Maria Minna, PC, MP (born March 14, 1948) is a Canadian politician who represented the Toronto riding of Beaches—East York in the House of Commons as a member of the Liberal Party from 1993 to 2011.
Minna was born in Pofi, Italy, and moved to Canada with her family at the age of 9.
They settled in Toronto, Ontario in the Christie Pits area. Her father worked in the construction industry and her mother laboured as a factory worker. She is the third eldest of five children, having three sisters and a brother. She attended a vocational high school earning a diploma and started working as a secretary. At age 24 she attended the University of Toronto where she graduated with an Honours B.A. in Sociology. At age 34, she married Robert MacBain, a public relations consultant.
Minna sought the Liberal nomination for the riding of York West in 1984. She lost to Sergio Marchi.She also tried to get nominated in the riding of York North in 1988 but lost to Maurizio Bevilacqua.The York North nomination fight turned ugly amidst claims of delegate stacking and improper procedures.Minna later appealed the nomination but withdrew the complaint claiming that the appeal process was tainted.
She was elected to parliament in the 1993 election in which the Liberal party won all but one of the 99 Ontario seats. Although the former Liberal candidate ran against her as an independent, she defeated New Democratic Party (NDP) incumbent Neil Young by a margin of two-to-one, thus becoming the first Liberal in history to represent the Beaches area south of the Danforth. As of 2008 she has been re-elected five times easily defeating high profile candidates such as Peter Tabuns (2004 election, by 7,738 votes)and Marilyn Churley (2006 election, by 2,778 votes;2008 election, by 4035 votes). On August 3, 1999, Minna was appointed to Cabinet as the Minister of International Cooperation. She held the post until the beginning of 2002. On December 11, 2001, Minna was accused of improperly voting in a municipal by-election.
During her time in government, Minna has held several leadership roles that have focused on immigration and international relations. In 1994 she was appointed Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration from 1996 to 1998.
In October 2004, Minna was appointed special adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on issues of women, peace and security. In March 2005, Minna led a five-person Parliamentary delegation to assist with the peace process in Sri Lanka.
From 2006 to January 2009 Minna was the Official Opposition Critic for the Status of Women.Minna was the Official Opposition Critic for Labour.On May 2, 2011 during the 41st federal election Minna lost her seat to NDP candidate Matthew Kellway.
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