Robert Douglas "Rob" Nicholson, PC, QC, MP (born April 29, 1952), is the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. He is a current member of the Canadian House of Commons, representing the riding of Niagara Falls for the Conservative Party and the current Minister of Justice after serving for one year as Government House Leader. He replaced Vic Toews as Justice Minister during a Cabinet shuffle on January 4, 2007. Peter Van Loan replaced him as Government House Leader.
Nicholson was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario.He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen's University and a law degree from the University of Windsor. He practised law before entering politics, and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
He was first elected to parliament in the federal election of 1984 as a Progressive Conservative, easily defeating New Democrat Richard Harrington and incumbent Liberal Al MacBain. He was re-elected by a narrower margin in the 1988 election, defeating Liberal Gary Pillitteri by fewer than 2,000 votes. As with all of his caucus colleagues but one, he was defeated in the 1993 election, finishing third against Pillitteri and Reformer Mel Grunstein.
Nicholson was elected as a trustee for the Niagara Catholic District School Board in 1994.
He was elected to the Niagara Regional Council later in 1997, and was re-elected in 2000, and 2003.He ran for Chairman of the Regional Municipality of Niagara in late 2003, but lost to St. Catharines Regional Councillor Peter Partington. He attempted to regain his old Commons seat in the 1997 election, but again finished third. He did not seek election to the Commons in the 2000 election.
The Progressive Conservatives merged with the Canadian Alliance as the Conservative Party of Canada in early 2004, and Nicholson joined the new party. He was narrowly returned to parliament in the 2004 election, defeating Liberal Victor Pietrangelo by more than 1,000 votes.
Nicholson served as Shadow Transportation Critic from July 2004 to January 2005. He was appointed Chief Opposition Whip on January 28, 2005.
During the 38th Canadian Parliament, he was one of only two members of the 99-member Conservative caucus in the Commons who had previously served in the federal cabinet. He was re-elected in the 2006 election and appointed to the Harper cabinet as government house leader. Nicholson was appointed as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada in early 2007.
On March 13, 2010, Nicholson released the terms of reference for the appointment of Frank Iacobucci as an Independent Adviser. Iacobucci will conduct an independent review of documents related to the transfer of detainees by the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.
March 29, 2012