Maxime Bernier was born on January 18, 1963, in St-Georges-de-Beauce, Quebec, to Doris and Gilles Bernier. He has two sisters, Brigitte and Caroline, and one brother, Gilles Bernier, Jr.
An avid sportsman, Maxime Bernier played football in his teens and was a member of the Condors, the team of the Séminaire St-Georges, when they won the Bol d’Or at the Olympic Stadium in 1980. He has participated in several marathons and runs daily to keep fit.
In 1985, Maxime Bernier obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Université du Québec à Montréal, then began to study law at the University of Ottawa. He was called to the Quebec Bar in 1990.
Following a long-standing interest in business, Maxime Bernier’s professional career has taken him from positions in several financial and banking institutions, including the National Bank, the Securities Commission of Québec, and Standard Life of Canada, to that of Executive Vice-President of the Montreal Economic Institute.
Several people in the Beauce then encouraged him to take the plunge into politics. After meeting with Stephen Harper in the summer of 2005, Maxime Bernier agreed to take on this challenge and was elected Member of Parliament for the Beauce on January 23, 2006, with the largest majority outside of Alberta. He was appointed to Cabinet on February 6, 2006, as minister of Industry.
After he succeeded in deregulating major portions of the telecommunications sector, the chair of the Political Science department at McGill University, Professor Richard J. Schultz, wrote that “In terms of what is perhaps the single most important component of his Industry portfolio, telecommunications, he was without challenge the best Industry Minister in thirty years.”
Maxime Bernier became minister of Foreign Affairs on August 14, 2007. He resigned as minister on May 26, 2008.
He was re-elected as Member of Parliament for the Beauce on October 14, 2008 with the largest majority among all MPs in Quebec for the second time.
He was again re-elected on May 2, 2011 and appointed minister of State for Small Business and Tourism.
Maxime Bernier has two young daughters, Charlotte and Megan.