Caroline Mulroney

Last updated

Caroline Mulroney
MPP
Caroline Mulroney attending ROMA Conference (cropped).jpg
Mulroney in 2020
Minister of Transportation
Assumed office
June 20, 2019
Relatives
Residence Lake Simcoe
Alma mater
ProfessionClient services and sales manager at venture fund firm, financial analyst, lawyer
Website Member of Provincial Parliament

Caroline Anne Mulroney Lapham MPP (born June 11, 1974) [1] [2] [3] is a Canadian businesswoman, lawyer and politician who currently serves as the Ontario Minister of Transportation and Minister of Francophone Affairs.

Contents

Born in Montreal, Quebec, she is the daughter of former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. [4] A graduate of Harvard University and New York University, she was the elected MPP for the riding of York—Simcoe in the 2018 election as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario [5] and was a candidate in the 2018 Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leadership election, placing third. She served as Attorney General of Ontario from 2018 to 2019.

Mulroney grew up in Ottawa, before being educated at Harvard University and the New York University School of Law. She lived and worked in the United States for 12 years until 2005 when she returned to Canada, worked in financial services and became involved in charitable work. She also served on the board of directors of the Windsor–Detroit Bridge Authority.

Early life and education

Mulroney is the eldest of four children and only daughter of former Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney and his wife, Mila. [6] One of her younger brothers is former CTV Your Morning host Ben Mulroney. Her father won the 1983 PC leadership race on her ninth birthday. [7] Her maternal grandfather, Dimitrije Pivnički, was a Montreal psychiatrist whose patients included Margaret Trudeau. [8] From ages 10 to 19, she lived in 24 Sussex Drive, the home of the prime minister, and attended Lycée Claudel d'Ottawa. [9] [10] Her father said in his biography that he believed that she was the most like him "in her mindset". He also mentioned in an interview with La Presse that she would have been the most likely to follow his footsteps and that he "would not want to be a candidate against her". [11]

Mulroney has an undergraduate degree in Government from Harvard and a J.D. degree from New York University School of Law. [12] [13] During her time in law school, she developed an interest in public-interest law and interned at the New York Attorney General's office. [14] [9]

Mulroney is fluent in French, English, Spanish and Serbian. [11]

Career

After university, Mulroney worked as a financial analyst at Bear Stearns. [15] [16] She briefly worked as a lawyer and associate at Shearman & Sterling then as an associate director of the NYU Center for Law & Business. [17] On July 29, 2002, Mulroney was admitted into the New York Bar. Mulroney was reinstated as an American lawyer on September 29, 2017 after her law licence had lapsed. [18] [19] She is not qualified as a lawyer in Ontario or any other Canadian jurisdiction.

In 2011, she and her three sisters-in-law, Jessica Mulroney, Vanessa Mulroney and Katy Mulroney, co-founded The Shoebox Project, a non-profit that provides toiletries to women living in shelters. [20] [21] In 2015, she was a blogger for the website, GoGoNews, an online newspaper for children. [22] In addition, she has been a member of the board for the SickKids Foundation, a governor of the National Theatre School of Canada, and a member of the board of directors of the Fraser Institute. [17] [23] In 2015, Mulroney became vice president at BloombergSen, a Toronto investment counselling firm, until 2 August 2017, when she took a leave of absence upon announcing her candidacy. [17]

On July 30, 2014, Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt appointed Mulroney to the Windsor–Detroit Bridge Authority, a body to oversee a second bridge across the Detroit River that separates Windsor, Ontario, from Detroit, Michigan. [24] [25] 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.

Public life

When she was 14, Mulroney campaigned for Lucien Bouchard during the 1988 Lac St. Jean by-election. After his victory, Bouchard sent her a handwritten thank-you note for her efforts in getting him elected to the PC government. She felt betrayed after Bouchard defected from her father's party to the Bloc Québécois. [26] In 1990, she helped canvass for Ontario PC candidate Alex Burney in the 1990 Ontario election. [27]

On September 20, 2017, she attended the ground-breaking of the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government at St. Francis Xavier University with her father and mother. [28]

Speculation about political career

On December 12, 2015, the Toronto Sun published a profile of Mulroney, in which journalist Christina Blizzard speculated as to whether her father's party would choose her as their new leader, to go head to head with Justin Trudeau, the current Prime Minister, the son of her father's old rival, Pierre Trudeau. [29] Blizzard quoted an unnamed "Tory insider", on Mulroney's performance, when she was the surprise keynote speaker at a 2009 event celebrating the 25th anniversary of her father's administration. That unnamed source said: "She certainly has the smarts and the glamour to offset the current prime minister in any future election." [29] Blizzard described her lack of political experience as a benefit, since she "won't wear any of the mistakes of the Stephen Harper government". Andrew MacDougall, former director of communications to Stephen Harper, noted "But there's a reason Tories—both provincially and federally—have dreamt for a Mulroney candidacy for years" because "she's the closest thing the Tories have to royalty". [30]

When Mulroney served as joint master of ceremonies for the federal Conservative Party leadership convention in May 2017, she joked about Trudeau, "Who would want to run for their dad's old job?", but also said in a news interview, "I think politics is definitely something that I've always thought about as a career." [31] Mulroney responded to Blizzard with an email informing her that politics is not currently her priority telling her in an email: "While I am committed to public service and I am flattered by the suggestion, I am focused on my four young children and my work". [13]

Entry into politics

Patrick Brown recruited Mulroney as a star candidate for the PCs after meeting her when he helped collect donations for her charity. [32] On August 2, 2017, Mulroney announced that she would seek the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario nomination in the York—Simcoe constituency for the 2018 provincial election by releasing a video in which she stated that the government needs to "get out of the way", manage taxes properly and focus on affordability. [23] [33] She explained that she chose Mulroney as her political name because Mulroney Lapham was too long and she didn't run as Caroline Lapham because, "no matter what I do, people just always call me Caroline Mulroney." [12] On September 10, 2017, Mulroney was acclaimed [34] the PC candidate in York—Simcoe. [16] Her father had previously revealed that she had consulted him over a career in politics and that she had decided to enter provincial instead of federal politics to be closer to her family. [11]

2018 Ontario PC Party leadership bid

Mulroney at a leadership campaign event in 2018 Caroline Mulroney Leadership 2018.jpg
Mulroney at a leadership campaign event in 2018

Following the sudden resignation of Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown on January 25, 2018, due to allegations of sexual misconduct, Mulroney's name was raised as a possible successor. [35] [36]

On February 4, 2018, she declared her candidacy for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario by releasing a video online. [37] Mulroney has the most support from the federal Conservative caucus with 10 members. [38] She was supported by at least four former Patrick Brown advisers: PC campaign chair Walied Soliman, ex-campaign manager Andrew Boddington, ad guru Dan Robertson, and strategist Hamish Marshall, the former director of controversial [39] website The Rebel Media and the Conservative Campaign Chair for the 43rd Federal Election. [40] Her campaign vice-chair was Derek Vanstone, Stephen Harper's former deputy chief of staff and a former Air Canada executive. [41] [42] [12]

On February 4, 2018, Mulroney expressed concern to the Toronto Star that sending her children to private school might be used as political fodder, [43] and after the leaders' debate on February 28, 2018, she walked away from the post debate scrum when being asked about why she sends her children to private schools by the Ottawa Citizen 's David Reevely. [44] [45]

Mulroney was criticised by some, including Doug Ford, for living most of her adult life in the United States, but she dismissed that by saying: "I've lived the majority of my life in Canada and Ontario". [46] [43]

Also running for the leadership were Ford, Christine Elliott, Tanya Granic Allen and, for a time, Patrick Brown who registered as a candidate on February 18, 2018, before withdrawing a week later.[ citation needed ] Notwithstanding her previous statements of having "great confidence" in Brown, [47] Mulroney tweeted disapproval of his decision to run. [48] Mulroney urged Brown to resign from the leadership race and asked the other candidates to join her call. [49] However, Ford and Elliott did not do so with Elliott specifically saying that the party had decided who could run for leader. Mulroney criticised Ford and Elliott for their stance. [50] [51]

Two workers in Mulroney's camp privately admitted to CBC News in separate conversations that she was not in the lead while two former MPs who had endorsed Mulroney, Paul Calandra and Parm Gill, moved their support to Elliott. [52]

In the leadership election held March 10, 2018, Mulroney came in third, behind winner Doug Ford and runner-up Christine Elliott, and was eliminated after the second ballot. [53]

42nd Parliament of Ontario

In the 2018 Ontario Election, Mulroney was elected to serve as the MPP for York—Simcoe during the 42nd Parliament of Ontario. [54] On June 29, 2018, Premier Doug Ford appointed Mulroney to be the Attorney General of Ontario, despite never having practised law in Canada, and Minister of Francophone Affairs in his Executive Council. [55]

Mulroney voted in support of the Ford government's September 2018 proposal to use Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, commonly called the "notwithstanding clause", to overrule a judge's decision that legislation intended to shrink the size of Toronto City Council was in fact in violation of Charter rights. For this position, she faced widespread condemnation from constitutional experts and politicians of all parties, particularly with respect to her duty to ensure the sanctity of the judicial process as Attorney General. [56] [57]

In April 2019, as Attorney General of Ontario, Mulroney led a sweeping implementation of the budget austerity measures of the Ford administration on the justice file. [58] This included a $133 million cut to Legal Aid Ontario, cutting over 30 percent of their anticipated $456-million provincial allocation for basic access to justice services for Ontario's low-income citizens. The cuts were targeted at the community legal clinics serving the most vulnerable communities according to advocates. [59] One group called the cuts a "directed attack" against Toronto and groups linked with challenges to the Ford political agenda. [60]

Cabinet positions

Ontario provincial government of Doug Ford
Cabinet posts (3)
PredecessorOfficeSuccessor
Jeff Yurek Minister of Transportation
June 20, 2019 – present
Incumbent
Yasir Naqvi Attorney General of Ontario
June 29, 2018–June 20, 2019
Doug Downey
Marie-France Lalonde Minister of Francophone Affairs
June 29, 2018–present
Incumbent

Political positions

After winning her riding nomination, Mulroney criticized the Liberal government for its minimum wage hike. [61] During the leadership, Mulroney stated that she was in favour of using the "People's Guarantee" as a "starting point" for the PCPO's 2018 election campaign. [62] She is opposed to the introduction of a carbon tax. [63] [64] She supports cuts in hydro rates and child care rebates, [62] and remained committed to spending $1 billion to build Hamilton's light rail transit system. [65] until Dec 23, 2019 when she publicly announced that the province was withdrawing the promised funding. [66]

Personal life

Mulroney is an American and Canadian dual citizen [67] and is married to Andrew Lapham, former executive advisor at Blackstone Canada, [68] [69] [70] former principal at Onex Corporation, [70] and the son of former Harper's Magazine editor Lewis H. Lapham and grandson of Lewis A. Lapham. [71] :125 [72] [73] Mulroney and Lapham met at a blind date at a pub which was set up by one of her Harvard friends. [12] They were married on September 16, 2000, [74] at Church of Saint-Léon-de-Westmount in Westmount, Quebec. It was covered by The New York Times [75] as well as Canadian media. Attendees included such notables as George H. W. Bush, Conrad Black, Queen Noor of Jordan, and Joe Clark. A young, relatively unknown singer named Michael Bublé performed at the wedding, where he was introduced to producer David Foster, who would eventually agree to produce Bublé's debut album. All attendees, including catering staff, had to sign confidentiality agreements. [76] [9]

Mulroney and her husband lived in the United States until 2005. She had the first of their four children on October 30, 2004, [9] while still living in New York. [76] In 2005, she and her family moved back to Toronto [77] She has two daughters and two sons: [78]

Election results

2018 Ontario general election : York—Simcoe
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Progressive Conservative Caroline Mulroney 26,05057.26+16.84
New Democratic Dave Szollosy10,65523.42+5.54
Liberal Loralea Carruthers6,18213.59-20.94
Green Alexandra S. Zalucky2,1954.83-1.45
Libertarian Ioan Silviu Druma-Strugariu2590.57-0.32
Moderate Franco Colavecchia1500.33
Total valid votes45,491100.00
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots553
Turnout46,04454.9
Eligible voters83,837
Progressive Conservative hold Swing +5.65
Source: Elections Ontario [79] [80]

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