Charles Strahl, PC, MP (born February 25, 1957 in New Westminster, British Columbia) is a politician in British Columbia, Canada. He is a Member of Parliament in the governing Conservative Party of Canada, and is the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
Strahl was raised in British Columbia's Interior, attending Trinity Western University, and worked for a private logging and road building company. He was first elected to office in the Reform Party sweep of the region in the 1993 election. He was re-elected in 1997 and 2000 elections, running as a member of the Canadian Alliance, which had replaced Reform, in 2000. He represents the Fraser Valley, a large riding in a primarily agricultural area of the province. He has held a number of shadow cabinet and committee positions. He is a member of the Chilliwack Alliance Church.
Strahl first rose to national prominence in the summer of 2001 when he was the leader and most outspoken member of a group of Canadian Alliance MPs opposed to the leadership of Stockwell Day. Strahl and a group of other MPs left the Alliance caucus and sat as members of the Democratic Representative Caucus and worked closely with the Progressive Conservative Party. Strahl's efforts were successful, and Day was ousted as party leader and replaced by Stephen Harper.
Strahl was viewed as a well-spoken and moderate member of the Canadian Alliance who could woo eastern Canada, but his leadership ambitions were frustrated due to his inability to speak French, as well as the lasting distrust amongst many colleagues over his rebellion in 2001. He attempted to launch a bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party, but could not secure enough financial or political support to launch a viable campaign. Strahl then supported Tony Clement in his failed leadership bid.
At the outset of the 38th Parliament of Canada, Strahl was appointed Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees of the Whole under the new rules brought about as a result of the minority government situation.
In August 2005, Strahl announced that he had been diagnosed with inoperable/terminal lung cancer as the result of exposure to asbestos many years prior. He noticed the problem in July of the same year when his lung collapsed twice.
However, despite his health problems, he successfully ran for re-election in the 2006 election. Although it was widely speculated that he would become Speaker of the new Parliament, he instead joined Stephen Harper's Cabinet as Minister of Agriculture on February 6, 2006. On August 14, 2007, he became Indian Affairs Minister in a cabinet shuffle.
On June 11, 2008 Prime minister Stephen Harper thanked Strahl for his work as a minister on addressing the matter of the Indian residential schools and providing a government apology for the residential school system. Stephen Harper's thanks to his minister before he made the apology to former students of Indian residential schools.
Strahl married in 1975 and has four children.
Minister Chuck Strahl Welcomes the Official Commissioning of the Water Treatment Plant at Kwicksutaineuk Ah-Kwaw-Ah-Mish First Nation
Feb 16, 2008; GILFORD ISLAND, BRITISH COLUMBIAMarketwire - Feb. 16, 2008) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and...
Statement by the Honourable Chuck Strahl on the Introduction and Reinstatement of the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act
Oct 29, 2007; OTTAWA, ONTARIOMarketwire - Oct. 29, 2007) - The following statement was released by the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of...
Statement by the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non- Status Indians
Apr 01, 2008; OTTAWA, ONTARIOMarketwire - April 1, 2008) - The following statement was released by the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of...