Peter Van Loan

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Peter Van Loan

Peter Van Loan - 2014 (14377788468) (cropped).jpg
Van Loan in 2014
Official Opposition Critic for Canadian Heritage
In office
20 November 2015 – 7 September 2018
Leader Rona Ambrose
Preceded by Pierre Nantel
Succeeded by Steven Blaney
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
In office
May 18, 2011 – November 4, 2015
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by John Baird
Succeeded by Dominic LeBlanc
In office
January 4, 2007 – October 30, 2008
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Rob Nicholson
Succeeded by Jay Hill
Minister of International Trade
In office
January 19, 2010 – May 18, 2011
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Stockwell Day
Succeeded by Ed Fast
Minister of Public Safety
In office
October 30, 2008 – January 19, 2010
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Stockwell Day
Succeeded by Vic Toews
President of the Privy Council and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
In office
November 27, 2006 – January 4, 2007
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Michael Chong
Succeeded by Josée Verner
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for York—Simcoe
In office
June 28, 2004 – September 30, 2018
Preceded by new riding
Personal details
Born (1963-04-18) April 18, 1963 (age 55)
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Political party Conservative
Residence Sutton, Ontario
Profession Lawyer

Peter Van Loan PC MP (born April 18, 1963) is a Canadian politician who is the Member of Parliament for the electoral district of York—Simcoe. He was the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons from 2007 to 2008 and again from 2011 to 2015.


Born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Van Loan is of Estonian heritage on his maternal side. His mother and grandparents fled Estonia during World War II and emigrated to Canada.

Van Loan was educated at the University of Toronto and York University and holds a bachelor's degree, a Masters in International Relations and an additional master's degree in geography. Van Loan graduated from York University's Osgoode Hall Law School and was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1989.

Prior to his election to public office, Van Loan was a partner and Chair of the Planning and Development Law Group at the law firm of Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP in Toronto, Ontario. Van Loan was also an Adjunct Professor of Planning at the University of Toronto. He served as president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario during Mike Harris' term of office and then of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada for a brief period. He resigned from the latter post in 2000 after a series of disagreements with its leader, Joe Clark.

Van Loan was a key figure in the unsuccessful attempt to convince Premier of New Brunswick Bernard Lord to run for the leadership of the federal Progressive Conservatives in late 2002. He was a key organizer in the "Yes" Campaign, led by Tory Leader Peter MacKay, to ratify the merger of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance into the Conservative Party of Canada. Van Loan then again attempted to recruit Lord to run for the leadership of the new party, and again was unsuccessful.

In an article from January 24, 2008, Van Loan was classified as one of "Harper's 12", the twelve most influential people in Ottawa, by Maclean's Magazine. Other cabinet ministers included were Jim Prentice, John Baird, and Jim Flaherty.

On October 30, 2008, Jay Hill replaced Van Loan as Government House Leader and Steven John Fletcher took over the Minister for Democratic Reform post. Van Loan became the Minister for Public Safety, as Stockwell Day became the Minister of International Trade. On these changes Don Martin wrote: "The House of Commons might become a slightly friendlier place now that Peter Van Loan has lost the job of Question Period cheap shot specialist to become Public Safety Minister, a good move that seems to back Harper’s pledge to play nice with others during the upcoming session." [1]

On January 19, 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper designated Van Loan as the next Minister of International Trade. It has been suggested that Harper removed the MP from his post as Public Safety Minister because of dissatisfaction with his leadership pertaining to the correctional system.[2]

On December 5, 2012, on the floor of the House of Commons Van Loan was involved in an altercation with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. Van Loan crossed the aisle and used an inappropriate word during the confrontation. He was restrained by Defence Minister Peter MacKay.[3]

Van Loan was one of thirteen Canadians banned from travelling to Russia under retaliatory sanctions imposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2014.[4] In response to the ban, Van Loan said that the ban was "not of serious consequence" and that he would "not be losing sleep over being on the list."[5]

On July 29, 2018, Van Loan announced that he would retire from the House of Commons, as of September 30.[6]


  1. ^ Martin, Don (October 30, 2008). "Harper keeps everyone occupied with supersized cabinet". National Post. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Noé, Markus (January 19, 2010). "Peter Van Loan out as Minister of Public Safety". Cornwall Free News.
  3. ^ Press, Canadian (December 6, 2012). "Peter Van Loan: Fight Comments Were Inappropriate (VIDEO)". The Canadian Press.
  4. ^ Susana Mas (March 24, 2013). "Russian sanctions against Canadians a 'badge of honour'". CBC News. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  5. ^ "Putin bans Van Loan from Russia as Ukraine crisis grows". Innisfil Journal. March 24, 2014.
  6. ^ "Former House leader under Stephen Harper, Peter Van Loan, retiring from Commons". CTV News. Canadian Press. 29 July 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2018.

External links

  • Official website
  • Profile at Parliament of Canada
  • Peter Van Loan – Parliament of Canada biography
  • Speeches, votes and activity at
  • Peter Van Loan on how Ottawa can help businesses abroad
  • Van Loan 'erred' in prison transfer requests
  • Come to Canada!: Van Loan
28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper
Cabinet posts (5)
Predecessor Office Successor
Stockwell Day Minister of International Trade
styled as Minister of International Trade
Edward Fast
Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety
styled as Minister of Public Safety
Vic Toews
Rob Nicholson Minister of State
styled as
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Jay Hill
Michael Chong President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
Rona Ambrose
Michael Chong Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Rona Ambrose
Special Cabinet Responsibilities
Predecessor Title Successor
Rob Nicholson Minister responsible for Democratic Reform
Steven John Fletcher
Michael Chong Minister for Sport
Helena Guergis
as Secretary of State for Sport
Special Parliamentary Responsibilities
Predecessor Title Successor
John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
2007–2008, 2011–2015
Dominic LeBlanc
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Riding created in 2004
Member of Parliament for York-Simcoe
Succeeded by
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