Ministers with Indigenous Portfolios
Here we feature Ministers directly responsible for Indigenous relations and affairs, however several other cabinet ministers are in charge of ministries that offer programs and services to Indigenous people.
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
Dr. Bennett has previously served as the Critic for Public Health, Seniors, Persons with Disabilities, the Social Economy, and Aboriginal Affairs. In 2003, she was named Minister of State for Public Health.
Prior to her election, Dr. Bennett was a family physician and a founding partner of Bedford Medical Associates in downtown Toronto. She was also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Her fight to save the Women’s College Hospital of Toronto inspired her to enter politics.
Carolyn is an active representative of Toronto–St. Paul’s. She has organized over 75 town halls, quarterly meetings, information sessions on parliamentary affairs, and special activities for her constituents since 2000. She and her office have assisted hundreds of constituents with their immigration, tax, pension or employment insurance concerns.
She speaks passionately about Canada and citizens’ participation in the democratic process. She advocates for health, the environment, women’s involvement in politics and persons with disabilities; She is also known for her strong support of Israel.
In 1986, Dr. Bennett received the Royal Life Saving Society Cross – a Commonwealth award recognizing her more than 20 years of distinguished service. In 2002, she was the recipient of the coveted EVE Award for contributing to the advancement of women in politics and in 2003 received the first ever CAMIMH Mental Health Champion Award. Carolyn was the first recipient of the National Award of Excellence for Outstanding Leadership and Dedication to Injury Prevention and Safety promotion in Canada.
Carolyn is the co-author of Kill or Cure? How Canadians Can Remake Their Health Care System.
She and her husband, Peter O’Brian, a successful Canadian producer, have two sons, Jack and Ben.
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Minister of Indigenous Services
Seamus spent almost a decade as the host of Canada AM on CTV where he developed a deep appreciation for the country’s strengths and its unique place in the world. As a journalist, he traveled the globe, from Antarctica to Afghanistan, interviewing leaders and newsmakers about the most critical issues of the day. Earlier in his career, Seamus worked as senior policy advisor to former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Brian Tobin. He also worked as executive assistant to former provincial Justice Minister Ed Roberts.
Seamus holds a Master of Philosophy Degree from the University of Cambridge. He has studied politics at St. Francis Xavier University and University College, Dublin, and business studies at INSEAD in Paris.
He was a National Ambassador for Bell’s Let’s Talk campaign, working diligently to remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
- Recently the Ministries of Indigenous and Northern Affairs have been split into two portfolios, learn more about that here.