Lynne Yelich (née Zdunich), PC, MP (born March 24, 1953 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) is a third-generation Croatian-Canadian politician and the MP for the riding of Blackstrap. The riding of Blackstrap includes Yelich's home town of Kenaston, Saskatchewan, identified as the largest Croatian farming settlement in Canada. Representing the riding of Blackstrap, Lynne Yelich was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 2000. She was re-elected in 2004, 2006 and 2008. She is currently the Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.
At the time of the 2005 dissolution of the 38th Parliament, which ended the 17 month minority government of Prime Minister Paul Martin, Lynne Yelich was cited by Carol Goar as a Member of Parliament who had "tried to use the legislative system to improve the lives of Canadians" and for "attempting to play a positive role in a House consumed by partisan machinations" during a particularly acrimonious parliamentary period.
Subsequent to the election of the Conservative minority government in 2006, Yelich was appointed by Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. Yelich was appointed Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification) by Prime Minister Stephen Harper following the re-election of the Conservative minority government in 2008.
During her Parliamentary tenure, Yelich has served on the Citizenship & Immigration, Transport, Government Operations & Estimates, and Status of Women committees.
She was also a member of the Standing Committee on Human Resources and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA). She has also served as Critic for Women Entrepreneurs, Families and Caregivers, Status of Women, Cities, and Grain Transportation.
Yelich has introduced private member's motions to make sexually explicit material contraband in prisons, keep open local weather stations, establish a report on decorum in the House, and support research on endometriosis.
She is married to Matt and is the mother of two daughters.
April 29, 2012