James Michael "Jim" Flaherty, PC, MP (born December 30, 1949) is Canada's Minister of Finance and Ontario's former Minister of Finance. From 1995 until 2005, he was the Member of Provincial Parliament for Whitby—Ajax, and a member of the Progressive Conservative Party caucus. He was a cabinet minister in the government of Mike Harris, and unsuccessfully sought the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives on two occasions. Flaherty won the riding of Whitby—Oshawa in the federal election held January 23, 2006 as a member of the Conservative Party of Canada narrowly beating Liberal incumbent Judi Longfield. He was re-elected in 2008 and 2011. Flaherty's wife Christine Elliott represents Whitby—Oshawa in the Ontario Legislature.
Flaherty was born in Lachine, Quebec. litigation. He and his wife, Christine Elliott, have triplet sons.
He attended Bishop Whelan High School and Loyola High School, Montreal. Flaherty has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University, as well as a Bachelor of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University. He practised law before entering political life, and was a founding partner of Flaherty Dow Elliott, a firm specializing in motor vehicle accident and personal injury
He first ran for the Ontario legislature in the provincial election of 1990, finishing third against New Democrat Drummond White and Liberal Allan Furlong in the riding of Durham Centre. He ran again in the 1995 election. He was named Minister of Labour in the cabinet of Premier Mike Harris on October 10, 1997, and kept this position until after the 1999 election. Flaherty was re-elected in the 1999 election in the redistributed riding of Whitby—Ajax, and was named Attorney General with responsibility for Native Affairs on June 17, 1999. On February 8, 2001, he was appointed Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier. Flaherty ran to succeed Harris in the 2002 PC leadership election, but lost to frontrunner Ernie Eves, his predecessor as finance minister. On April 15, 2002, Eves demoted him to the less-prominent position of Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation. Flaherty retained this position until the Tories were defeated in the provincial election of 2003.
On February 6, 2006, Flaherty became Minister of Finance in Stephen Harper's new Conservative cabinet. On May 13, 2008, Flaherty appeared before the Public Accounts committee, facing questions about multiple sole-sourced contracts worth more than $300,000 that were given by the government. The finance minister says he was unaware his former chief of staff broke government rules in handing a well-connected Tory an untendered contract to write the 2007 budget speech.
On May 1, 2012, Flaherty was directed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to put an end to his repeated criticisms of Ontario's government and finance minister.
April 3, 2012