First elected to Parliament in October, 1993, Maria Minna was appointed Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development in 1994 and served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration from 1996 to 1998.
As Minister for International Co-operation from August, 1999, until January, 2002, she doubled Canada’s overseas investment in health and nutrition and quadrupled investments in education, HIV/AIDS prevention and child protection. She also ensured that gender equality and human rights formed an integral part of all of those priority areas.
As a member of Parliament, Maria Minna fought hard to maintain Canada’s social safety net and universal health care system. She also fought for the National Child Tax Benefit to reduce child poverty and programs to support early childhood development.
She is a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance and social policy chair of the National Liberal Caucus.
From 1981 to 1992, she served as volunteer president of COSTI-IIAS, Canada’s largest immigrant services organization. She also served as a director of the National Council on Welfare and as a member of the United Way Campaign Committee, the Women’s Legal Education Action Fund, the National Action Committee on Immigrant and Visible Minority Women, and president of the National Congress of Italian-Canadians.