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John Manley

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John Manley

The Honourable
John Manley
8th Deputy Prime Minister of Canada
In office
January 15, 2002 – December 12, 2003
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
Preceded by Herb Gray
Succeeded by Anne McLellan
35th Canadian Minister of Finance
In office
June 2, 2002 – December 12, 2003
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
Preceded by Paul Martin
Succeeded by Ralph Goodale
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
October 17, 2000 – January 15, 2002
Preceded by Lloyd Axworthy
Succeeded by Bill Graham
Canadian Minister of Industry
In office
March 29, 1995 – October 16, 2000
Preceded by none
Succeeded by Brian Tobin
Member of Parliament
for Ottawa South
In office
November 21, 1988 – June 28, 2004
Preceded by Barry Turner
Succeeded by David McGuinty
Personal details
Born John Paul Manley
(1950-01-05) January 5, 1950
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Judith Mary Rae
Residence Ottawa
Profession Barrister and solicitor, teacher

John Paul Manley, PC, OC (born January 5, 1950) 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. He is now President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.


  • Background 1
  • Cabinet career 2
  • 2003 Liberal leadership election 3
  • Post-political career 4
  • Political ideology 5
  • Electoral record 6
  • References 7


Manley was born in Ottawa, Ontario and attended Bell High School there. He received a BA from Carleton University in 1971 and an LL.B. from the University of Ottawa in 1976. He also studied at the University of Lausanne.

After law school he clerked under Bora Laskin, the Chief Justice of Canada, and was called to the Ontario bar in 1978. Manley's early career was in tax law at the firm Perley-Robertson Hill & McDougall LLP.

He is married to Judith Manley with whom he has three children: Rebecca, David and Sarah.

Manley is an accomplished marathoner.

Cabinet career

He was first elected as an MP in the 1988 election. When the Liberals came to power under Jean Chrétien following the 1993 election he became Minister of Industry. During his time in Industry, Manley was a staunch supporter of Canada-based research and development, and also of increased technology use in public schools. In particular, he felt that the so-called "wired classroom" would help to equalize the gap between urban and smaller, rural schools. These initiatives were partially aimed at combating the "brain drain", and Manley himself stated that "Canada needs to pursue policies that will make it a magnet for brains, attracting them from elsewhere and retaining the ones we have."[1]

Manley also unveiled a multi-million dollar rescue package for the cash-strapped Ottawa Senators, being a friend of owner Rod Bryden, but later withdrew the aid after critics argued that there were better uses for public funds.[2]

Manley supported Dalton McGuinty's successful bid to lead the Ontario Liberal Party in 1996.

He was shuffled to Minister of Foreign Affairs on the eve of the 2000 election. He was widely applauded for his work in foreign affairs, particularly for helping to ease strained Canada-U.S. relations. He was seen as able to communicate with the U.S. administration, and had a good working relationship with both Colin Powell and Tom Ridge. David Rudd, then director of Toronto's Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies said: "Under Manley, the government of Canada talks to Washington, not at it." In January 2002 he was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and given special responsibility for security in response to 9/11. For his performance in these roles, he was named Time Magazine's "Canadian newsmaker of the year" in 2001.

In May 2002, Chrétien appointed Manley as Minister of Finance, following the departure of Paul Martin. His 2003 federal budget laid out billions of dollars in new spending, primarily in health-care, child-care, and for First Nations. It also introduced new accountability features to help limit federal waste.[3]

2003 Liberal leadership election

When Jean Chrétien announced his decision to retire, Manley announced his intention to run for the Liberal leadership. His primary competition was Martin, although Industry Minister Allan Rock and Heritage Minister and former Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps also ran, while Brian Tobin briefly contemplated running. Manley's polling numbers and fundraising were slightly behind that of Rock's, while well ahead of Copps but far behind Martin.

From the beginning, it was apparent that Martin had a significant head start on his rivals. Martin's record as Minister of Finance was impressive and he also controlled much of the party machinery by 2002. Manley attacked Martin's refusal to disclose his campaign contributors, but failed to make a significant dent in Martin's support. Manley generally polled around 25% during his time in the contest, and he had the support of ministers Jane Stewart and Susan Whelan and backbench MP John H. Bryden. The rest of cabinet and most of caucus said that they would back Martin (with Martin's large lead, even most Chrétien supporters grudgingly voted for Martin), including Rock who dropped out of the race early on. Seeing his inevitable defeat, Manley withdrew from the race on July 22, 2003, and endorsed Martin.

Upon Martin's landslide victory at the leadership convention on November 14, 2003, political commentators wondered whether someone so closely linked to Chrétien would avoid a potentially embarrassing demotion in Martin's new cabinet. That year, Manley had several times expressed his interest in returning to the Foreign Affairs ministry, as it was likely that Martin would appoint his own lieutenant to the Finance portfolio. Though both were ideologically on the right wing of the Liberal party, Manley's attacks on Martin's campaign donations had likely poisoned the relationship between the two men, hurting Manley's chances of remaining a Minister. Indeed, Manley, Stewart, and Whelan were dropped from cabinet, while Bryden's constituency was abolished after Martin was sworn in as Prime Minister.

Martin, who would release the list of his new cabinet in a few days, decided to offer Manley a role as Ambassador to the United States, a patronage posting Manley said he would seriously consider. In the end, Manley declined the ambassadorial appointment, apparently because it would take him out of the country and "out of the loop" for fundraising and other political activities with a long-term view towards his own eventual bid for the Liberal leadership someday. Frank McKenna, who had also been considered a federal leadership contender, was appointed instead.[4] On November 28, Manley announced his retirement from politics, remaining as a backbencher until the 2004 federal election.

Post-political career

Shortly after Manley announced his retirement from federal politics, Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario and close friend of Manley, appointed him to chair a royal commission on the energy system of Ontario in the wake of the eastern North American blackout of 2003.

On May 18, 2004, he joined the law firm McCarthy Tétrault as counsel, working in their Toronto and Ottawa offices.[5] On May 26, 2004, Manley was named to the Board of Directors of telecommunications firm Nortel Networks. On January 27, 2005, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. He is also chair of the Independent Task Force on North America, a project of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. In March 2005, the Task Force released a report that advocated a North American union, an economic union between Canada, Mexico and the United States which would resemble the European Union.[6]

In an interview with Martin Cauchon, he indicated that in a later leadership race he would probably throw his support to the younger man. On January 25, 2006, Manley sent a letter to supporters indicating that he was not going to contest the Liberal leadership after the resignation of Paul Martin.[7]

On October 12, 2007, Manley was appointed by Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper to head an independent, non-partisan panel reviewing Canada's mission and future role in Afghanistan, a position he had discussed with Liberal leader Stéphane Dion beforehand. Both Dion and Liberal Foreign Affairs critic Bob Rae had encouraging words for the panel.[8]

Manley's panel reported on Canada's Afghanistan mission to Prime Minister Harper on January 28, 2008. Harper accepted the findings, which argued for an indefinite extension of the mission beyond February 2009, but also pointed to logistical and equipment shortfalls, communications challenges with telling the mission's story to Canadians, and a coming manpower strength shortage. The report's recommendations were accepted by the house when the Liberals backed them along with the Conservatives.[9]

Manley had been mentioned as a possible contender for the leadership of the Liberal Party after Stéphane Dion's resignation following the 2008 election, but on November 4, 2008, he announced that he would not be a candidate.[10]

In the December 6, 2008 edition of the Globe and Mail, Manley demanded Liberal leader Stéphane Dion step down so the party can find another leader before Christmas and to "rebuild the Liberal Party, rather than leading a coalition with the NDP. He added, "the notion that the public would accept Stéphane Dion as prime minister, after having resoundingly rejected that possibility a few weeks earlier, was delusional at best [...] Mr. Dion had seemed to accept responsibility for the defeat (although somewhat reluctantly), and should have left his post immediately."[11] Dion did, in fact, step down as party leader shortly after Manley's letter was published, however this was a result of internal party pressure and the significance of Manley's letter to this end is debatable.

In June 2009, Manley was named the new President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, effective January 2010.[12]

On July 1, 2009, Manley was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada for his contributions to Canadian politics, notably as a cabinet minister, and as a business and community leader who had played an important role in the promotion of international aid and co-operation.

He is a member of the Trilateral Commission[13] and sits on the Advisory Council of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.

Political ideology

Manley is regarded by some as being from the centre-right of the Liberal party, favouring fiscal conservatism, free trade, and friendly relations with the United States, although his budget included substantial program spending.

Manley seems committed to many of the policies implemented under Chrétien, particularly to expanding foreign aid and improving Canada's "knowledge economy".

Manley is known as a republican and an advocate of the abolition of the Canadian monarchy. This point of view created quite a controversy when, in response to a reporter's question, he publicly stated that the monarchy was unnecessary during a 12-day tour of Canada by the Queen. Manley served as the Queen's escort for the trip.

Electoral record

Canadian federal election, 1988
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal John Manley 27,740 50.9 +14.2 $60,329
Progressive Conservative Barry Turner 19,134 35.1 -10.0 $43,380
New Democratic John Fryer 7,392 13.6 -3.2 $42,207
Libertarian Marc A. Shindler 146 0.3
Commonwealth of Canada Jack C. Chambers 90 0.2
Independent Charles Boylan 54 0.1
Difference 8,606 15.8
Valid votes 54,502
Canadian federal election, 1993
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal John Manley 35,705 66.3 +15.4 $116,684
Reform Doug Walkinshaw 7,749 14.4 n/a $46,281
Progressive Conservative Joe Anton 6,580 12.2 -22.9 $18,730
New Democratic Ursule Critoph 2,116 3.9 -9.7 $39,876
National George Shirreff 1,024 1.9 n/a"
Green Joe Palmer 391 0.7 n/a
Natural Law Ronald J.D. Parker 243 0.5 n/a
Marxist–Leninist Louise Waldman 140 0.1 n/a
Difference 27,956 51.9
Valid votes 53,875
Canadian federal election, 1997
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal John Manley 31,725 59.0 -7.3 $50,315
Reform Carla Marie Dancey 8,522 15.9 +1.5 $24,092
Progressive Conservative Keith Beardsley 8,115 15.1 +2.9 $23,773
New Democratic Marcella Munro 4,374 8.2 +4.3 $23,462
Green Maria Von Fickenstein 440 0.8 +0.1 $0
Canadian Action Paula Williams 281 0.5 n/a $1,364
Natural Law Richard Michael Wolfson 167 0.3 -0.2 $0
Marxist–Leninist Anna di Carlo 140 0.3 +0.2 $0
Difference 23,203 43.2 -8.7
Rejected Ballots 382 0.7
Turnout 54,146 72.3
Canadian federal election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal John Manley 26,585 51.3 -7.7 $51,901
Alliance Brad Darbyson 12,677 24.5 +8.6 $40,183
Progressive Conservative Kevin Lister 8,096 15.6 +0.4 $23,923
New Democratic Jeannie Page 3,463 6.7 -1.5 $11,522
Marijuana Ron Whalen 679 1.3 n/a
Natural Law James Hea 141 0.3 0.0
Marxist–Leninist Marsha Fine 80 0.2 -0.1
Communist Mick Panesar 69 0.1 n/a $246
Difference 13,908 26.9 -16.3
Rejected Ballots 231 0.4 -0.3
Turnout 52,021 62.0 -10.3


  1. ^ article
  2. ^ The Canadian Encyclopedia
  3. ^ CBC Budget analysis
  4. ^ Manley declines Martin offer of Washington post, CTV News, December 16, 2003
  5. ^ McCarthy Tétrault - The Hon. John Manley Joins McCarthy Tétrault: Esteemed Lawmaker Returns to Private Practice - News Detail. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  6. ^ Cyberpresse article
  7. ^ CTV- January 25, 2006
  8. ^ Manley to head Afghanistan review
  9. ^ The Globe and Mail, January 28, 2008, p. A1.
  10. ^ "Manley won't run in Liberal leadership race". CBC News. November 4, 2008. 
  11. ^ "Manley says Liberals should replace Dion as leader".  
  12. ^ Canadian Council of Chief Executives communique
  13. ^
26th Ministry – Cabinet of Jean Chrétien
Cabinet Posts (9)
Predecessor Office Successor
Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister of Canada
Anne McLellan
Paul Martin Minister of Finance
Ralph Goodale
position created Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations
NB: "Minister of Infrastructure" for final two months
position abolished
Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Bill Graham
David Dingwall Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Brian Tobin
Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Western Economic Diversification
Brian Tobin
legislation enacted Minister of Industry
Brian Tobin
Jean Charest Minister of Industry, Science and Technology
styled as Minister of Industry
legislation enacted
Jean Charest Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs
styled as Minister of Industry
legislation enacted
Special Cabinet Responsibilities
Predecessor Title Successor
Paul Martin Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
NB: "Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development - Quebec" before 1998
Brian Tobin
Party political offices
Preceded by
Herb Gray
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Succeeded by
Anne McLellan
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Federal Riding Created in 1987
* See also the ridings of: Ottawa Centre, Ottawa—Carleton and Ottawa—Vanier
Member of Parliament for Ottawa South
Succeeded by
David McGuinty
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