John McCallum was first elected to the House of Commons in 2000. He has been named the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, a very important role with the government’s promise to bring 25,000 refugees from Syria to Canada.
Prior to the election McCallum was the Liberal Party’s critic for citizenship and immigration, multiculturalism and seniors. He has previously served as Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs.
McCallum was outspoken on the issue of same-sex marriage, saying that Canada should always “seek to expand the rights of our fellow citizens as long as we do not thereby reduce the rights of others.”
Before running for federal office, McCallum was the senior vice-president and chief economics at the Royal Bank of Canada. In that position he wrote a paper titled The Cost of Doing Nothing for a conference on aligning the business community with the recommendations of the report from the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in 1996.
A former professor of economics, McCallum has a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s College at Cambridge University, a diplôme d’études supérieures from Université de Paris and a PhD in economics from McGill University. He taught at the University of Manitoba, Simon Fraser, McGill and the Université du Québec à Montréal.
As Dean of Arts at McGill McCallum secured a contribution from Charles Bronfman that allowed the university to establish the Institute for the Study of Canada.
He is a published author and has written on fiscal issues and macroeconomics.
He is married and has three children.