Joe Oliver
Minister of Finance
In office
March 19, 2014 – November 4, 2015
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Preceded byJim Flaherty
Succeeded byBill Morneau
Minister of Natural Resources
In office
May 18, 2011 – March 19, 2014
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Preceded byChristian Paradis
Succeeded byGreg Rickford
Member of Parliament
for Eglinton—Lawrence
In office
May 2, 2011 – August 4, 2015
Preceded byJoe Volpe
Succeeded byMarco Mendicino
Personal details
Joseph Oliver

(1940-05-20) May 20, 1940 (age 81)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Golda Goldman
ResidenceToronto, Ontario, Canada
Alma materMcGill University
Harvard University

Joseph Oliver, PC (born May 20, 1940) is a Canadian politician who served as Minister of Finance from 2014 to 2015. He was elected to the House of Commons in the 2011 federal election[1] and represented the electoral district of Eglinton—Lawrence as a member of the Conservative Party until his defeat in the 2015 election. In 2017 Oliver was named non-executive chairman of the board of Echelon Wealth Partners, an independent, Canadian-owned and -operated wealth management and capital markets firm.[2] In March 2019 he was appointed to the board of directors of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).[3]

Early life and career

Oliver was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, to a Jewish family. His father was a dentist and his mother was a teacher. He grew up attending Congregation Shaar Hashomayim.[4] He is married to Golda Goldman and has two sons, David and Jeffrey.[5]

Oliver received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1961 and a Bachelor of Civil Law degree in 1964 from McGill University.[6] He received an MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1970.[7]

Following his studies he became an investment banker with Merrill Lynch and then Nesbitt Thomson. He became executive director of the Ontario Securities Commission and was also named the CEO of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada.

Political career

2008 and 2011 elections

Oliver ran in the Toronto riding of Eglinton—Lawrence in the 2008 election, but lost to the longtime Liberal incumbent, Joe Volpe. In the 2011 election, he defeated Volpe to win the seat.[8]

Minister of Natural Resources

On May 18, 2011, Oliver was sworn in as the Minister of Natural Resources.[9] In June 2011, Oliver repeated Harper's campaign promise to support Quebec's asbestos industry, by claiming that chrysotile asbestos, a carcinogen, could be used "in a safe and controlled manner."[8] As Natural Resources Minister, Oliver also oversaw SNC-Lavalin's purchase of Atomic Energy of Canada.[8] Oliver has also defended pipeline projects for Canada's oil sands such as Keystone XL and the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines.[8] In a January 2012 open letter defending Keystone XL Oliver called Canadians who opposed the project "radicals" who "use funding from foreign special interest groups to undermine Canada’s national economic interest."[8] During his time as natural resources minister, the ministry's advertising budget grew from $237,000 in 2010–11 to $40 million in 2012–13.[8] Also under Oliver, the regulatory checks on the energy industry's super-projects such as Keystone were streamlined.[8]

Minister of Finance

On March 19, 2014, Oliver was appointed to replace Jim Flaherty as Minister of Finance.[10] In January 2015, Oliver announced that the budget would not be tabled until April, instead of the usual February to March, because of economic uncertainty caused by the rapid drop in oil prices.[11] On April 21, 2015, Oliver presented the federal budget, which projected a $1.4 billion surplus by taking $2 billion from the country's contingency fund.[12]

2015 Election

During the 2015 Canadian federal election, Canada was officially declared to be in a recession and fellow cabinet minister Jason Kenney, who unlike Oliver, was running in a safe riding, was the primary Conservative spokesperson on the economy.[13] Meanwhile, Oliver kept a low profile: he cancelled two speaking events at men's only clubs in Toronto, discreetly attended a G20 conference in Turkey, and focused on winning his riding.[13][14][15] Oliver lost the seat to Liberal challenger Marco Mendicino.[16]

Attempted political comeback

Oliver announced in October 2016 that he was seeking the nomination of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in York Centre for the 2018 provincial election. On January 15, 2017, Oliver lost the nomination to 36-year-old lawyer Roman Baber by a margin of 711 to 465 votes.[17]

Electoral record

2015 Canadian federal election: Eglinton—Lawrence
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Marco Mendicino 27,278 48.89 +10.47 $155,849.60
Conservative Joe Oliver 23,788 42.64 -4.18 $183,256.52
New Democratic Andrew Thomson 3,505 6.28 -5.32 $114,205.95
Green Matthew Chisholm 799 1.43 -1.74 $217.60
Libertarian Ethan Buchman 308 0.55
Animal Alliance Rudy Brunell Solomonvici 114 0.20 $5,129.72
Total valid votes/expense limit 55,792 100.00   $210,250.86
Total rejected ballots 328 0.58
Turnout 56,120 72.45
Eligible voters 77,463
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +7.32
Source: Elections Canada[18][19]
2011 Canadian federal election: Eglinton—Lawrence
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Joe Oliver 22,652 46.81 +7.56
Liberal Joe Volpe 18,590 38.42 -5.57
New Democratic Justin Chatwin 5,613 11.60 +3.18
Green Paul Baker 1,534 3.17 -5.17
Total valid votes 48,389 100.00
Total rejected ballots 302 0.62 +0.12
Turnout 48,691 68.02 +8.27
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +6.57

Source: Elections Canada

2008 Canadian federal election: Eglinton—Lawrence
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Joe Volpe 19,133 43.99 -8.90 $46,582
Conservative Joe Oliver 17,073 39.25 +9.00 $82,193
New Democratic Justin Chatwin 3,663 8.42 -3.07 $4,729
Green Andrew James 3,629 8.34 +3.22 $6,136
Total valid votes/expense limit 43,498 100.00 $82,294
Total rejected ballots 219 0.50
Turnout 43,717 59.75
Liberal hold Swing -8.95

Boards of directors

Oliver is on the board of directors of the High Arctic Energy Services, Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and the Manning Centre.[20]


  1. ^ Election 2011: Eglinton—Lawrence. The Globe and Mail, May 2, 2011.
  2. ^ "Echelon Wealth Partners names Joe Oliver as chairman | Investment Executive". Investment Executive. 2017-06-26. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  3. ^ "Joe Oliver Appointed to the Board of Directors of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)". Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  4. ^ "On being a Jewish cabinet minister in the Harper government". Jewish Tribune. 30 September 2015. Archived from the original on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ "Eglinton Lawrence EDA - About Joe Oliver". Retrieved 2016-09-21.
  6. ^ "JOE OLIVER, BA'61, BCL'64".
  7. ^ "The Honourable Joe Oliver". Archived from the original on 2011-10-27. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Kingston, Anne (5 September 2014). "The PM's latest secret weapon: Joe Oliver". Maclean's. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  9. ^ Canada, Parliament of. "Member of Parliament Profile". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  10. ^ Josh Wingrove, Steven Chase, Bill Curry And Shawn McCarthy (March 19, 2014). "New Finance Minister Joe Oliver enters with a whisper". The Globe and Mail.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Canadian Press (15 January 2015). "Federal budget to be delayed until April in light of low oil prices". Maclean's. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Fact-checking Joe Oliver: Doing the math on budget 2015". Maclean's. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  13. ^ a b Le Couteur, Mike; Monique Muise (17 September 2015). "Where's Joe Oliver? Finance minister says he's just been busy in his riding". Global News. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  14. ^ Gillis, Charlie (3 September 2015). "Where's Joe Oliver? Why in Turkey, of course". Maclean's. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Joe Oliver in Turkey for G20 meeting during election campaign". CBC News. 4 September 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  16. ^ Elections Canada. "Election results since 2015 Eglinton—Lawrence (Ontario)". Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  17. ^ Staff, CJN (2017-01-16). "Joe Oliver loses Ontario PC bid to Roman Baber, Russian Jew". The Canadian Jewish News. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
  18. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Eglinton—Lawrence, 30 September 2015
  19. ^ Elections Canada – Final Candidates Election Expenses Limits
  20. ^ "The Honourable Joe Oliver, P.C., Chair". Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). Directors. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
Parliament of Canada Preceded byJoe Volpe Member of Parliamentfor Eglinton—Lawrence 2011–2015 Succeeded byMarco Mendicino Political offices Preceded byChristian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources 2011–2014 Succeeded byGreg Rickford Preceded byJim Flaherty Minister of Finance 2014–2015 Succeeded byBill Morneau