Barnes, Susan Carol (8.9.1952-)

Canadian MP

Born in Rabat, Malta of a British mother and a Maltese father, Barnes grew up in Ontario and Northern Quebec. She became a Canadian citizen during her secondary school years and has resided in London, Ontario ever since. Barnes graduated BA in English literature and language from the University of Western Ontario (1974), bachelor of laws (1977), and was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada (1979).

Barnes was full-time lawyer in London, Ontario (1979-93) and served as part-time legal member of the Ontario Criminal Code Review Board (formally entitled the Lieutenant-Governor's Board of Review) (1986-93).

Barnes was graduation speaker at the 1993 admissions to the Bar Ceremony for the Law Society of Upper Canada in London, Ontario, and instructor of real estate and practice of law for the Law Society Bar Admissions Course, London, Ontario for a number of years while practising law. She also taught the course 'What You Should Know Before Buying a Home' for the London Public Utilities Commission (1979-93) and was instructor of business law for the Registered Industrial Accountant Program and instructor of banking law for the Institute of Canadian Bankers (1982-86).

Bames's political activity started in 1979 as an organizer and worker in federal and provincial election campaigns, she was member of the executive and board of directors for the London West Liberal Association (1979-) and president of the London West Liberal Association (1987-89).

Barnes was elected member of parliament for London West in 1993 and was appointed parliamentary secretary to the minister of national revenue in February 1996. She was also the first female member of parliament to represent the constituents of London, Ontario. She has been government vice-chairperson of the standing committee on justice and legal affairs (1994-96); member, executive committee, Canadian Inter-Parliamentary Union Group (IPU) (1994-96); chairperson of the Drafting Committee on Corruption, 94th Inter Parliamentary Union Conference in Bucharest, Romania (1995); member of the IPU Working Group on revision of the statutes with regards to gender-neutral language; and member of the Federal Ontario Caucus Task Force, which produced the report 'Access to Capital by Small Business' (1994).

Barnes has also served as member of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, London - St Thomas Advisory Board; director of the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada; president and vice-president of the United Church Women, Calvary United Church, London (1981-83); legal board member of the London Girl Guides (1979-82); and member on the board of directors for the University Ontario Alumni Association (1978-82).

Barnes married John Barnes in 1974 and they have three children.

Source: Maltese Biographies of the Twentieth Century (1997), editors Michael J. Schiavone and Louis J. Scerri

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