Raitt hails from Atlantic Canada, graduating from St. Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s in chemistry from the University of Guelph.She obtained her LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the bar in 1998. Following this, she worked for Middle Temple barristers based in the UK in the areas of international trade, commerce, transportation and arbitration.
Raitt was hired to serve as Corporate Secretary and General Counsel to the Toronto Port Authority and was named Harbourmaster and then President and CEO near-after.
First elected in 2008, Raitt was named Minister of Natural Resources where she oversaw Canada’s response to the 2009 recession in the forestry, mines and energy sector as well as responsibility for Atomic Energy Canada Limited and the Chalk River Laboratories.
In 2010 she was named Minister of Labour, overseeing labour relations and health and safety in Canada’s federal businesses. It was in Labour that Raitt pursued her passion for mental health issues and worked alongside the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) to help develop a National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. Raitt was named the 2011 Champion of Mental Health in the Public Sector by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health in recognition of this work.
In 2013, one week after the Lac Megantic tragedy, Raitt was named Minister of Transport tasked with improving rail safety in Canada. This work cumulated with new harmonized rail safety rules between Canada and the United States. Raitt was also responsible for the modernization of Canada Post and VIA Rail and had general responsibilities for the Governments Crown Corporations.
Raitt currently serves as the Deputy Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.