12/19/2011 07:32 EST | Updated 02/18/2012 05:12 EST

Jean-Pierre Blackburn: Defeated Tory Minister Named Canada's UNESCO Ambassador

OTTAWA - A former Tory minister defeated in the last federal election has landed an ambassadorial posting in Paris representing Canada at a United Nations agency.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced Monday that Jean-Pierre Blackburn has become Canada's ambassador to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Blackburn will head up the Canadian permanent delegation and will replace Andre Bachand, who has recently been named Prime Minister Stephen Harper's adviser on Quebec politics.

Blackburn served two stints in the House of Commons and joined Harper's cabinet in 2006.

He oversaw many portfolios and was minister of veterans affairs when he lost his Jonquiere–Alma, Que. seat to the NDP in last May's federal election.

Baird also announced that foreign affairs veteran Gitane De Silva will become Canada's general consul in Chicago, John Holmes has been named ambassador to Turkey, and John Morrison will become the country's ambassador to Latvia.