The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch

Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

The Honourable Dr. Kellie K. Leitch

Dr. K. Kellie Leitch was elected to the House of Commons in May 2011 to represent the Ontario riding of Simcoe-Grey. She served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour until July 2013, when she was appointed Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women.

Dr. Leitch was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and grew up in Fort McMurray, Alberta and is a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon. She earned her Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Toronto in 1994 and her MBA from Dalhousie University in 1998. She completed a fellowship at the University of Southern California / Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and at age 34 became Canada’s youngest Chief of Paediatric Surgery.

Dr. Leitch is the former Chair of the Ivey Centre for Health Innovation and Leadership and has served on various councils and boards, including the YMCA and Community Living. As a volunteer, Dr. Leitch has served as council member of the National Research Council of Canada, board member of Genome Canada, director on the YMCA of Greater Toronto board of directors, and Vice-President of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. She is also the founder of the Sandbox Project.

Dr. Leitch was recognized with the Order of Ontario for her advocacy work on behalf of Canadian children and, in 2005, she was selected as one of Canada's "Top 40 Under 40" for her work in both medicine and business.

In addition to her role as a Minister and a parliamentarian, Dr. Leitch is still a practicing surgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa. She resides in Creemore, Ontario.

The Work of the Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

The Work of the Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

I am delighted today to announce that the White Ribbon Campaign
will be receiving three hundred thousand dollars for
a 36 month project to create a community practice
in partnership with nine other organizations across the country
to engage men and boys in ending gender-based violence.
Status of Women Canada has three key priorities:
One is violence against women and girls and ending it;
the second is economic security for women
and the third is making sure women have
leadership opportunities in Canadian society.
An announcement like this today sits firmly in that first pillar
- eliminating violence against women and girls.
Our announcements with Status of Women are focussed
on local community projects to make sure streets are safe,
that women are protected and supported
when they're victims of crime.
Hey Nicole, how you doing?
Making sure that women are aware of what services we provide
and what the Government of Canada is focussed on
to support women is very important.
I see some individuals who may have questions
or issues regarding Status of Women, various groups.
I spend a period of time each day
doing preparation for Question Period,
and then obviously participating in Question Period.
I'd like to take this opportunity to salute
the winners of the 2014 Canadian Women in Communications
and Technology Awards who'll be recognized later day for
advancing women's achievements in Canada's digital economy.
Women in leadership roles has been a substantive focal point
for myself, and we've put out a call to action
to the private sector to get to 30% of their women
on boards between now and 2019.
We know when there's broader board diversity,
there is increased profitability.
We know that there's a better return on investment.
We know there's an increase in top talent
that's recruited to those firms.
This is only good for business,
which means it's only good for the Canadian economy.
And part of my responsibility is to communicate
that across the country.
So your college is saying you want to be
a heavy equipment operator. What do you want to do?
We are very focussed at Status of Women
right now on women entrepreneurs.
We know that only 12-14% of small business in this country
are owned or operated by women.
But that number actually employs 1.5 million Canadians and
generated 140 billion dollars in economic wealth last year.
So they punch well above their weight.
Where are you going to have the greatest impact?
What part of your community do you want
to be involved in the most?
How are you going to have an impact on Canada
and how are you going to help Canada
have an impact on the world?
We celebrate young women for their inspiration
that they provide to the lives of their families,
and to the energy and enthusiasm they bring to their community.
I still do calls as a practicing physician
so two mornings of the week I go in and do teaching rounds.
So it's not typical of a cabinet minister
but this is something that I do.
Look, it's Christmas at CHEO!
When I meet a mom or dad with their child before we go in
the operating room, it really allows you to focus
on what's most important in life.
This is Liam who I talk to on the phone all the time.
And he gives me the good news, knock on wood,
that I'm not doing a case.
There's no hurt children.
It helps me as Minister of Status of Women also to see
the wide range of what women are experiencing.
So I get to see the entire mosaic of Canadians and
it's a true privilege because I see them in an unvarnished way.
I'm Dr. Leitch, I'm the Minister for Status of Women.
And therefore I think it gives me a good perspective
about what matters to Canadians and also who Canadians are.
It's a real privilege and honour
to have this role and responsibility.
I try and make sure that I'm representing Canada
as best I can.