Gordon James O'Connor, PC OMM CD MP (born May 18, 1939) is a retired Brigadier-General, businessman, lobbyist, and current Canadian Member of Parliament and the Minister of State and Chief Government Whip. He was previously the Minister of National Revenue and the Minister of National Defence. O'Connor was one of the few defence ministers to have served in the military, the most recent prior to O'Connor being Gilles Lamontagne.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, he has a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Physics from Concordia University (Montreal) and a BA in Philosophy from York University. Gordon O'Connor is married and has two children, both of whom are now adults. He currently resides in Kanata, Ontario, where he has lived for over 25 years.
He was elected in the 2004 elections as a Conservative candidate in the Ottawa riding of Carleton—Mississippi Mills with slightly more than 50% of the vote.
After winning he became Defence Critic for the Official Opposition. His vote share increased in the 2006 election and again in the 2008 election. He is an honorary member of the Royal Military College of Canada Club, S157.
Minister of Defence
Within months of Gordon O'Connor becoming Minister of National Defence, the Canadian Government announced the purchase of 4 C-17 Globemaster IIIs, manufactured by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems for $3.4 billion, 16 CH-47 Chinook medium lift helicopters, also from Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, for $4.7 billion, 17 C-130Js from Lockheed Martin for $4.9 billion, 2300 Medium-Sized Logistics Trucks for $1.1 billion, and $2.9 billion for 3 Joint Support Ships, for a total of $17 billion. O'Connor announced on May 30, 2006 that the Canadian Forces would be restricting usage of the Mercedes G-Wagon to on-base operations only, after a number of Canadian soldiers were killed while travelling in the lightly armoured vehicle. However, three months later it was revealed that no such order was ever given, and the controversial vehicles were still being used in combat operations. In a major cabinet shuffle on August 14, 2007, Prime Minister Harper moved O'Connor to the position of Minister of National Revenue, replacing him in the defence portfolio with former Foreign Minister Peter MacKay.
April 29, 2012