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Jane Stewart (politician)

 

Jane Stewart (politician)

Jane Stewart, (born April 25, 1955 ) is a former Brantford, Ontario, Stewart was first elected to Parliament in the 1993 election. She was a close friend of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, and was soon appointed to the important position of minister of National Revenue and subsequently Minister of Indian Affairs. In 1999, she was moved to the Department of Human Resources Development (HRDC), the government department that has the largest budget. Stewart was widely viewed to have leadership ambitions, and was closely supported by Chrétien.

These ambitions were put to an end by the so-called "billion-dollar boondoggle" where ineffective accounting practices at HRDC allegedly left millions of dollars unaccounted for (subsequent accounting reports revealed that only $85,000 were left unaccounted for ). While the problems at HRDC mostly date from the time of her predecessor, Pierre Pettigrew, Stewart took the brunt of the attack but was also the Minister widely viewed to have cleaned up the mess left behind by her predecessor. She did not resign and according to some, Chrétien stood by her throughout the ordeal.

She remained minister in charge of HRDC until Paul Martin became Prime Minister on December 12, 2003. She was moved to the backbenches because of her position as a loyalist to the ousted Chrétien. She retired from politics on February 13, 2004, to become an Executive Director of the International Labour Organization. In July 2005, she left her job with the ILO to return to Canada and marry businessman Henry Stolp. She has since returned to ILO as its Executive Director and currently resides in New York City.

With the announcement that Martin was stepping down as leader of the Liberal Party, a group called "Liberals for Jane" had hoped to see Stewart seek the party leadership. This was ruled out when Stewart accepted the position of Chief of Staff to acting Leader of the Opposition, Bill Graham. Only weeks later, Stewart stepped down from the post due to family obligations. She was replaced by former cabinet minister Andy Mitchell.

From 2006 to May 2007 Stewart was chief negotiator for the province of Ontario in the Caledonia land dispute.[6] In 2008, Jane became the Volunteer Chair for Brant United Way.

Stewart comes from a family of politicians. Her father Robert Nixon was

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