The Honourable John Baird was elected to the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Ottawa West-Nepean on January 23, 2006. On February 6, 2006, Mr. Baird was appointed to the Privy Council as President of the Treasury Board in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first cabinet. Mr. Baird later served as Canada’s Environment Minister where he oversaw the largest expansion of protected areas in Canadian history.
In the 2008 General Election, Mr. Baird was successfully returned as MP for Ottawa West-Nepean. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Baird was sworn in as Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, where he spearheaded the design, negotiation and delivery of some 12,000-infrastructure stimulus projects across the country.
In August 2010, recognizing Mr. Baird’s ability to reach across the aisle and work with Members of Parliament from all parties, Prime Minister Harper asked Mr. Baird to help make Parliament work by appointing him to serve as Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. In November 2010, the Prime Minister also asked Mr. Baird to serve once again as Minister of the Environment.
He was named to his current portfolio, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, following the federal election of May 2011. Prior to being elected as a federal Member of Parliament, Mr. Baird served as the Member of Provincial Parliament for the ridings of Nepean and Nepean-Carleton from 1995-2005.
In the Ontario Provincial Legislature, Mr. Baird served in a number of capacities including Minister of Community and Social Services, Minister Responsible for Children, Deputy House Leader, Chief Government Whip, Minister of Energy and Government House Leader. He was known for championing the cause of people with developmental disabilities, and greatly expanded the Ontario work-for-welfare program. Mr. Baird also served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Ministers of Labour, Management Board, and Finance.
As Foreign Minister, Minister Baird has proudly demonstrated Canadian leadership on the world stage by being a champion for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
He has been a staunch supporter of the State of Israel, declaring their right to exist as “non-negotiable”. He has been an outspoken critic of the regime in Tehran, condemning their atrocious human rights record, while demanding it never be capable of developing a nuclear weapon. He has built invaluable relations with the Arab world, and overseen the expansion of our diplomatic footprint through Asia. In Europe, Baird has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our allies and partners in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine, and throughout Eastern Europe.
Baird has led international efforts to end the barbaric practice of Child, Early and Forced Marriage, and has promoted the role of women in emerging democracies as an essential pillar in Canadian foreign policy.
Finally, Baird has been amongst the world’s most outspoken critics of hateful, and outdated anti-gay legislation in places like Uganda, Nigeria and Russia.
Mr. Baird is a life-long resident of Nepean, Ontario. He has an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in political studies from Queen’s University at Kingston.