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John Baird

Former Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs

As Foreign Minister, John Baird demonstrated Canadian leadership on the world stage by being a champion for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. As foreign affairs minister, Mr. Baird was responsible for handling challenging diplomatic issues such as the crisis in Ukraine, Canada’s mission against ISIS and the case of jailed Canadian-Egyptian journalist Mohamed Fahmy.

Toronto, ON, Canada


The Current State of our Nation
United with allies and partners in the fight against terror. Side by side with the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. Strong relationships in the Arab world. Firm in our objection to militaristic expansionism in Eastern Europe. An expanded diplomatic footprint in Asia. And strong trade ties that will create lasting prosperity for generations to come. Canada stands tall in the world. In this presentation, Mr. Baird looks at the current state and where he sees the future of Canada as a country.

North American Integration
America is Canada’s biggest trading partner, and Canada is America’s biggest trading partner. As former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Baird has a great depth of experience in shaping North American cooperation. From trade, to infrastructure, to foreign policy, Mr. Baird offers insight into where cross-border cooperation is heading.

Economic Growth for Canada Beyond our Borders
A recent report by HSBC predicted that by the year 2050, 19 of the 30 largest economies will be in countries we now call “emerging.” The numbers are simply staggering. The economic potential is immense. The demographic shift is monumental. And Canada must be a part of it. It’s not a choice; it must be a national imperative. In this presentation, Mr. Baird offers insight to the future prosperity of the Canadian economy as it relates to cross-border partnerships.

Stop Child Marriage: Speaking up for Girls
Protecting human rights and human dignity is an obligation that each state owes its citizens and a mutual obligation of all members of the international community. A staggering 14 million girls are forced into marriage around the world every year. That means another 39,000 each and every day. Throughout his time in office, Mr. Baird was committed to taking a leadership role on this issue, working with any and all partners around the world to find a way to end this practice.

Summary Profile

Prior to being elected as a federal Member of Parliament, Mr. Baird served as the Member of Provincial Parliament for the ridings of Nepean and Nepean-Carleton from 1995-2005.

In the Ontario Provincial Legislature, Mr. Baird served in a number of capacities including Minister of Community and Social Services, Minister Responsible for Children, Deputy House Leader, Chief Government Whip, Minister of Energy and Government House Leader. He was known for championing the cause of people with developmental disabilities, and greatly expanded the Ontario work-for-welfare program.

Mr. Baird was elected to the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Ottawa West-Nepean on January 23, 2006. On February 6, 2006, Mr. Baird was appointed to the Privy Council as President of the Treasury Board in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first cabinet. Mr. Baird later served as Canada’s Environment Minister where he oversaw the largest expansion of protected areas in Canadian history.

Mr. Baird was sworn in as Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, where he spearheaded the design, negotiation and delivery of some 12,000-infrastructure stimulus projects across the country.

In 2010, Prime Minister Harper asked Mr. Baird to help make Parliament work by appointing him to serve as Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. He was named Minister of Foreign Affairs, following the federal election of May 2011.

He has been a staunch supporter of the State of Israel, declaring their right to exist as “non-negotiable”.  He has been an outspoken critic of the regime in Tehran, condemning their atrocious human rights record, while demanding it never be capable of developing a nuclear weapon.  He has built invaluable relations with the Arab world, and overseen the expansion of our diplomatic footprint through Asia.  In Europe, Baird has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Canadian allies and partners in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine, and throughout Eastern Europe.

Baird has led international efforts to end the barbaric practice of Child, Early and Forced Marriage, and has promoted the role of women in emerging democracies as an essential pillar in Canadian foreign policy.  Finally, Baird has been amongst the world’s most outspoken critics of hateful, and outdated anti-gay legislation in places like Uganda, Nigeria and Russia.