Keith Ashfield

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The Honourable
Keith Ashfield
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Fredericton
In office
October 14, 2008 – October 19, 2015
Preceded by Andy Scott
Succeeded by Matt DeCourcey
Member of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly
for New Maryland
In office
June 7, 1999 – September 18, 2006
Preceded by Joan Kingston
Succeeded by riding abolished
Member of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly
for New Maryland-Sunbury West
In office
September 18, 2006 – September 8, 2008
Preceded by new riding
Succeeded by Jack Carr
Personal details
Born (1952-03-28) March 28, 1952 (age 69)
Fredericton, New Brunswick
Political party Conservative
Residence Lincoln, New Brunswick

Keith Ashfield, PC, MP (born March 28, 1952) is a Canadian politician. He is the MP for the electoral district of Fredericton, and was appointed Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) in the Cabinet of Canada afterwards. In a cabinet shuffle on January 19, 2010, while retaining that portfolio, he was also appointed Minister of National Revenue and Minister of the Atlantic Gateway.[1] He was appointed Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on May 18, 2011.

Early life

The son of Jack Ashfield and Nora Locke, he studied Business at the University of New Brunswick for two years.[2]

Political career


Ashfield was a school trustee for a number of years and was first a candidate for the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick in the 1991 election. A Progressive Conservative, Ashfield placed third with Confederation of Regions candidate Max White being victorious.

Ashfield was again a candidate in 1999 and was successful, defeating cabinet minister Joan Kingston in the riding of New Maryland. He was named deputy speaker of the Legislature. Ashfield faced Kingston again in 2003 and won again though by a closer margin. He was sworn in as Minister of Natural Resources & Energy on June 27, 2003. He was elected to a third term in 2006 in the redistributed district of New Maryland-Sunbury West, however he left the cabinet as his party formed the opposition following the election.


On November 7, 2007, he won the nomination to be the candidate of the Conservative Party of Canada in Fredericton for the next federal election.[3] When the election was called, he resigned his provincial seat.[4] He was elected in the 2008 federal election[5] and re-elected in the 2011 federal election. Ashfield was appointed Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on May 18, 2011.[6]

Ashfield co-chaired the annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) in Victoria, British Columbia in 2012. Ministers discussed a range of issues such as aquaculture, aquatic invasive species, and protecting Canada's fisheries.[7]

In March 2013, Ashfield faced criticism for a photo-op during which he remarked to the teenage daughter of a constituent, "Grace, you’re a great cook. You’re going to make a wonderful wife for somebody.”[8]

Personal life

In October 2012, Ashfield had a heart attack and was temporarily gave his role to then National Revenue Minister Gail Shea.[6] In June 2013, Ashfield announced he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.[9] When he declared his candidacy for the 2015 Canadian federal election, he had beaten his cancer that had returned in Fall 2014.[10]


  1. "Who went where in Harper's cabinet shuffle", The Globe and Mail, 19 January 2010, retrieved 19 January 2010<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Biographies of Members" (PDF). Government of New Brunswick. 2004. Retrieved 2009-12-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "MLA wins federal Tory nomination in Fredericton". CBC News. 8 November 2007. Retrieved 19 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "MLA resigns to represent Conservatives in federal election". CBC News. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Fredericton goes Tory after 15-year Liberal rule". CBC News. 14 October 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Heart attack sidelines Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield". CBC News. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers Continue to Work Together to Protect Canada's Fisheries". US Politics Today. US Politics Today. Retrieved September 12, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Keith Ashfield's 'wonderful wife' backlash continues". CBC News. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 18 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield has cancer". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "MP Keith Ashfield to seek re-election after beating cancer". CBC News. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper
Cabinet Posts (4)
Predecessor Office Successor
Gail Shea Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
Jean-Pierre Blackburn Minister of National Revenue
Gail Shea
Peter MacKay Minister of the Atlantic Gateway
Peter MacKay Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)
Bernard Valcourt
Provincial Government of Bernard Lord
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Jeannot Volpé Minister of Natural Resources & Energy
Donald Arseneault