Maxime Bernier was elected as the Member of Parliament for Beauce in 2006. He has previously served as Minister of Industry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, and most recently was the Official Opposition Critic for Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
Bernier ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 2017, and placed second, losing by a narrow margin to Andrew Scheer after 13 ballots. A front-runner for much of the race, he campaigned on Libertarian ideas and advocated for the elimination of supply management and movement towards a two-tier healthcare system.
As Minister of Industry Bernier focused on deregulating portions of the telecom sector. Bernier had several missteps as Minister of Foreign Affairs and was forced to resign his position in May 2008 after it was revealed that he had left cabinet documents at the home of a girlfriend who had connections to the Hell’s Angels.
Bernier has a Bachelor of Commerce from the Université du Québec à Montréal and studied law at the University of Ottawa. He was called to the Quebec Bar in 1990. He started his career working for several different financial institutions including the National Bank, Securities Commission of Québec, and Standard Life of Canada. He served as executive vice-president of the Montreal Economic Institute.
He decided to run for office after a 2005 meeting with Conservative leader Stephen Harper.
In September 2013, Bernier ran a marathon across his riding, totalling 106km, in 13 hours to raise money for the Moisson Beauce, a charity in the riding that runs a food bank and fights poverty.
Maxime Bernier has two young daughters, Charlotte and Megan. His father, Gilles Bernier, represented Beauce in the House of Commons between 1984 and 1997.