Lee Richardson (politician)
|Member of Parliament
for Calgary Centre
|Preceded by||Joe Clark|
|Succeeded by||Joan Crockatt|
|Member of Parliament
for Calgary Southeast
|Preceded by||Constituency established|
|Succeeded by||Jan Brown|
October 31, 1947 |
North Battleford, Saskatchewan
Lee Richardson (born October 31, 1947) is a Canadian politician. Richardson was a member of the Canadian House of Commons, representing the riding of Calgary Centre for the Conservative Party of Canada from 2004 to 2012. Richardson was first elected to parliament in the 1988 election as a Progressive Conservative representing the riding of Calgary Southeast. In 1993, he lost his seat to a candidate of the Reform Party.
Richardson returned to politics in 2004, running in Calgary Centre, which had previously been held by PC leader Joe Clark. Richardson was re-elected in 2006, capturing 55.4 percent of the vote and a 20,000 vote plurality; 55.6 percent of the vote in the 2008 federal election; and 57.7 percent in the 2011 federal election. Richardson most recently served on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry.
Richardson was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. He attended the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary. He also attended Oxford University.
Richardson first entered federal politics by working on Parliament Hill as an executive assistant to Prime Minister John Diefenbaker from 1972 to 1974. He later served as executive director to Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed from 1974 to 1983.
In 1983 Richardson returned to Ottawa and worked for the newly elected Progressive Conservative leader Brian Mulroney. After the 1984 federal election, Richardson served as Mulroney's deputy chief of staff and special advisor on Western Affairs. Richardson served in that role until he ran in the 1988 general election in Calgary Southeast. Richardson won with 62.67% of the vote.
As a parliamentarian, Richardson served as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Communications, and the Minister of Transport. He was instrumental in relocating the National Energy Board to Calgary and placing the Calgary International Airport under local authority. Richardson was defeated in 1993 by a Reform candidate.
Richardson served on the board of directors for the 1988 Winter Olympics; on the board of Southminster United Church; and continues to serve as a Calgary Homeless Foundation board member. He was Chair of the Advisory Board to the University of Calgary Institute for the Humanities and was on the faculty of the Banff Centre for Management for ten years. Richardson currently is on the Calgary Stampede Board of Directors  and is a Calgary Flames Ambassador. Richardson received the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977 "in recognition of significant contribution to compatriots, community and to Canada"; the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal in 1992, the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005, and the Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
After 1993, Richardson entered the private sector and started the Lee Richardson Financial Corporation, and sat as a director on Streetlight Intelligence, a publicly traded green technology company. Richardson does not sit on any private boards at the present time[when?].
Among his parliamentary duties Richardson served as the chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade until 2011. According to the Montreal Gazette, “the International Trade Committee, under the genial chair of Conservative Lee Richardson, is a collegial exception to the toxic tone of most House committees.” 
The International Trade Committee under Richardson chairmanship successfully vetted three free trade agreements. The committee went clause by clause through and referred back to the House the following trade agreements; Bill C-2: An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Colombia, the Agreement on the Environment between Canada and the Republic of Colombia and the Agreement on Labour Cooperation between Canada and the Republic of Colombia (Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act), Bill C-8: An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Agreement on the Environment between Canada and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Agreement on Labour Cooperation between Canada and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (Canada-Jordan Free Trade Act) and Bill C-46: An Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the Republic of Panama, the Agreement on the Environment between Canada and the Republic of Panama and the Agreement on Labour Cooperation between Canada and the Republic of Panama (Canada-Panama Free Trade Act).Richardson continues to serve on the International Trade Committee.
After the 2011 federal election, Richardson was one of eight Members of Parliament who put their name forward to be the Speaker of the House of Commons. Richardson lasted to the fifth round and placed third.
Richardson married Susan Reece in 1971. They had three children: Michael, Jill, and Jane. Richardson became a widower, losing his wife to cancer in 1999.
In 2007, Richardson began dating CBC television reporter Krista Erickson. Erickson later became a Sun News daytime anchor. In March 2010, The Chronicle Herald made their relationship public, causing Mary Agnes Welch, president of the Canadian Association of Journalists, and Kevin Gaudet, of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation to claim a conflict of interest since Richardson had placed Erickson as his designated traveler allowing her flight privileges with Richardson for official events as his companion.
After the personal attacks on the couple were made, Editor-in-chief of CBC News Jennifer McGuire defended Richardson against the CAJ and CTF by stating: “It is particularly unfortunate that the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation would see fit to weigh in with their ad hoc pronouncements. The CAJ and the CFT suggest that Krista Erickson, in her role as a CBC journalist, is acting improperly. This is categorically incorrect and frankly unfair.” 
Richardson and Erickson parted in 2012 and remain close friends.
On May 30, 2012 Richardson resigned from Parliament as the Member for Calgary Centre. In his farewell speech he remarked to his colleagues that: "While we advocate for different ideas of Canada, we are all Canadians and we all love our country. We would all, I think, do well to remember that and leave the partisan furies at the water’s edge." 
Ian MacDonald from the Montreal Gazette remarked that: "while leaders of all parties joined in personal tributes to Richardson, about 200 MPs lined up to shake his hand as he stood at his front-row seat by the door at the far end of the House. It was a good half-hour before he could leave the House. In four decades of attending the House, I’ve never seen anything quite like it."
Similar sentiments were brought forward from the media noting Richardson's ability to be impartial to all sides in the House of Commons and in his riding office where he was willing to help all Calgarians.
- History of Federal Ridings since 1867
- "MP Lee Richardson resigns; will work with Alberta Premier Alison Redford". Vancouver Sun, May 30, 2012.
- Leadership » Calgary Homeless Foundation
- Board of Directors - Calgary Stampede
- L. Ian MacDonald