Gerry Byrne (politician)

Gerald Byrne Sr.[1] PC MHA (born September 27, 1966) is a Canadian politician who was a Liberal Member of Parliament from 1996 to 2015 representing Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, Newfoundland and Labrador, and a cabinet minister in the government of Jean Chrétien. He is currently the MHA for Corner Brook. He served as Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, and currently serves as Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources in the Ball government.

Gerry Byrne

Gerry Byrne in 2018
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources
Assumed office
July 31, 2017
Preceded bySteve Crocker
Minister of Advanced Education and Skills
In office
December 14, 2015  July 31, 2017
PremierDwight Ball
Preceded byClyde Jackman
Succeeded bySteve Crocker
Member of the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly
for Corner Brook
Assumed office
November 30, 2015
Preceded byRiding Established
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
In office
January 25, 1996  October 19, 2015
Preceded byBrian Tobin
Succeeded byGudie Hutchings
(Long Range Mountains)
Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
In office
January 15, 2002  December 11, 2003
Serving with Allan Rock
Preceded byRobert Thibault
Succeeded byJoe McGuire
Personal details
Born (1966-09-27) September 27, 1966
Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador
Political partyLiberal Party of Canada
Spouse(s)Denise Gibbons
ResidenceCorner Brook, Newfoundland & Labrador
Alma materDalhousie University
ProfessionPolitical Assistant
CabinetMinister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (2002–2003)


Byrne received a Bachelor of Science in environmental science from Dalhousie University.

Federal politics

Byrne has been a Member of Parliament since 1996 when he won a by-election in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador to succeed Brian Tobin. Tobin resigned to run in the 1996 Newfoundland provincial election for Premier. He was re-elected in the 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2011 elections. In the 2006 election he had one of the highest margins of victory in Atlantic Canada. Byrne did not stand in the 2015 election and retired from parliament.

In the Liberal Party's 2006 leadership election, Byrne started out supporting Maurizio Bevilacqua, after Bevilacque drop out he supported Michael Ignatieff.[2] Ignatieff placed second in the race to winner Stéphane Dion. Ignatieff became Leader of the Liberal Party two years later, and was again supported by Byrne.[3]

In the Liberal Party's 2013 leadership election, Byrne supported Montreal MP Justin Trudeau.[4]

Cabinet Minister

He was Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency from 2002 to 2003. During his Cabinet post he served a long side fellow Liberal MP, Allan Rock. When Paul Martin became Prime Minister in 2003 Byrne was not assigned back to his former Cabinet post and was succeeded by Joe McGuire.

Comments on PETA pie incident

On January 25, 2010, Fisheries Minister, Gail Shea was pied while giving a speech at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters. An American PETA activist, Emily McCoy, was later arrested in Burlington, charged with assault in connection with the incident. PETA has taken public responsibility for the incident, saying that it was part of a broader campaign against the Canadian Government's support of the seal hunt.[5]

In response to the pieing of the Fisheries Minister, Byrne denounced the attack on the minister as an act of terrorism.[6] He commented on the 26th, "When someone actually coaches or conducts criminal behaviour to impose a political agenda on each and every other citizen of Canada, that does seem to me to meet the test of a terrorist organization." Byrne continued to say, "I am calling on the Government of Canada to actually investigate whether or not this organization, PETA, is acting as a terrorist organization under the test that exists under Canadian law." In response to his interpretation of Canadian law, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said Byrne's reaction was "a silly, chest-beating exercise."

Provincial politics

In the provincial Liberal Party's 2013 leadership race, Byrne supported Humber Valley MHA Dwight Ball.[7] Byrne retired from federal politics at the 2015 election in order to run successfully provincially later that year becoming MHA for Corner Brook. Following the Ball Liberals forming government in the 2015 election, he was appointed Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour. He currently serves as Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources following a 2017 cabinet shuffle.[8][9]

Byrne was re-elected in the 2019 provincial election.[10][11]

Electoral record


2019 Newfoundland and Labrador general election
Party Candidate Votes%±%
LiberalGerry Byrne2,43648.8
Progressive ConservativeTom Stewart1,68233.7
New DemocraticMary B. Feltham73314.7
IndependentWayne Bennett1362.7
Total valid votes
2015 Newfoundland and Labrador general election: Corner Brook
Party Candidate Votes%
LiberalGerry Byrne3,12166.67
New DemocraticHolly Pike78116.68
Progressive ConservativeNeville Wheaton77916.65
Total valid votes 4,681100.0
Turnout 45.03
Eligible voters 10,397


2011 Canadian federal election: Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte
Party Candidate Votes%±%Expenditures
LiberalGerry Byrne17,11957.0410.88
ConservativeTrevor Taylor7,55925.18+14.56
New DemocraticShelley Senior4,75115.831.97
IndependentWayne Ronald Bennett3321.112.55
GreenRobin Gosse2530.84
Total valid votes/Expense limit 30,014100.00
Total rejected ballots 970.320.25
Turnout 30,11150.91 +6.64
Eligible voters 59,149
Liberal hold Swing -12.72
2008 Canadian federal election: Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte
Party Candidate Votes%±%Expenditures
LiberalGerry Byrne17,94367.92+15.02$36,525
New DemocraticMark Kennedy4,70317.80+2.90$2,495
ConservativeLorne Robinson2,80610.6220.54$11,451
Newfoundland and Labrador FirstWayne Ronald Bennett9673.66$3,719
Total valid votes/Expense limit 26,419100.00 $90,812
Total rejected ballots 150 0.57 0.01
Turnout 26,472 44.27 10.3
Eligible voters 59,797
Liberal hold Swing +17.78
2006 Canadian federal election: Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte
Party Candidate Votes%±%Expenditures
LiberalGerry Byrne17,20852.90-9.66$52,162
ConservativeCyril Pelley, Jr.10,13731.16+8.21$41,467
New DemocraticHolly Pike4,84714.90+1.76$5,133
GreenMartin Hanzalek3391.040.31
Total valid votes/Expense limit 32,531100.00 $84,468
Total rejected ballots 1910.58+0.13
Turnout 32,72254.6+6.8
Liberal hold Swing 8.94
2004 Canadian federal election: Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte
Party Candidate Votes%±%Expenditures
LiberalGerry Byrne17,82062.56+13.77$61,737
ConservativeWynanne Downer6,53822.952.41$49,410
New DemocraticHolly Pike3,74313.1412.68$5,878
GreenSteve Durant3841.35$178
Total valid votes/Expense limit 28,485100.00 $82,511
Total rejected ballots 1280.45
Turnout 28,61347.77
Liberal hold Swing +8.09
Change from 2000 is based on redistributed results. Conservative Party change is based on the combination of Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Party totals.
2000 Canadian federal election: Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte
Party Candidate Votes%±%
LiberalGerry Byrne15,44648.79+8.95
New DemocraticTrevor Taylor8,17325.82+11.22
Progressive ConservativePeter McBreairty6,34020.0319.03
AllianceMurdock Cole1,6985.331.17
Total votes 31,657100.00
Total rejected ballots 1170.37
Turnout 31,77457.99
Liberal hold Swing +7.00
Canadian Alliance changes from 1997 are based on the results of its predecessor, the Reform Party.
1997 Canadian federal election: Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte
Party Candidate Votes%±%
LiberalGerry Byrne12,05739.8415.85
Progressive ConservativeArt Bull11,82539.06+15.56
New DemocraticJoan Scott4,42114.60+12.13
ReformRandy Wells1,9696.5011.84
Total votes 30,272100.00
Total rejected ballots 1290.42
Turnout 30,40154.93
Liberal hold Swing 15.71
Canadian federal by-election, March 25, 1996: Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte
Party Candidate Votes%±%
LiberalGerry Byrne12,45355.6926.49
Progressive ConservativeDanny Kane5,25323.50+8.12
ReformDeon Hancock4,09918.34
New DemocraticColeen Dingwell-Corbin5542.47+0.03
Total votes 22,359100.00
Liberal hold Swing 17.31
By-election due to the resignation of Brian Tobin, January 25, 1996


  1. "Gerry Byrne". Newfoundland House of Assembly. Retrieved 2019-12-12.
  2. "Even Ignatieff supporters have mixed views over his Quebec 'nation' idea". Archived from the original on 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
  3. "46 MPs back Ignatieff". Toronto: 2010-04-24. Archived from the original on 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
  4. MacKinnon, Leslie (February 8, 2013). "Half of Liberal MPs support Trudeau for leader". CBC News. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  5. "Pie in the Face" The Globe and Mail, January 26, 2010. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
  6. "A tofu cream pie in the face is an act of terrorism, Liberal MP tells radio station". National Post, January 27, 2010.
  7. "Ball wants healthy competition for Liberal leadership". The Western Star. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  8. "After delay, Corner Brook salmon anglers line up early to purchase licences". CBC News. June 4, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
  9. "DFO gets blame for printing error of salmon licences". CBC News. May 25, 2018. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Government of Dwight Ball
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Clyde Jackman Minister of Advanced Education & Skills
December 14, 2015 – July 31, 2017
Al Hawkins
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