Mélanie Joly is the new MP for Ahuntsic–Cartierville and the new Minister for Canadian Heritage. Before being elected to the House of Commons, Joly was a lawyer and public relations expert.
Joly has a Bachelor of Laws from the Université de Montréal and a Magister Juris in European and comparative law from Oxford University. She was called to the Quebec bar is in 2001. She practiced at Stikeman Elliott and Davies Ward Phillips and Vineberg and specialized in civil and commercial litigation and bankruptcy and insolvency law. She was mentored in her law career by former MP and Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard.
After working in law for several years, Joly moved into communications and became managing partner of Cohn and Wolfe’s public relations firm.
In 2012 she ran for Mayor of Montreal as a member of Le Vrai Changement. She lost to Denis Coderre but eight councillor from the party she founded were elected.
Joly was named the head of the Quebec Advisory Committee for Justin Trudeau’s leadership campaign in 2013.
Joly has been very active in her community, serving on the boards of Régie des rentes du Québec, Fondation du CHUM, and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal among others. She co-founded Generation of Ideas, a political forum for young people. In 2010 she became the first Quebecker to win the Arnold Edinborough Award recognizing her philanthropic involvement in the Canadian cultural community. In 2014 she published Changer les règles du jeu, a book about the imbalance of power between the different levels of government and the population.
Joly’s father, Clément Joly was the president of the Liberal Party of Canada’s finance committee in Quebec. Her stepmother is Carole-Marie Allard, the former MP for Laval–East.