Diane Finley, PC, MP (born October 3, 1957) is a Canadian politician. From 2006 though 2015, she served in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Her ministerial portfolios included Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, or CMHC, and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. She is a member of the Canadian House of Commons, representing the riding of Haldimand—Norfolk for the Conservative Party.
Diane Finley was raised in Port Dover and Charlotteville in Norfolk County, Ontario, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario. After graduation, she became the administrator of Western's French Immersion School. She then worked in a series of private and public sector jobs, in a variety of fields. She was named "one of Canada's future leaders" by the Governor-General’s Study Conference 2000.
Her husband was Doug Finley who was a Senator and former campaign manager and director of political operations for the Conservative Party of Canada. The pair met while Diane was working as a summer hire at Rolls Royce where Doug was an executive.
In 2006, Finley announced that she has Graves' disease, a non-life-threatening thyroid condition which causes increased sensitivity to bright lights and forces her to wear tinted glasses.
Finley has promoted increased private-sector involvement in health services. She was the founder of Canada's largest publicly funded ambulance service company, Canadian Medical Response, and has been active in the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships.
Long involved in politics of the Conservative Party and its predecessors, Finley first ran for public office herself in the 2004 federal election. She defeated Bob Speller, a Liberal cabinet minister, by 1,645 votes. After being re-elected in the 2006 election, she was appointed to the cabinet as Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. An Order in Council transferred authority for Social Development Canada to her as well, and accordingly she served under the style Minister of Human Resources and Social Development. She was shuffled from the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada portfolio on January 4, 2007. The following year, Finley allegedly received threats from sex industry officials in relation to her support of Bill C-17, which sought to allow immigration officers to deny temporary visas to prospective strippers if they were suspected to be sex trafficking victims. Tim Lambrinos of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada (AEAC) said that "it's not plausible" that any of the AEAC strip clubs were responsible for the threats.
On October 14, 2008, Finley won as the Conservative Party candidate for Haldimand—Norfolk in the 2008 election and re-elected May 2, 2011, in the 2011 election with 50.9% of the vote in her electoral riding. After her election victory she resumed her former post as Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development in the Conservative minority government, a post she continues to hold after the following election.
In March 2015 a parliamentary ethics report on an affair linked to disgraced prime ministerial aide Nigel Wright found that Finley had breached conflict of interest rules in her capacity as minister by diverting funding to a favoured project in Markham whose promoter had close ties to the Conservative Party.
After winning her seat once more in the 2015 federal election, Finley announced that she would be running for the position of interim leader of the Conservative Party, after Stephen Harper's resignation from the post.