Rob Anders

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Rob Anders
Rob Anders.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Calgary West
Incumbent
Assumed office
1997
Preceded by Stephen Harper
Personal details
Born (1972-04-01) April 1, 1972 (age 42)
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Political party Conservative
Residence Calgary
Profession Member of Parliament
Religion Catholic

Robert J. "Rob" Anders (born April 1, 1972) is a Canadian politician. He is a member of the Conservative Party of Canada and has represented the riding of Calgary West since 1997.

On April 12, 2014, Anders was defeated by Ron Liepert for the Conservative nomination in the new electoral district of Calgary Signal Hill for the federal election that is expected to take place in 2015.[1]

On September 20, 2014, Anders was defeated for a second time in an attempt to gain the nomination in Bow River by Martin Shields, the Mayor of the City of Brooks, Alberta.[2]

Early life[edit]

Anders was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.[3] He graduated from the University of Calgary with a bachelor of arts degree in political science. At the time of his first election in 1997 he served as the director of Canadians Against Forced Unionism, an organization related to the National Citizens Coalition.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Anders was first elected as the Reform Party MP for Calgary West in 1997, at age 25. The seat had been vacated when the former MP for the riding, Stephen Harper, resigned in 1996. It was expected that Anders would run in a by-election, but the 1997 election was called earlier than expected.

Bills introduced[edit]

In March 2003 Anders introduced Bill C-414 as a private members' bill. It was entitled "An Act to amend the Special Economic Measures Act (no foreign aid to countries that do not respect religious freedom)." The purpose of the bill was to stop Canadian government from spending the foreign aid budget in countries that did not allow for religious freedom.

Anders introduced Bill C-570 on January 29, 2014, which would amend the criminal code to provide for mandatory minimum sentences for rape.[4]

36th Parliament (1997 - 2000)[edit]

Anders was elected as a member of the Reform Party (1997–2000) and converted to the Canadian Alliance in 2000.

Anders served in several different critic roles in opposition. First as critic of the Senate from June 16, 1998 to 1999 as well as associate critic for Human Resource Development from his first election to July 31, 2000. In August 2000 he was appointed associate critic for Citizenship and Immigration.

Along with fellow newly elected MPs Jason Kenney and Rahim Jaffer and advisor Ezra Levant, Anders was part of an up-and-coming group of young Reformers which pundits dubbed the "Snack Pack" due to their relative youth and girth.

37th Parliament (2001 - 2004)[edit]

On June 18, 2001 he became associate critic for National Defence, until appointed critic for Civil Preparedness from Jan 22, 2004 until the 2004 election.[5]

Over time Anders has in several leadership roles on parliamentary committees. In the 37th Canadian Parliament he was the vice-chair of the Subcommittee on National Security of the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Anders was the sole parliamentarian to vote against making Nelson Mandela an honorary citizen of Canada in 2001, which prevented the act from passing unanimously. He defended his actions by stating that Mandela was a communist and a terrorist, causing widespread criticism.[6] As a result, during the past two federal elections, Anders has been the target of a mostly unsuccessful non-partisan "Vote Out Rob Anders"[7] campaign in his riding, but his popular vote percentage has increased every federal election since he was first elected in the 1997 Canadian federal election.

Anders was a supporter of Stephen Harper's successful 2002 bid for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance, providing significant assistance with the campaign's phone-banking.

38th Parliament (2004 - 2005)[edit]

In the next parliament Anders became the co-chair of the Scrutiny of Regulations Committee.

In December 2005, Anders used public funds to send pamphlets to residents in Richmond, British Columbia, a constituency far removed from his own. The leaflets caused bewilderment for including a survey question about "homosexual sex marriage" in a flyer otherwise addressing crime and crystal meth abuse.[8]

39th Parliament (2006 - 2008)[edit]

In the 39th Canadian Parliament, after the Conservatives came to power, he was elected chair of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs.

40th Parliament (2008 - 2011)[edit]

In the 40th Canadian Parliament he had three different committee leadership jobs: vice-chair of the Government Operations and Estimates Committee, vice-chair of Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates and co-chair of Library of Parliament Committee.

Anders has been a consistent critic of the human rights record of the People's Republic of China. He has described the PRC as "the worst human-rights abuser in the world," and compared the 2008 Beijing Olympics to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He argued that "China is the wrong choice to host the Games... I absolutely 100% think it compares to the Berlin Olympics in 1936." Anders highlights that the fact that Falun Gong practitioners are not allowed to participate in the Olympics is comparable with Adolf Hitler's issue with Jewish participation in the 1936 Berlin Olympics." Anders has also said that no Canadian politician should attend the games, nor should any Canadian athletes be used as "propaganda tools." His comments were criticized by local Chinese trade association as well as fellow Calgary Tory MP Deepak Obhrai, who disclaimed Anders "was speaking as an individual and his comments are not reflective of government policy."[9]

In February 2010, nineteen members of Anders' Calgary West riding association resigned en masse, citing interference from the Conservative Party. The 32 member board had been planning to ask Conservative Party members at the riding's upcoming annual general meeting whether they wanted to hold a nomination contest. The party's national council intervened, saying it had already declared Anders as the candidate for the next federal election, and threatened to take control of the annual general meeting of the constituency association. The resignations brought the total number of board members who had resigned over the course of one year to twenty-four.[10]

In 2010, in a card supporting Canadian troops, Anders wrote: "When in doubt, pull the trigger".[11]

41st Parliament (2011 - present)[edit]

Since the 2011 Canadian election, Anders has served as a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, the Industry, Science and Technology Committee and the Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.[12]

He was removed from his position on Veterans Affairs, partly based on his tendency to fall asleep during meetings.[13][14] He was reassigned to the House-Senate Standing Joint Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations. In 2011 Anders began to lobby for the government to stop funding the CBC.[15]

Anders' decision to become involved in the newly formed Wildrose Alliance Party of Alberta has generated controversy, as the Wildrose Alliance Party had hoped to defeat the ruling Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta in the province's 2012 election. Ron Liepert, Alberta's Minister of Energy, accused Anders of campaigning against him.[16]

In March 2012, Anders was removed from the Veterans Affairs Committee following controversial comments in response to arriving late, texting, and falling asleep at a committee meeting (including calling his accusers NDP hacks who praise Vladimir Putin).[17]

In July 2012, Anders opposed his own party and criticized Treasury Board President Tony Clement for funding a visitors' centre honouring to Norman Bethune, a Canadian physician who died while performing emergency medicine for the Chinese resistance against the Japanese occupation of China. According to Anders, "You don't need taxpayer money to go ahead and memorialize somebody who was a fan of the biggest killer in human history [Mao Zedong]", referring to Bethune's communist ideals[18] although Bethune had died ten years before Mao took power.

In September and October 2012, fellow Conservative Party members disassociated themselves from Anders' belief that New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair "hastened the death" of former NDP leader Jack Layton by encouraging an election while being in questionable health.[19]

In October 2012, Anders attracted some controversy by calling Bill C279, a private member's bill that would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and hate crime section of the Criminal Code to include "gender identity" and "gender expression" as grounds for discrimination, a "bathroom bill".[20]

On December 6, 2013, Anders spoke out after the death of Nelson Mandela, saying "If you are looking for another perspective you may be interested in the obituary that David Horowitz wrote for the Freedom Center".[21]

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has indicated his support of Anders, stating that "Rob is a true reformer and a true conservative. He has been a faithful supporter of mine and I am grateful for his work."[22]

Nomination challenges[edit]

Anders has defeated several high-profile challengers for the local Conservative nomination.

In 1997, despite his relative youthfulness, Anders was already a veteran political organizer, and was able to win a hotly contested nomination in one of the safest Reform ridings in Canada.

In 2000 he defeated MLA Jocelyn Burgener for the Canadian Alliance nomination.[23] Before the 2004 federal election Anders was challenged by future Alberta Premier Allison Redford.[23] Redford's campaign was run by Ron Liepert, who would later challenge Anders for the new Calgary Signal Hill constituency.

In 2007 Anders was re-nominated by the Conservative party without a challenger. This led to a court challenge, which initially rescinded the decision and called for a new nomination.[24] This decision was overturned on appeal, and Anders was the candidate in the 2008 Canadian Federal Election.

In 2010 Anders was challenged again, but successfully defeated Donna Kennedy-Glans, who was elected an MLA in 2012.[25]

On April 12, 2014, Anders was defeated by Ron Liepert for the Conservative nomination in the new electoral district of Calgary Signal Hill for the election that is expected to take place in 2015.[1]

After losing the nomination race for Calgary Signal Hill, Anders decided to contest for the nomination in the new electoral district of Bow River. Anders moved into the district in order to present himself as a resident of the district but he faced a challenge from the mayor of the City of Brooks, Martin Shields; former Rocky View County reeve Rolly Ashdown; and an economics professor from Calgary’s Mount Royal University, Gerard Lucyshyn. All have been long-time residents of the district. [26]

On September 20, 2014, Anders lost the nomination for Bow River to Martin Shields, the Mayor of the City of Brooks. His entry in the race for Bow River caused resentment amongst the other candidates who felt that Anders had parachuted into the riding after losing the nomination race in Calgary Signal Hill.[27]

Electoral record[edit]

Anders has faced high-profile opponents. In 1997 he defeated Dave Bronconnier, who later became the Mayor of Calgary. In 2000 he defeated Jim Silye, a former Reform MP who was now running for the PCs.

Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Rob Anders 39,996 62.20 +4.84 $83,426
Liberal Janice Kinch 11,379 17.68 -4.22 $33,609
New Democratic Shawna Knowles 6,666 10.36 +4.01
Green Anna Wagner 6,068 9.43 -1.72 $15,556
Marxist–Leninist André Vachon 233 0.36 +0.11
Total valid votes/Expense limit 64,346 100.00 $102,535
Total rejected ballots 338 0.52 +0.15
Turnout 64,684 63.01 +2.05
Eligible voters 102,657
Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Rob Anders 34,579 57.36 -1.35 $73,112
Liberal Jennifer Pollock 13,204 21.90 -0.22 $38,919
Green Randall Weeks 6,722 11.15 +0.88 $7,103
New Democratic Teale Phelps Bondaroff 3,832 6.35 -1.94 $7,402
Independent Kirk Schmidt 1,790 2.96 $15,857
Marxist–Leninist André Vachon 155 0.25 +0.06
Total valid votes/Expense limit 60,282 100.00 $96,909
Total rejected ballots 221 0.37 +0.08
Turnout 60,503 60.96 -8.98
     Conservative hold Swing -0.6
Canadian federal election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Rob Anders 38,020 58.71 +2.81 $47,434
Liberal Jennifer Pollock 14,328 22.12 -7.15 $61,930
Green Danielle Roberts 6,653 10.27 +2.65 $200
New Democratic Teale Phelps Bondaroff 5,370 8.29 +1.81 $2,960
Canadian Action Tim Cayzer 265 0.41 -0.15 $2,356
Marxist–Leninist André Vachon 125 0.19 +0.04 $16
Total valid votes 64,761 100.00
Total rejected ballots 191 0.29 -0.04
Turnout 64,952 69.94 +2.42
Canadian federal election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Rob Anders 31,322 55.90 +1.86 $66,962
Liberal Justin Thompson 16,402 29.27 +11.12 $37,297
Green Danielle Roberts 4,274 7.63 +5.24 $593
New Democratic Tim Patterson 3,632 6.48 +2.68 $2,317
Canadian Action James S. Kohut 315 0.56 $551
Marxist–Leninist André Vachon 87 0.16 $46
Total valid votes 56,032 100.00
Total rejected ballots 184 0.33 +0.13
Turnout 56,216 67.52 +5.65
Canadian federal election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Alliance Rob Anders 33,222 54.04 +2.25 $54,150
Progressive Conservative Jim Silye 13,259 21.57 +4.15 $26,369
Liberal Frank Bruseker 11,181 18.18 -7.05 $15,745
New Democratic Greg Klassen 2,350 3.82 +0.04 $1,540
Green Evan Osenton 1,456 2.36 +1.09 $1,069
Total valid votes 61,468 100.00
Total rejected ballots 122 0.20 -0.04
Turnout 61,590 61.87 -3.00
Canadian federal election, 1997
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Reform Rob Anders 24,878 51.79 -0.32 $55,330
Liberal Dave Bronconnier 15,277 25.23 -1.44 $65,590
Progressive Conservative Sergei Scurfield 9,594 17.42 +1.70 $43,365
New Democratic Michael Kozakavich 2,105 3.78 +1.75 $1,506
Green Jack Locke 557 1.27 +0.68 $1,210
Natural Law Frank Haika 293 0.47 -0.37 $1,149
Total valid votes 52,704 100.00
Total rejected ballots 128 0.24
Turnout 52,832 64.87

Activism[edit]

Anders has devoted his time to a variety of conservative causes. Some of these include lobby groups and think tanks such as Focus on the Family, the Canada Family Action Coalition, and to several causes opposing the Government of China's policies regarding Tibet and Falun Gong. Before being elected he worked for the Republican Party on the 1994 Senate campaign of Jim Inhofe in Oklahoma as a professional heckler,[28] which earned him the label of "a foreign political saboteur" from CNN.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ron Liepert wins Tory nomination in Calgary Signal Hill". CBC News Calgary. April 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ The Canadian Press (September 20, 2014). "Conservative MP Rob Anders loses nomination in Bow River". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Rob Anders, B.A.". Parliament of Canada. 
  4. ^ LegisInfo, retrieved March 14, 2014 
  5. ^ Rob Anders, B.A., retrieved March 14, 2014 
  6. ^ "PM blasts MP for blocking Mandela honour". CBC. June 8, 2001. 
  7. ^ "Vote Out Rob Anders!". voteoutanders.com. 
  8. ^ Bennett, Nelson (December 9, 2012). "Calgary MP wants your thoughts on homosexual sex marriage". Richmond News. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  9. ^ Calgary MP compares China to Nazi regime
  10. ^ "Members quit Anders' riding association". CBC. February 10, 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Calgary MP advises soldiers to 'pull trigger'". CBC. June 1, 2010. 
  12. ^ Members of Parliament, Roles, retrieved March 14, 2014 
  13. ^ Drowsy Tory MP Rob Anders dropped from Veterans Affairs Committee. National Post, March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  14. ^ Anders removed from veterans affairs committee. The Chronicle Herald, March 29, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  15. ^ Curry, Bill (September 23, 2011). "CBC funding under microscope in Conservative surveys". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  16. ^ D'Aliesio, Renata (October 21, 2009). "Wildrose supporters rankle Alberta Tories". Calgary Herald. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  17. ^ Fitzpatrick, Meagan. "Calgary MP Rob Anders booted off veterans committee". 
  18. ^ Rob Anders Joins Criticism Of Tony Clement And Conservatives Over Norman Bethune Centre, by Michael Bolen, at the Huffington Post; published March 28, 2012; retrieved April 13, 2014
  19. ^ "Outspoken Tory MP Rob Anders apologizes for suggesting Thomas Mulcair hastened Jack Layton’s death". National Post, October 1, 2012.
  20. ^ "CBC News - MP Rob Anders criticized over 'bathroom bill' comments Transgender community not happy with Calgary politician". CBC News. CBC News. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  21. ^ "CBC News - Rob Anders still no fan of Nelson Mandela". CBC News. CBC News. Retrieved December 6, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Stephen Harper: Quotations by and about Canada's Conservatives". In Their Own Words. 
  23. ^ a b [1]. CTV News, January 4, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  24. ^ [2]. CTV News, March 16, 2007. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  25. ^ [3]. FastForward Weekly, March 26, 2009. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  26. ^ Bill Graveland (Canadian Press) (September 20, 2014). "Rob Anders takes second stab at federal Conservative nomination". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 20, 2014). 
  27. ^ The Canadian Press (September 20, 2014). "Conservative MP Rob Anders loses nomination in Bow River". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 20, 2014. 
  28. ^ Stone, Laura (October 1, 2012). "Lunch with Anders: Speaks from conviction and going nowhere". iPolitics. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 

External links[edit]