In 1984, at Montreal’s College Jean-de-Brebeuf, a young Justin Trudeau asked his advanced English classmate, Marc Miller, for a pencil. Little did they know this encounter would foster a lifelong friendship. Fast forward to July 26th, 2023, Marc Miller now holds the esteemed position of Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship.
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A Glimpse into Early Life and Childhood
Marc Miller was born in 1973 to a Nova Scotian history professor father and an anglophone Montrealer mother. He spent his early years in Montreal and attended the College Jean-de-Brebeuf for his early schooling.
At 16, in 1989, Miller, working as a grocery bagger, decided to serve his country and seek adventure by enlisting in the Canadian military as an infantry soldier. After four years of service and attaining the rank of Infantry Commander, Miller left the army, describing it as an enriching and enlightening experience, but he wanted to explore other opportunities.
Academic Journey and the Beginning of a Political Path
After returning to Montreal, Marc Miller achieved a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science from the Université de Montréal. He pursued law at McGill University, obtaining degrees in standard and civil law.
Following his education, Miller worked at the Canadian law firm Stikeman Elliott, specializing in commercial law and mergers and acquisitions. His legal career led him to practice in Montreal, Stockholm, and New York City.
Back in Montreal again, he played a significant role in Justin Trudeau’s bid for Liberal party leadership in 2013, serving as the future Prime Minister’s Fundraising Director. In 2015, Miller ran for political office, successfully securing a seat in the Canadian House of Commons, representing Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Sœurs in Quebec.
During his term, he earned praise for securing federal funding for affordable housing and public transit and advocating for the Child Care Benefit for Montreal’s middle-class families. Additionally, Miller was the chair of the Quebec Liberal Members of Parliament during this period.
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Stepping into National Politics: Marc Miller’s Political Journey
On January 17, 2017, Marc Miller assumed the role of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, focusing on Canada’s infrastructure growth and maintenance. Though his performance was well-regarded, his tenure in this position was relatively brief.
A historic moment occurred on June 1, 2017, when Miller delivered a speech entirely in Mohawk, an Indigenous language spoken by the Mohawk peoples of Canada, during the Canadian House of Commons session. This momentous occasion marked the first time Mohawk had been spoken in the Canadian parliament since Confederation, nearly 150 years prior, in 1867.
In August 2017, they appointed him Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, building on this milestone. Over the following three years, Miller passionately advocated for the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada and emphasized the federal government’s responsibilities towards them.
In recognition of his dedication, they swore in Marc Miller as the Minister of Indigenous Services in 2019. And the subsequent year, he assumed the role of Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations.
Miller as Immigration Minister: What Lies Ahead?
Looking at recent history, we can anticipate Miller’s approach as the immigration minister. Typically, newcomers in this role dedicate their initial period to familiarizing themselves with Canada’s key immigration matters. Establishing connections within the Department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Miller will collaborate closely with Christiane Fox, a non-political civil servant responsible for implementing the government’s policy priorities.
Moreover, Prime Minister Trudeau is known to release mandate letters to his ministers after significant cabinet reshuffles. If this practice continues, Miller can expect to receive a new mandate letter outlining the specific immigration policy issues he should focus on during the remaining term of the Liberal party. The Canadian government has scheduled the upcoming election for October 2025.
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