Melanie Joly

Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Lawyer by training. Worked in civil and commercial litigation at major law firms in Montréal; then Managing Partner, Montreal office, Cohn & Wolfe. Founder, municipal political party “Vrai changement pour Montréal”; 2013, ran for mayor of Montréal. Currently, Minister of Canadian Heritage, responsible for policies supporting Canadian arts and culture, media, official languages, Indigenous languages and multiculturalism. Member of Parliament for Ahuntsic–Cartierville, Montréal. Arts and culture advocate; policy focus is on transformation brought on by digitization of news media, entertainment and cultural industries, and redefining the role of government in an increasingly digital world. With a heavy focus on cultural diversity and social cohesion, mandate includes promotion of Canada’s two official languages, preservation of Indigenous languages and culture, and government policies on multiculturalism and pluralism. Vision is rooted in belief that arts and culture should no longer be seen as an expense, but as an essential part of any innovation and economic development agenda through investment in key cultural industry sectors. Recipient of honours for contributions to community and leadership; recipient, Arnold Edinborough Award, for involvement in the cultural sector (2010).