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Sportsman Michael Chong to stickhandle sensitive Canadian cabinet portfolio

Co-founder high-profile Dominion Institute

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

GUELPH, Ontario – The recently re-elected Ontario Member of Parliament Michael Chong who widely was considered a potential cabinet minister is Canada’s new President of Queen’s Privy Council. Chong who was born into the family of a Chinese-Canadian physician and his Dutch-born wife, also has been sworn in as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Sports in the Conservative Harper cabinet.

A young Conservative activist, Chong and friends Rudyard Griffiths and Erik Penz in 1997 created the Dominion Institute, an organization which is devoted to raising awareness of Canadian identity and history. Since then, Chong ran as a candidate in three elections. He made it into Parliament in 2004 with 42.8% of the vote and received over 50 percent of the vote in the January 23 election (with a turnout of over 71 procent). In 2000, as a Progressive Conservative he polled about 18%.

The 34-year old new minister previously served as an official with the National Hockey League Players Association, the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, Barclay’s Bank and the Research Capital Corporation.

In his new role, the Hon. Chong will be in charge of Canada’s sensitive Constitutional and Unity files. As M.P., Chong was instrumental in arranging a trip by an area children’s chorus of 60 and their party to the Netherlands in May 2005.

Created in 2001, Dominion’s flagship programme The Memory Project is designed to connect Canadian veterans and students online and in classrooms across the country. The Memory Project Speakers Bureau includes 1,500 veteran volunteers who visit classrooms and community groups to share their stories with youth. It is estimated that veterans through this initiative have reached over 300,000 young people. Among other programmes, the Institute also interviews Dutch-Canadians about their wartime experiences and recollections of the Liberation of 1944 and 1945.