A Life of Service
Born on Mother’s Day, 1947 and raised in Winnipeg, Laurie Hawn joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1964 and received his pilot wings in 1967. In over thirty years in the Air Force, Laurie rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and served an additional five years as Honourary Colonel of 417 Combat Support Squadron. Laurie held many senior staff positions, commanded a CF-18 Tactical Fighter Squadron and was the Wing Operations Officer at 4 Wing Cold Lake, overseeing the operation of six squadrons, 1,800 personnel, multi-million dollar budgets, and multi-billion dollar assets. He has served in Europe, the United States and throughout Canada.
Upon retirement in 1994, Laurie entered the financial services business. He successfully opened and managed branch offices and held senior supervisory positions in this highly regulated and demanding industry. Laurie has been very involved in his community, as a lead organizer, volunteer and board member supporting community events, educational institutions and many charities.
Laurie was politically active for several years and decided, in 2003, that it was time to throw his hat into the ring of federal politics. After narrowly losing a hard-fought election against Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan in 2004, patience and hard work were rewarded on January 23rd, 2006 with a decisive victory over Ms. McLellan, and the opportunity to take a seat in Parliament as the representative of Edmonton Centre. Re-elected in October 2008 and May 2011, Laurie has been proud to be part of Canada’s government as it takes steps to rebuild the military, reduce the tax burden on ordinary working Canadians, improve the accountability of government, crack down on crime, and face economic challenges.
In the 40th Parliament Laurie served on the Standing Committee on National Defence, as well as the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan. He also chaired the Special Legislative Committee on Bill C-30, the Clean Air Act, and served on the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.
On October 10, 2007 Laurie was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Peter MacKay. In this role Laurie assisted the Minister and provided a link between the ministry and Parliament. He represented the Minister in the House and at events when the Minister is unavailable. He served in this position until May 25, 2011.
Joining The Privy Council
On October 1, 2010 Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Laurie’s appointment to the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada, with the swearing-in being the first official act by Canada’s new Governor-General, His Excellency David Johnston.
On May 25, 2011 Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Laurie to the Treasury Board sub-committee on the Strategic and Operating Review. This unique appointment was a precedent, as previously only Cabinet Ministers were assigned to Cabinet Committees.
On September 13th 2012, Laurie was then appointed to sit on the Treasury Board Cabinet Committee as a full member. This was once again a precedent, as normally only Cabinet Ministers sit on Cabinet Committees.
Laurie was also selected as a Canadian representative and co-chair of the Permanent Canada-United States Joint Board of Defence. Created in 1940, the bi-annual PJBD is the highest-level bilateral forum for the discussion of defence and security issues of concern to both Canada and the United States. For over seventy years, the Board has played a crucial role in fostering critical senior military and diplomatic contact, as well as frank discussion on a plethora of issues affecting continental defence and security.
Laurie has been married for 42 years to his wife Judy, and they have two children – Robb and Jennifer. Jennifer is married to their son-in-law, Jeff Davidson and are the very proud grandparents of Tyler James. Their son Robb was also recently married to Kiran, and the newlyweds also reside in Edmonton.