party.[7]

After winning her seat once more in the 2015 federal election, Finley announced that she would be running for the position of interim leader of the Conservative Party, after Stephen Harper's resignation from the post.[8]

Electoral record

2015 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes%±%Expenditures
ConservativeDiane Finley24,71444.1-6.8
LiberalJoan Mouland20,48736.6+11.7
New DemocraticJohn Harris7,62513.6-6.4
GreenWayne Ettinger1,8573.30
Christian HeritageDavid Bylsma8841.6+0.7
IndependentDustin Wakeford2720.5
IndependentLeslie Bory1510.3
Total valid votes/Expense limit 55,990100.0   $218,300.93
Total rejected ballots 3120.55+0.04
Turnout 56,30268.44+4.95
Eligible voters 82,261
Conservative hold Swing -9.25
Source: Elections Canada[9][10]
2011 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes%±%Expenditures
ConservativeDiane Finley25,65550.9+10.1
LiberalBob Speller12,54924.9-7.5
New DemocraticIan Nichols10,06220.0+9.5
GreenAnne Faulkner1,6653.3-0.9
Christian HeritageSteven Elgersma4350.9-0.1
Total valid votes/Expense limit 50,366100.04.1
Total rejected ballots 2560.51
Turnout 50,62263.49
Eligible voters 79,729
Conservative hold Swing +8.8
2008 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes%±%Expenditures
ConservativeDiane Finley19,65740.83-7.5$67,583
LiberalEric Hoskins15,57732.35-1.9$72,913
New DemocraticIan Nichols5,54911.53-1.3$5,509
IndependentGary McHale4,82110.01$22,798
GreenStephana Johnston2,0414.24+0.7$2,581
Christian HeritageSteven Elgersma5011.040.0
Total valid votes/Expense limit 48,146100$85,391
Majority 4,0808.48
Total rejected ballots 2480.51
Turnout 48,394
Conservative hold Swing -5.6
2006 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes%±%
ConservativeDiane Finley25,88548.33+6.1
LiberalBob Speller18,36334.29-4.5
New DemocraticValya Roberts6,85812.80-1.6
GreenCarolyn Van Nort1,8943.54+0.1
Christian HeritageSteven Elgersma5591.04-0.2
Turnout 53,559
Conservative hold Swing +5.3
2004 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes%±%
ConservativeDiane Finley20,98142.2-6.2
LiberalBob Speller19,33638.8-7.2
New DemocraticCarrie Sinkowski7,14314.4+9.8
GreenColin Jones1,7033.4
Christian HeritageSteven Elgersma6171.2
Majority 1,6453.3
Turnout 49,78063.3
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +1.0


28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper
Cabinet posts (4)
Predecessor Office Successor
Rona Ambrose Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Judy Foote
Monte Solberg Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
Jason Kenney
Monte Solberg Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Jason Kenney
Belinda Stronach Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
styled as Minister of Human Resources and Social Development
Monte Solberg
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