Diane Finley has been an MP since 2004 and was an important member of the Harper government. In 2013 she was named Minister of Public Works and Government Services. She had previously served as the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development and Minister for Citizenship and Immigration. She is currently the Conservative’s Caucus-Party Liaison, and the deputy critic for Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
Before entering politics, Finley was an administrator at the University of Western Ontario’s French Immersion School. She has a bachelor’s degree in administrative studies and a Master’s in Business Administration from Western. She also worked in the public and private sectors in health care, transportation, agricultural equipment manufacturing, printing and publishing and aviation.
Finley is an active supporter of increased private-sector involvement in health care services. She founded Canadian Medical Response, Canada’s largest publicly funded ambulance service company. She is also active in the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships. Finley has been active with the Brant Community Care Access Centre, the National Standards Committee of the Paramedic Association of Canada, the Ambulance Service Alliance of Ontario, the Ontario Government Health Policy Advisory Council and the Thyroid Foundation of Canada.
Finley has twice been involved in controversy. She reportedly received death threats after supporting Bill C-17, which would allow immigration officers to deny visas to prospective strippers who were suspected to be victims of sex trafficking. And in 2015 Finley was found to have breached conflict of interest rules after diverting funding to a project in Markham whose promoter had ties to the Conservative Party.
Finley’s husband, Doug, an important Conservative organizer and senator died in 2013.
Finley was a candidate for the interim leadership of the Conservative Party, which was won by Rona Ambrose.