Frank McKenna

Last updated

Frank McKenna

Frank McKenna2.jpg
Canadian Ambassador to the United States
In office
March 8, 2005 March 13, 2006
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Michael Kergin
Succeeded by Michael Wilson
27th Premier of New Brunswick
In office
October 27, 1987 October 13, 1997
Monarch Elizabeth II
Lieutenant Governor Gilbert Finn
Margaret McCain
Marilyn T. Counsell
Preceded by Richard Hatfield
Succeeded by Ray Frenette
New Brunswick Leader of the Opposition
In office
May 4, 1985 October 27, 1987
Preceded by Shirley Dysart
Succeeded by Camille Thériault
Leader of the New Brunswick Liberal Association
In office
May 4, 1985 October 13, 1997
Preceded by Shirley Dysart
Succeeded by
MLA for Chatham
In office
October 12, 1982 September 11, 1995
Preceded by Frank E. Kane
Succeeded byDistrict abolished
MLA for Miramichi-Bay du Vin
In office
September 11, 1995 October 13, 1997
Preceded byDistrict created
Succeeded by James Doyle
Personal details
Francis Joseph McKenna

(1948-01-19) January 19, 1948 (age 71)
Apohaqui, New Brunswick, Canada
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s)Julie Friel
Alma mater St. Francis Xavier University
University of New Brunswick

Francis Joseph McKenna, PC OC ONB QC (born January 19, 1948) is a Canadian businessman and former politician and diplomat. He is currently Deputy Chairman of the Toronto-Dominion Bank. He served as Canadian Ambassador to the United States from 2005 to 2006. [1] He served as the 27th Premier of New Brunswick from 1987 to 1997, winning every seat in the province in his first election. [2]

Queens Privy Council for Canada

The Queen's Privy Council for Canada, sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs. Responsible government, though, requires the sovereign or her viceroy, the Governor General of Canada, to almost always follow only that advice tendered by the Cabinet: a committee within the Privy Council composed usually of elected Members of Parliament. Those summoned to the QPC are appointed for life by the governor general as directed by the Prime Minister of Canada, meaning that the group is composed predominantly of former cabinet ministers, with some others having been inducted as an honorary gesture. Those in the council are accorded the use of an honorific style and post-nominal letters, as well as various signifiers of precedence.

Order of Canada order

The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order and the second highest honour for merit in the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada. It comes second only to membership in the Order of Merit, which is the personal gift of Canada's monarch.

The Order of New Brunswick is a civilian honour for merit in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Instituted in 2000 by Lieutenant Governor Marilyn Trenholme Counsell, on the advice of the Cabinet under Premier Bernard Lord, the order is administered by the Governor-in-Council and is intended to honour current or former New Brunswick residents for conspicuous achievements in any field, being thus described as the highest honour amongst all others conferred by the New Brunswick Crown.


Early life

McKenna was born in Apohaqui, New Brunswick, Canada. He was raised in the home of his grandparents, who lived adjacent to his parents because his large family could not be wholly housed in his parents' home. After completing high school in Sussex, New Brunswick, he completed a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Economics at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He began graduate studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, but after working for a stint with Allan MacEachen, he took MacEachen's advice that most politicians are lawyers and enrolled in law school at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. After he obtained a law degree, he moved to Chatham, New Brunswick, and began the practice of law. He became famous and something of a folk hero, particularly among Acadians, as the defence lawyer in the high-profile murder case of famous New Brunswick boxing champion, Yvon Durelle, in what was a widely publicized case. [3]

Apohaqui, New Brunswick human settlement in New Brunswick, Canada

Apohaqui is an unincorporated community in Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada, located on the Kennebecasis River at the confluence of the Millstream River. Apohaqui straddles the River which is also the Studholm and Sussex parish boundary. Apohaqui is located in southern New Brunswick, about 60 kilometers east of Saint John.

High school is a term primarily used in the United States and Canada to describe the level of education students receive from approximately 13 to 18 years old, although there is some variation. Most comparable to secondary schools, high schools generally deliver phase three of the ISCED model of education. High schools have subject-based classes. The name high school is applied in other countries, but no universal generalization can be made as to the age range, financial status, or ability level of the pupils accepted. In North America, most high schools include grades nine through twelve and students attend them following junior high school.

Sussex, New Brunswick Town in New Brunswick, Canada

Sussex is a city in Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada.

New Brunswick politics

A few years later, he entered provincial politics and won a seat in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick in the 1982 election to represent Chatham, New Brunswick. He became leader of the provincial Liberals in 1985, and won one of the largest electoral victories in Canadian history in the 1987 election when his party won every seat in the legislature.

Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick single house, former lower house, of New Brunswick legislature

The Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick is located in Fredericton. It was established in Saint John de jure when the colony was created in 1784, but came into session only in 1786, following the first elections in late 1785. It was the lower house in a bicameral legislature until 1891, when its upper house counterpart, the Legislative Council of New Brunswick, was abolished. Its members are called "Members of the Legislative Assembly," commonly referred to as "MLAs".

Chatham was a provincial electoral district in New Brunswick. It was created from the multi-member riding of Northumberland in the 1973 electoral redistribution, and was abolished in the 1994 electoral redistribution.

New Brunswick Liberal Association political party in New Brunswick, Canada

The New Brunswick Liberal Association, more popularly known as the New Brunswick Liberal Party or Liberal Party of New Brunswick, is one of the two major provincial political parties in New Brunswick, Canada. The party descended from both the Confederation Party and the Anti-Confederation Party whose members split into left-wing and right-wing groups following the creation of Canada as a nation in 1867.

McKenna's term in office was viewed mostly as a success. His key priority throughout his term was job creation and he was known to say that the "best social program we have is a job." He encouraged small business growth and tried to entice large companies to invest in the province with tax incentives, often directly calling individual professionals to urge them to bring their talents to New Brunswick. Another of his strategies was to raise the collective self-confidence of New Brunswickers, which he believed would increase productivity. He introduced a sophisticated public relations operation which included the use of controversial video news releases. He was criticized for increasing the number of communications personnel on the government payroll but countered this complaint by pointing out that the primary government communications agency, Communications New Brunswick, had been depoliticized. Communications New Brunswick had been responsible to the Premier's chief of staff in past governments and McKenna made its report to the head of the civil service. He was also criticized for creating a toll free telephone number to the premier's office which had the number 1-800-MCKENNA, the number was functional throughout North America and was used for both New Brunswick constituents and business interests that were considering moving to the province.

Welfare state Government promoting its peoples welfare

The welfare state is a form of government in which the state protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of the citizens, based upon the principles of equal opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for citizens unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life. Historically, late-19th-century Imperial Germany (1871–1918) was the first welfare state, which Chancellor Otto von Bismark established with the social-welfare legislation that extended the privileges of the Junker social class to ordinary Germans. Sociologist T. H. Marshall described the modern welfare state as a distinctive combination of democracy, welfare, and capitalism.

Self-esteem reflects an individual's overall subjective emotional evaluation of their own worth. It is the decision made by an individual as an attitude towards the self. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about oneself,, as well as emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame. Smith and Mackie (2007) defined it by saying "The self-concept is what we think about the self; self-esteem, is the positive or negative evaluations of the self, as in how we feel about it."

Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public. Public relations may include an organization or individual gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment. This differentiates it from advertising as a form of marketing communications. Public relations is the idea of creating coverage for clients for free, rather than marketing or advertising. But now advertising is also a part of greater PR Activities. An example of good public relations would be generating an article featuring a client, rather than paying for the client to be advertised next to the article. The aim of public relations is to inform the public, prospective customers, investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders and ultimately persuade them to maintain a positive or favorable view about the organization, its leadership, products, or political decisions. Public relations professionals typically work for PR and marketing firms, businesses and companies, government, and public officials as PIOs and nongovernmental organizations, and nonprofit organizations. Jobs central to public relations include account coordinator, account executive, account supervisor, and media relations manager.

Believing ten years was long enough for a premier to hold office, and having pledged to serve such a term when first elected, McKenna resigned in 1997 – 10 years to the day of the 1987 election. [4]

Business career

After leaving office, McKenna moved to Cap-Pélé, New Brunswick, near Moncton, and returned to the practice of law and sat on numerous corporate boards. He also purchased with his son, James McKenna, Glenwood Kitchen Ltd. A manufacturer of high-end custom cabinetry in Shediac, New Brunswick. His membership on the Canadian advisory board of the Carlyle Group drew adverse media attention; the media ceased pursuing the issue when McKenna explained that the board was established to advise on a Canadian investment fund that the group never created and that the board had never become active. Following the announcement of his appointment as Canadian ambassador to Washington, he resigned his position as counsel at law firms including McInnes Cooper and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, as well as all positions on corporate boards including his role as interim chairman of the board of CanWest Global Communications, a post he assumed upon the death of its founder and chairman Israel Asper. [5]

Moncton City in New Brunswick, Canada

Moncton is the largest city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Situated in the Petitcodiac River Valley, Moncton lies at the geographic centre of the Maritime Provinces. The city has earned the nickname "Hub City" due to its central inland location in the region and its history as a railway and land transportation hub for the Maritimes.

McInnes Cooper

McInnes Cooper is a full-service Canadian law firm with nearly 200 lawyers. It is centrally located in Atlantic Canada, with offices in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP is a leading Toronto-based Canadian law firm founded in 1862.


McKenna was mentioned as a possible Ambassador to the US to succeed Michael Kergin after Paul Martin took power. Speculation increased after John Manley turned down Prime Minister Martin's offer. Many in the press commented on McKenna's business connections being an asset, notably as a member of the Carlyle Group and his friendship with former President George H. W. Bush.

On January 5, 2005, Prime Minister Paul Martin's office confirmed that McKenna would be the 21st Ambassador to the United States. On January 14, the posting was formally announced and would be effective on March 1. McKenna became the Ambassador on March 8 when U.S. President George W. Bush accepted his credentials.

On February 22, 2005, McKenna told reporters Canada was already a part of the U.S. National Missile Defense (NMD) (or Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)) program through an amendment to the NORAD agreement made on August 5, 2004, which granted U.S. access to NORAD's missile warning systems explicitly for use in NMD. However, Martin contradicted this two days later when he announced that Canada would not formally participate in the NMD program but focus on other items of shared defence/security interest. While Canadian defence minister Bill Graham said McKenna was simply misunderstood (as the NORAD agreement and missile defence are separate), this initial contradiction was interpreted by others as evidence of characteristic indecision by the Martin government and was seen to somewhat hamper McKenna's credibility.

As Ambassador, McKenna attracted more media attention than most of his recent predecessors on both sides of the border. In the U.S., his message was one of dispelling common urban legends and misconceptions about Canada, while in Canada he urged Canadians to be more understanding of the American people and culture, particularly following what he argued is their understandable sensitivity after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

McKenna generated controversy after giving a luncheon speech on September 29, 2005, to a Toronto business club. McKenna blasted the U.S. bureaucracy and Congressional system of government saying "the government of the United States is in large measure dysfunctional." He contrasted it with Canada's government, and praised Canada's strong parliamentary party discipline as being much more "efficient" though sometimes less preferable.

On January 25, 2006, McKenna offered his resignation as Ambassador, writing to Prime Minister-designate Stephen Harper that he wished to be relieved of his duties, but offering to stay on until his successor is chosen. He was succeeded as ambassador by Michael Wilson on March 13, 2006.

Prospective career in federal politics

Since leaving politics in 1997, McKenna served for a brief time on the Security Intelligence Review Committee. He has been touted several times as a potential Atlantic Canadian minister in the cabinets of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin. He expressed some interest in running in the 2004 federal election but announced he would not do so because of the lack of an available riding in the Moncton, New Brunswick, area. He did not want to push aside any incumbent Liberal member of Parliament.

After resigning the premiership of New Brunswick, McKenna was identified as a potential future leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, and Prime Minister of Canada. A poll released on August 23, 2005, commissioned by the Toronto Star , showed that McKenna was the top choice of the public to succeed Prime Minister Paul Martin. Among the general public, McKenna beat former New Democratic Party Ontario Premier Bob Rae by a margin of 23 to 11 while among self-identified Liberals, McKenna beat former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada John Manley by a margin of 28 to 13. [6] The October 2005 issue of Saturday Night magazine had pollster Darrell Bricker and Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella create odds for potential Liberal leadership candidates. They made McKenna the favourite with 7 to 2 odds beating Scott Brison (8 to 1), Martin Cauchon (10 to 1), Michael Ignatieff and John Manley (each 15 to 1) among others.

On January 30, 2006, McKenna confirmed earlier reports that he was not running for the Liberal leadership to replace Paul Martin, who announced his resignation as party leader on the January 23, 2006 election night. McKenna acknowledged the strength of the Liberal brand stating: "You've got pretty good odds of being the prime minister if you're the leader of the Liberal party" every leader of the Liberal party since Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1896 had become prime minister. [7] However, he put an end to his involvement in the 2006 Liberal Party leadership race, explaining his decision by saying that he did not want "his life to become consumed by politics." [8] and that: "I reminded myself of my vow upon leaving office that, having escaped the trap, I wouldn’t go back for the cheese." [9]

Following Stéphane Dion's resignation as federal Liberal leader after the 2008 election, McKenna was once again touted as a possibility to take the helm of the federal Liberal Party. However, on October 28, 2008, McKenna said that he would not be seeking the leadership, saying "Although I have been deeply moved by expressions of support for me from across the country, I have not been persuaded to change my long-standing resolve to exit public life for good," and "My only regret is that I cannot honour the expectations of friends and supporters who have shown enormous loyalty to me." [10]

After the decision of TransCanada Corporation to pull out of the planned construction of the 3,000 mile Energy East Pipeline, which would have given energy producers a wider market to export in the Maritime provinces, the subject noted the political and economic benefits for the United States and President Trump at the expense of Canada. [11]


Frank McKenna was appointed as Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group effective May 1, 2006. [12] McKenna is responsible for helping to build long-term business relationships that support TD’s growth strategy in Canada and the United States.

McKenna is responsible for supporting the company in its customer acquisition strategy, particularly in the areas of wholesale and commercial banking. In addition, he is responsible for representing TD as it works to expand its North American presence as one of the continent's ten largest banks, as measured by market capitalization.

Frank McKenna is referred to in the book "Clinton Cash" by Peter Schweizer. The majority of the reference is regarding the Keystone Pipeline decision-making process. Hillary Clinton serving as secretary of State in the United States, and the monetary involvement with TD Bank in Canada is described in depth. The book describes TD Bank, with Frank McKenna as vice chairman, as having "paid Bill more than any other financial institution for Lectures. More than Goldman Sachs, UBS, JPMorgan, or anyone on Wall Street". Quoting from the book, "TD Bank paid Bill $1.8 million for ten speeches over a roughly two-and-half-year period from late 2008 to mid-2011."

"At several of the speeches, (Bill) Clinton was introduced or interviewed by TD Bank vice chairman Frank McKenna. Frank McKenna is described as a "good friend of both Bill and Hillary Clinton". [13]


Related Research Articles

Paul Martin 21st Prime Minister of Canada

Paul Edgar Philippe Martin, also known as Paul Martin Jr., is a Canadian politician who served as the 21st prime minister of Canada from December 12, 2003, to February 6, 2006.

Bernard Lord Canadian politician and lobbyist

Bernard Lord, ONB, QC, is a Canadian lawyer, business executive and former politician. He served as the 30th Premier of New Brunswick from 1999 to 2006. Lord was appointed as board chair of Ontario Power Generation in 2014.

Joseph Raymond Frenette was a Canadian politician in New Brunswick. He was a Liberal representative for the riding of Moncton East in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1974 until 1998 when he retired after a short term as the 28th Premier of New Brunswick.

John Manley Canadian politician

John Paul Manley is a Canadian lawyer, businessman, and politician. He served as Liberal Member of Parliament for Ottawa South from 1988 to 2004, and was deputy prime minister between 2002 and 2003. From January 2010 until October 2018 he was President and CEO of the Business Council of Canada.

2003 Liberal Party of Canada leadership election

The 2003 Liberal Party of Canada leadership election ended on November 14, 2003, electing former Finance Minister Paul Martin as the party's new leader, replacing outgoing Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.

The New Brunswick New Democratic Party is a social-democratic provincial political party in New Brunswick, Canada linked with the federal New Democratic Party (NDP).

1999 New Brunswick general election

The 34th New Brunswick general election was held on June 7, 1999, to elect 55 members to the 54th New Brunswick Legislative Assembly, the governing house of the province of New Brunswick, Canada.

Dominic LeBlanc Canadian politician

Dominic A. LeBlanc, is a Canadian lawyer and politician. He has been the member of parliament for the New Brunswick riding of Beauséjour since 2000. Since July 2018, he has been serving as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Northern affairs and Internal Trade. LeBlanc is the son of former Member of Parliament, Senator and Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc.

Meredith Douglas "Doug" Young, is a Canadian politician.

1995 New Brunswick general election

The 33rd New Brunswick general election was held on September 11, 1995, to elect 55 members to the 53rd New Brunswick Legislative Assembly, the governing house of the province of New Brunswick, Canada.

Donald "Danny" David Gay was a politician in the Province of New Brunswick, Canada. He served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick from 1995 to 1997.

2006 Liberal Party of Canada leadership election

The Liberal Party of Canada leadership election of 2006 was prompted by outgoing Prime Minister Paul Martin's announcement that he would not lead the Liberal Party of Canada into another election, following his party's defeat in the 2006 federal election in Canada. The party's biennial convention, already scheduled to occur from November 29 to December 1, 2006 in Montreal's Palais des congrès, was followed by the party's leadership convention at the same venue occurring December 2 to December 3, 2006. As the winner, Stéphane Dion led the Liberal Party into the 2008 federal election.

Greg Byrne, Q.C. is a lawyer and former MLA in the province of New Brunswick, Canada.

Robert Andrew "Andy" Keith Scott, was a Liberal Member of the Canadian Parliament representing Fredericton, New Brunswick. He was a member the Cabinet of Canada, most recently serving as the eighteenth Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (2004–2006).

53rd New Brunswick Legislature

The 53rd New Brunswick Legislative Assembly was created following a general election in 1995 and was dissolved on May 8, 1999.

Politics of New Brunswick

New Brunswick has had, since the Legislative Council was abolished by an act passed on 16 April 1891, a unicameral legislature called the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick with 49 seats. The legislature functions according to the Westminster system of government. Elections are now held at least every five years but may be called at any time by the lieutenant governor on consultation with the premier.

51st New Brunswick Legislature

The 51st New Brunswick Legislative Assembly was created following a general election in 1987. It was dissolved on August 22, 1991.

Camille Thériault Canadian politician

Camille Henri Thériault served as the 29th Premier of the Canadian province of New Brunswick.

Steven MacKinnon is a Canadian Liberal politician, who was elected to represent the riding of Gatineau in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2015 federal election.


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-04-27. Retrieved 2006-01-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Calgary Sun". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  6. "McKenna Tops List to Succeed Martin" (PDF). SES Canada Research. 2005-08-23.
  7. "Canada's Ambassador to the U.S., Frank McKenna, Gives a News Conference via Telephone Conference from the Canadian Embassy (transcript)". Government of Canada, Washington Embassy. 2006-01-30. Archived from the original on 2008-04-20.
  8. "McKenna won't run for Liberal leadership". CBC. January 30, 2006. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
  9. "unknown". Toronto Star . Archived from the original on 2007-09-29.
  10. "McKenna rules out Liberal leadership bid". CBC News. October 28, 2008. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
  11. Krayden, David. (7 October 2017). "Former Ambassador To US: Trump Wins With Pipeline Cancelled". The Daily Caller website Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  12. "TD Bank Financial Group - Corporate Information - Executive Profiles" . Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  13. "Clinton Cash" by Peter Schweizer pg.108

Further reading