Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced changes to the ministry of Veteran’s Affairs Canada. Julian Fantino has been replaced by the Honourable Erin O’Toole.
Minister O’Toole will be supported in his position by the Honourable Julian Fantino, now Associate Minister of National Defence, in the areas of arctic sovereignty, information technology security and foreign intelligence, thus continuing the government’s efforts to defend our values and interests at home and around the world.
“Our Government remains focused on the priorities of Canadians, jobs, the economy, safe communities, and standing up for Canadian values at home and abroad,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper at today’s swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall.
As the Minister of Veterans Affairs O’Toole will continue the current government’s work to improve the well-being of Canada’s veterans and honour the sacrifice and achievements they have made for Canada.
“With this in mind, Mr. Fantino and Mr. O’Toole have been asked to draw on their considerable knowledge and experience to take on important portfolios. I am confident that they will deliver results and provide strong leadership as they go about addressing their duties and responsibilities,” said Prime Minister Harper.
O’Toole is the Member of Parliament for Durham, Ontario and was first elected to the House of Commons in November 2012. Prior to accepting his new position as Minister of Veteran’s Affairs Canada, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade in September 2013.
O’Toole graduated from the Royal Military College in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and was commissioned as an officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He served at the Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ontario, and as a Tactical Navigator on the Sea King helicopter in Shearwater, Nova Scotia.
Following completion of his service in the regular forces, O’Toole transferred to the reserves and attended law school at Dalhousie University. He graduated in 2003 and returned to Ontario, where he practiced corporate law and litigation with two national law firms and served as in-house counsel to a large consumer goods company.
Mr. O’Toole already has an extensive record supporting our troops, past and present. He was a founder of the True Patriot Love Foundation, which has raised over $18 million for programs supporting members of the military, veterans and their families, as well as a former director of the Vimy Foundation. He also served on the Board of Governors of the Royal Military College of Canada.
Mr. O’Toole lives in Courtice, Ontario, with his wife Rebecca and their children Mollie and Jack.
Also today, Fantino was appointed Associate Minister of National Defence. In the last four years he has been appointed Minister of State (Seniors) in January 2011, Associate Minister of National Defence in May 2011, Minister of International Cooperation in July 2012 and Minister of Veterans Affairs in July 2013.
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