|Birth||18 June 1955, Winnipeg, Canada|
|Politics||Conservative Party of Canada|
|Education||Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia|
Edward D. “Ed” Fast PC QC MP (born June 18, 1955) is a Canadian Conservative politician, currently the Member of Parliament for Abbotsford. He was formerly the Minister for International Trade and as Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway under Stephen Harper.
EARLY LIFE AND CAREER
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Ed Fast grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. After graduating from law school at the University of British Columbia in 1982, Fast co-founded the law firm currently known as Linley Welwood. He was elected in 1985 and served two terms as an Abbotsford School Board Trustee. He was elected to Abbotsford City Council in 1996 and served for three 3-year terms. During that time, he served as Deputy Mayor and as Chair of the Parks Recreation & Culture Commission.
Fast was in the 2006 federal election with 63.27% of the vote as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Abbotsford on January 23, 2006. During his first term, Fast was appointed to the Standing Committee of Canadian Heritage and the Standing Committee for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. Fast was also the Vice-Chair of the B.C. Conservative caucus.
In 2006, Fast introduced Private Member’s Bill C-277 which doubles from 5 to 10 years in prison the maximum sentence for luring a child over the internet for sexual purposes. The Bill received royal assent on June 22, 2007. Only 2% of private member’s bills are ever passed into law.
In the 2008 federal election, Fast received 30,853 votes, 63.3% of the total in Abbotsford. He served as the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and as a member of the Copyright Modernization Committee. In May 2009, Fast introduced a motion in the House of Commons to rename the Huntingdon border crossing to “Abbotsford-Huntingdon Port of Entry”. The official renaming took place on May 28, 2010, preserving the historical significance of the “Huntingdon” name while at the same time more accurately reflecting the location of the border crossing within the Fraser Valley.
From 2009–2011, Fast was the Chair of the Standing Committee on Justice & Human Rights.
Minister of International Trade
Fast was re-elected in the 2011 federal election with 32,493 votes, representing 65% of the popular vote. On May 18, 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Ed Fast to Cabinet to serve as Canada’s Minister of International Trade. Fast oversaw the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a free trade agreement with Europe. Fast also announced the Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), Canada’s first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region.
As Minister, Fast assumed responsibility of the Government of Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan – a plan focusing on Canada’s core strengths in priority markets through bold trade policy and vigorous trade promotion. He also released Canada’s first International Education Strategy, a part of the Global Markets Action Plan to try and attract international talent.
On April 9, 2014, rising on a point of order, MP Dan Harris accused Fast of making a gun gesture and saying “boom” in the direction of Nicki Ashton during Question Period. Fast initially denied the claim in the House of Commons as completely false. Video from the House of Commons shows Fast making a pointing gesture. After the video circulated, Minister Fast admitted that he had made a pointing gesture with his hand, but said that his hand gesture was misinterpreted as shaped as a gun and aimed at a member of Parliament.
Ed and his wife Annette have lived in Abbotsford for over 37 years and have four married adult daughters and eight grandchildren. In December 2016, Fast suffered a stroke, but recovered.