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Gerry Byrne (politician)

The Honourable
Gerry Byrne
Member of Canadian Parliament for Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte
In office
Preceded by Brian Tobin
Succeeded by riding abolished
Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
In office
January 15, 2002 – December 11, 2003
Serving with Allan Rock
Preceded by Robert Thibault
Succeeded by Joe McGuire
Personal details
Born (1966-09-27) September 27, 1966
Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador
Political party Liberal Party of Canada
Spouse(s) Denise Gibbons
Children Gerry Jr.
Residence Corner Brook, Newfoundland & Labrador
Alma mater Dalhousie University
Profession Political Assistant
Cabinet Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (2002-2003)
Religion Roman Catholicism

Gerry Byrne, PC, (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 Chretien.


  • Education 1
  • Politics 2
    • Cabinet Minister 2.1
    • Comments on PETA pie incident 2.2
    • Liberal leadership elections 2.3
  • Electoral record 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


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


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.

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.[1]

In response to the pieing of the Fisheries Minister, Byrne denounced the attack on the minister as an act of terrorism.[2] 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."

Liberal leadership elections

In the Liberal Party's 2006 leadership election, Byrne started out supporting Maurizio Bevilacqua, after Bevilacque drop out he supported Michael Ignatieff.[3] 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.[4]

In the Liberal Party's 2013 leadership election, Byrne supported Montreal MP Justin Trudeau.[5]

In the provincial Liberal Party's 2013 leadership race, Byrne supported Humber Valley MHA Dwight Ball.[6]

Electoral record

Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Gerry Byrne 17,119 57.04 -10.88
Conservative Trevor Taylor 7,559 25.18 +14.56
New Democratic Shelley Senior 4,751 15.83 -1.97
Independent Wayne Ronald Bennett 332 1.11 -2.55
Green Robin Gosse 253 0.84
Total valid votes/Expense limit 30,014 100.00
Total rejected ballots 97 0.32 -0.25
Turnout 30,111 50.91 +6.64
Eligible voters 59,149
Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Gerry Byrne 17,943 67.92 +15.02 $36,525
New Democratic Mark Kennedy 4,703 17.80 +2.90 $2,495
Conservative Lorne Robinson 2,806 10.62 -20.54 $11,451
Newfoundland and Labrador First Wayne Ronald Bennett 967 3.66 $3,719
Total valid votes/Expense limit 26,419 100.00 $90,812
Total rejected ballots 150 0.57 -0.01
Turnout 26,472 44.27 -10.3
Eligible voters 59,797
     Liberal hold Swing +6.06
Canadian federal election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Gerry Byrne 17,208 52.90 -9.66 $52,162
Conservative Cyril Pelley, Jr. 10,137 31.16 +8.21 $41,467
New Democratic Holly Pike 4,847 14.90 +1.76 $5,133
Green Martin Hanzalek 339 1.04 -0.31
Total valid votes/Expense limit 32,531 100.00 $84,468
Total rejected ballots 191 0.58 +0.13
Turnout 32,722 54.6 +6.8
     Liberal hold Swing -8.9
Canadian federal election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Gerry Byrne 17,820 62.56 +13.77 $61,737
Conservative Wynanne Downer 6,538 22.95 -2.41 $49,410
New Democratic Holly Pike 3,743 13.14 -12.68 $5,878
Green Steve Durant 384 1.35 $178
Total valid votes/Expense limit 28,485 100.00 $82,511
Total rejected ballots 128 0.45
Turnout 28,613 47.77

Change from 2000 is based on redistributed results. Conservative Party change is based on the combination of Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative Party totals.

Canadian federal election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Gerry Byrne 15,446 48.79 +8.95
New Democratic Trevor Taylor 8,173 25.82 +11.22
Progressive Conservative Peter McBreairty 6,340 20.03 -19.03
Alliance Murdock Cole 1,698 5.33 -1.17
Total votes 31,657 100.00
Total rejected ballots 117 0.37
Turnout 31,774 57.99

Canadian Alliance changes from 1997 are based on the results of its predecessor, the Reform Party.

Canadian federal election, 1997
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Gerry Byrne 12,057 39.84 -15.85
Progressive Conservative Art Bull 11,825 39.06 +15.56
New Democratic Joan Scott 4,421 14.60 +12.13
Reform Randy Wells 1,969 6.50 -11.84
Total votes 30,272 100.00
Total rejected ballots 129 0.42
Turnout 30,401 54.93
Canadian federal by-election, 25 March 1996
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
On the resignation of Brian Tobin, 25 January 1996
Liberal Gerry Byrne 12,453 55.69 -26.49
Progressive Conservative Danny Kane 5,253 23.50 +8.12
Reform Deon Hancock 4,099 18.34
New Democratic Coleen Dingwell-Corbin 554 2.47 +0.03
Total votes 22,359 100.00


  1. ^ "Pie in the Face" Globe and Mail, January 26, 2010. Retrieved January 27, 2010.
  2. ^ "A tofu cream pie in the face is an act of terrorism, Liberal MP tells radio station". National Post, January 27, 2010.
  3. ^ Even Ignatieff supporters have mixed views over his Quebec ’nation’ idea
  4. ^ "46 MPs back Ignatieff". Toronto: 2010-04-24. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  5. ^ MacKinnon, Leslie (February 8, 2013). "Half of Liberal MPs support Trudeau for leader". CBC News. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Ball wants healthy competition for Liberal leadership". The Western Star. 6 July 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 

External links

  • Gerry Byrne's Webpage
  • Gerry Byrne (politician) – Parliament of Canada biography
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