Longtime Liberal MP John McKay has been named the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence.
McKay was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997. Before the 2015 election he served as the party’s critic for Environment and for National Defence. Under the previous Liberal government McKay served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and was given the task of improving relations between the public and private sectors by former Prime Minister Paul Martin. He also chaired the Ontario Liberal Caucus and the and the National Liberal Social Caucus on Homelessness and Affordable Housing.
In 2008 McKay’s Private Member’s Bill, C293, which created requirements that Canadian foreign aid be targeted to poverty reduction, passed in 2008. In 2000 McKay presented a Private Member’s Bill, C260, that amended the Hazardous Products Act to mandate that all cigarettes sold in Canada be firesafe. The bill received royal assent in 2003 and as a result all cigarettes in Canada have manufactured to self-extinguish since 2005.
Before getting involved in politics McKay was a practicing lawyer. He served as president of the Durham Law Association and as an executive member of the County and District Law Presidents’ Association.
McKay has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto at Scarborough and a Bachelor of Laws from Queen’s University. After completing his degree he started practicing real estate law. He also served as president of the Durham Bar Association, on the executive of the County and District Law Association. He was also a member of the Real Estate Executive of the Canadian Bar Association and a committee member on title insurance for the Law Society of Upper Canada.
He is married and has five children. McKay is a social conservative, and opposed his own party’s bill on same-sex marriage.