|Donald Roy Irvine|
Norman William Sterling
February 19, 1942
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
|Political party||Progressive Conservative|
Sterling attended Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, and worked as a lawyer and engineer before entering public life. He was a partner in the Sterling & Young law firm, and in 1974 became president of the Manotick Home & School Association.
Sterling ran unsuccessfully for a Progressive Conservative nomination in 1971, at age 29. He tried again, successfully, in 1977, and was elected to the Ontario legislature in the 1977 provincial election in the safe eastern Ontario riding of Grenville--Carleton. He served as parliamentary assistant to the Attorney General in 1978, but was not appointed to the cabinet of Bill Davis in his first term as a Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP).
Sterling was returned without difficulty in the 1981 election, and served as a minister without portfolio from April 10, 1981 to February 13, 1982. He was appointed as Provincial Secretary for Justice on February 13, 1982. On July 6, 1983, he was named as Provincial Secretary for Justice. Sterling, who represents a predominantly rural and Protestant region of Ontario, disagreed with the Davis government's decision to fully fund Ontario's Catholic school system and insisted that his protest be entered into the official minutes of the executive council. Sterling initially supported Dennis Timbrell to replace Davis as party leader, but crossed to Frank Miller on the last ballot after Timbrell was eliminated.
|Ontario Provincial Government of Bill Davis|
|Cabinet posts (3)|
|Lorne Henderson||Provincial Secretary for Resource Development
|Gordon Walker||Provincial Secretary for Justice
|Minister Without Portfolio
The Progressive Conservatives lost power following the 1985 election, although Sterling had no difficulty being re-elected in his own riding. There was another Progressive Conservative leadership convention in late 1985. On this occasion, Sterling broke with Timbrell (describing the latter's post-election opposition to Catholic school funding as an opportunistic volte-face), and supported Larry Grossman.
In the 1995 election he was re-elected by almost 20,000 votes. The Progressive Conservatives formed government under Mike Harris in 1995, and Sterling was appointed Minister of Small Business and Consumer Services on June 26 of that year. On August 16, 1996, he was promoted to Minister of Environment and Energy and Deputy House Leader. On October 7, 1997, he was again promoted to full House Leader and was given the re-titled post of Minister of the Environment.
In the provincial election of 1999, Sterling was returned for the restructured riding of Lanark-Carleton. He was appointed Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Government House Leader on June 17, 1999. Following a cabinet shuffle on February 8, 2001, he became Minister of Consumer and Business Services; he also served as Minister of Correctional Services from December 5, 2000 to March 8, 2001.
|Ontario Provincial Government of Mike Harris|
|Cabinet posts (6)|
|Bob Runciman||Minister of Consumer and Business Services
|Rob Sampson||Minister of Correctional Services
|Dianne Cunningham||Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
|Brenda Elliott||Minister of Environment and Energy
|Tony Clement (Environment)|
Jim Wilson (Energy)
|Marilyn Churley||Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations
|Special Parliamentary Responsibilities|
|David Johnson||Government House Leader
On April 15, 2002, after Ernie Eves replaced Mike Harris as Premier, Sterling was appointed Minister of Transportation. After a cabinet shuffle on February 25, 2003, he was promoted to the position of Attorney General, with responsibility for Native Affairs.
|Ontario Provincial Government of Ernie Eves|
|Cabinet posts (2)|
|David Young||Attorney General
Also responsible for native affairs
|David Turnbull||Minister of Transportation
Lanark-Carleton was redistributed prior to the 2007 provincial election, and Sterling ran for re-election in the newly created riding of Carleton-Mississippi Mills, which had been created out of the eastern two-thirds of his old riding. He won by a convincing margin, defeating Liberal Megan Cornell by over 7,000 votes.
In the 2009 leadership race, Sterling supported the successful candidacy of Tim Hudak. However, the membership of his riding association supported rural-rights candidate Randy Hillier; Carleton-Mississippi Mills was one of only three ridings in the province where Hillier won a first-ballot victory.