Peter Van Loan

Stephen Harper Michael Chong Conservative Party of Canada

Peter Van Loan

Peter Van Loan - 2014 (14377788468) (cropped).jpg
Van Loan in 2014
Official Opposition Critic for Canadian Heritage
In office
20 November 2015 – 7 September 2018
LeaderRona Ambrose
Preceded byPierre Nantel
Succeeded bySteven Blaney
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
In office
May 18, 2011 – November 4, 2015
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Preceded byJohn Baird
Succeeded byDominic LeBlanc
In office
January 4, 2007 – October 30, 2008
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Preceded byRob Nicholson
Succeeded byJay Hill
Minister of International Trade
In office
January 19, 2010 – May 18, 2011
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Preceded byStockwell Day
Succeeded byEd Fast
Minister of Public Safety
In office
October 30, 2008 – January 19, 2010
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Preceded byStockwell Day
Succeeded byVic Toews
President of the Privy Council and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
In office
November 27, 2006 – January 4, 2007
Prime MinisterStephen Harper
Preceded byMichael Chong
Succeeded byJosée Verner
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for York—Simcoe
In office
June 28, 2004 – September 30, 2018
Preceded byRiding established
Succeeded byScot Davidson
Personal details
Born (1963-04-18) April 18, 1963 (age 57)
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Political partyConservative
ResidenceSutton, Ontario

Peter Van Loan PC (born April 18, 1963) is a former Canadian politician who served as the Member of Parliament for the electoral district of York—Simcoe from 2004 to 2018. He was the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons from 2007 to 2008 and again from 2011 to 2015.


Born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Van Loan is of Estonian heritage on his maternal side. His mother and grandparents fled Estonia during World War II and immigrated to Canada.

Van Loan was educated at the University of Toronto and York University and holds a bachelor's degree, a Masters in International Relations and an additional master's degree in geography. Van Loan graduated from York University's Osgoode Hall Law School and was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1989.

Prior to his election to public office, Van Loan was a partner and Chair of the Planning and Development Law Group at the law firm of Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP in Toronto, Ontario. Van Loan was also an Adjunct Professor of Planning at the University of Toronto. He served as president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario during Mike Harris' term of office and then of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada for a brief period. He resigned from the latter post in 2000 after a series of disagreements with its leader, Joe Clark.

Van Loan was a key figure in the unsuccessful attempt to convince Premier of New Brunswick Bernard Lord to run for the leadership of the federal Progressive Conservatives in late 2002. He was a key organizer in the "Yes" Campaign, led by Tory Leader Peter MacKay, to ratify the merger of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance into the Conservative Party of Canada. Van Loan then again attempted to recruit Lord to run for the leadership of the new party, and again was unsuccessful.

In an article from January 24, 2008, Van Loan was classified as one of "Harper's 12", the twelve most influential people in Ottawa, by Maclean's Magazine. Other cabinet ministers included were Jim Prentice, John Baird, and Jim Flaherty.

On October 30, 2008, Jay Hill replaced Van Loan as Government House Leader and Steven John Fletcher took over the Minister for Democratic Reform post. Van Loan became the Minister for Public Safety, as Stockwell Day became the Minister of International Trade. On these changes Don Martin wrote: "The House of Commons might become a slightly friendlier place now that Peter Van Loan has lost the job of Question Period cheap shot specialist to become Public Safety Minister, a good move that seems to back Harper’s pledge to play nice with others during the upcoming session." [1]

On January 19, 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper designated Van Loan as the next Minister of International Trade. It has been suggested that Harper removed the MP from his post as Public Safety Minister because of dissatisfaction with his leadership pertaining to the correctional system.[2]

On December 5, 2012, on the floor of the House of Commons Van Loan was involved in an altercation with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. Van Loan crossed the aisle and used an inappropriate word during the confrontation. He was restrained by Defence Minister Peter MacKay.[3]

Van Loan was one of thirteen Canadians banned from travelling to Russia under retaliatory sanctions imposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2014.[4] In response to the ban, Van Loan said that the ban was "not of serious consequence" and that he would "not be losing sleep over being on the list."[5]

On July 29, 2018, Van Loan announced that he would be retiring from politics. He retired from the House of Commons on September 30.[6]

Electoral record

2004 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes %
Conservative Peter Van Loan 21,343 45.2
Liberal Kate Wilson 16,763 35.5
New Democratic Sylvia Gerl 5,314 11.2
Green Bob Burrows 2,576 5.5
Progressive Canadian Stephen Sircelj 670 1.4
Christian Heritage Vicki Gunn 588 1.2
Total valid votes 47,254 100.0
2006 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Peter Van Loan 25,685 47.9 +2.7
Liberal Kate Wilson 16,456 30.7 -4.8
New Democratic Sylvia Gerl 7,139 13.3 +2.1
Green John Dewar 3,719 6.9 +1.5
Christian Heritage Vicki Gunn 595 1.1 -0.1
Total valid votes 53,594 100.0
2008 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Peter Van Loan 27,412 56.7 +8.8 $89,302
Liberal Judith Moses 9,044 18.7 -12.0 $63,431
New Democratic Sylvia Gerl 5,882 12.2 -1.1 $7,414
Green John Dewar 4,887 10.1 +3.2 $10,646
Progressive Canadian Paul Pisani 676 1.4 $5,640
Christian Heritage Vicki Gunn 444 0.9 -0.2 $7,287
Total valid votes/Expense limit 48,345 100.0 $89,500
2011 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Peter Van Loan 33,614 63.6 +6.9
New Democratic Sylvia Gerl 10,190 19.3 +7.1
Liberal Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux 5,702 10.8 -7.9
Green John Dewar 2,851 5.4 -4.7
Christian Heritage Vicki Gunn 352 0.7 -0.2
United Paul Pisani 157 0.3
Total valid votes/Expense limit 52,866 100.0
Total rejected ballots 201 0.4
Turnout 53,067 58.6
Eligible voters 90,552
2015 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Peter Van Loan 24,058 50.25 Decrease13.42 $138,801.13
Liberal Shaun Tanaka 18,083 37.77 Increase26.43 $62,296.23
New Democratic Sylvia Gerl 4,255 8.89 Decrease9.69 $12,736.48
Green Mark Viitala 1,483 3.1 Decrease2.26
Total valid votes/Expense limit 47,879 100.0     $208,120.39
Total rejected ballots 232 0.48 Increase0.08
Turnout 48,111 63.66 Increase5.06
Eligible voters 75,570
Source: Elections Canada[7][8]


  1. ^ Martin, Don (October 30, 2008). "Harper keeps everyone occupied with supersized cabinet". National Post.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Noé, Markus (January 19, 2010). "Peter Van Loan out as Minister of Public Safety". Cornwall Free News.
  3. ^ Press, Canadian (December 6, 2012). "Peter Van Loan: Fight Comments Were Inappropriate (VIDEO)". The Canadian Press.
  4. ^ Susana Mas (March 24, 2013). "Russian sanctions against Canadians a 'badge of honour'". CBC News. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  5. ^ "Putin bans Van Loan from Russia as Ukraine crisis grows". Innisfil Journal. March 24, 2014.
  6. ^ "Former House leader under Stephen Harper, Peter Van Loan, retiring from Commons". CTV News. Canadian Press. 29 July 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  7. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for York—Simcoe, 30 September 2015
  8. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates