Diane Ablonczy, PC, MP (born May 6, 1949) is a Canadian Member of Parliament, representing the riding of Calgary—Nose Hill in the Canadian House of Commons as a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. She is the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs) and was appointed on January 4, 2011. She was previously appointed Minister of State (Seniors) on January 19, 2010. She held the position of Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) from October 30, 2008, Secretary of State (Small Business and Tourism) from August 14, 2007, and served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance from February 2006. Previously, Ablonczy served as Chief Opposition Critic for Citizenship and Immigration, Health, and Human Resources Development.
Ablonczy was first elected to the House of Commons in 1993 as the Reform Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Calgary North. In the riding redistribution of 1996 the riding of Calgary North ceased to exist and Ablonczy was re-elected as MP for Calgary—Nose Hill in 1997 (Reform Party), 2000 (Canadian Alliance), 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011 (Conservative Party).
Diane Ablonczy (maiden name Broadway) was born in 1949 in Peoria, Illinois, United States, as the oldest of six children.
A year later the family moved to Three Hills, Alberta, and Ablonczy grew up in a variety of places in rural Alberta. In 1967 she graduated from High School in Lac La Biche. In 1973 she received her Education degree from the University of Calgary and subsequently taught English, creative writing and other subjects.
She married Tom Ablonczy, a well site engineer and refugee of the 1956 Hungarian revolution. They had one daughter. They ran a barley-growing operation, and in 1980 Diane earned her Law degree from the University of Calgary.
The family moved to Calgary where she had her own general law practice from 1981–1991. She was widowed in 1984, and is now married to Ron Sauer. She has one daughter, four stepchildren and five grandchildren.
Ablonczy's first political involvement was in 1982, when she briefly belonged to the Western Canada Concept party, but left to join the Provincial Rights Association (PRA) a few months later. Since the PRA was formed too late to gain official political party status, she ran as an independent candidate in Calgary-Mountain View in the 1982 Alberta provincial election.
In December 2001, Ablonczy entered the 2002 Canadian Alliance leadership contest on a platform of promoting “a process to combine the Canadian Alliance, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, and other interested partners into an effective, unified opposition party before the next election.”She placed third with 3.8% of the vote. In late 2003, the Progressive Conservative Party merged with the Canadian Alliance to create the new Conservative Party of Canada.
On July 6, 2009, Conservative Member of Parliament Brad Trost indicated that several Conservative parliamentarians were surprised by Ablonczy's decision to provide funding for the Toronto Pride Week Festival.
Ablonczy later lost authority over such funding projects to another cabinet minister, and some in the Canadian media have interpreted Trost's comments as suggesting that she was demoted for her decision.This was denied by government spokesman Darren Cunningham, as reported in the national media.
In a cabinet shuffle on January 19, 2010, Diane Ablonczy changed portfolios to become the Minister of State for Seniors. The move was widely seen as a demotion in response to her decision to provide funding to the Toronto Pride Week Festival; a move which resulted in backlash among some of her supporters.
On January 4, 2011, Ablonczy was appointed Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and the position was expanded to include responsibility for the Americas and Consular Affairs. She became a member of the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense, and continued to be a member of the Treasury Board. The May 2, 2011 election saw Ablonczy re-elected with 70.2% of the vote. The Conservatives formed a majority government with 166 seats, representi
ng all provinces and the North. Ablonczy was re-appointed Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs) in the new cabinet announced on May 18, 2011.
April 29, 2012