The Honourable Robert Nicholson | Minister of National Defence


The National Defence Act sets out the Minister’s responsibilities, including the Minister’s responsibility for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces.

The Minister of National Defence is a federal Cabinet Minister who has management and direction of the Canadian Armed Forces and all matters relating to National Defence. The Minister’s responsibilities include:

  • Construction and maintenance of defence infrastructure and works needed to support the Canadian Armed Forces across Canada;
  • Research relating to defence and security science and technology, providing equipment and technology advantages needed to defend Canada’s interests; and
  • The Minister of National Defence is also Lead Minister for Search and Rescue within the federal government.


Robert Nicholson was first elected to Parliament in 1984 and re-elected in 1988, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011.

In July 2013, Mr. Nicholson was appointed Minister of National Defence. Previously, he was appointed Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform in February 2006 and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada in January 2007.

During his first term in Parliament, Mr. Nicholson served as Minister for Science and Minister responsible for Small Business. He also served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

Mr. Nicholson was also active in municipal politics and was elected to the Niagara Regional Council in 1997, 2000 and 2003.

A practising lawyer before entering politics, Mr. Nicholson has a law degree from the University of Windsor, and he is a member of the Upper Canada Law Society.

Mr. Nicholson is married to Arlene and is the father of three children.

Minister's Office

Contact the Minister of National Defence:

The Honourable Robert Nicholson, Minister of National Defence
National Defence Headquarters
Major-General George R. Pearkes Building
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K2

Phone: 613-996-3100
Facsimile: 613-995-8189
TTY/TDD 1 800 467-9877 *


Johanna Quinney
Press Secretary to the Minister of National Defence


* A TTY is a special device that lets people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired use the telephone to communicate, by allowing them to type messages back and forth to one another instead of talking and listening. A TTY is required at both ends of the conversation in order to communicate.