|Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette
November 29, 2010
|Preceded by||Inky Mark|
July 11, 1951 |
|Profession||Biologist, Conservationist, Farmer|
Robert Sopuck, B.Sc., M.Sc., M.P. (born July 11, 1951) is a Canadian politician, who was elected to the House of Commons of Canada in a by-election on November 29, 2010, representing the electoral district of Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette and was re-elected in the May 2011 General Election. He is a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. He is currently a member of the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development as well as the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. In addition, Sopuck chairs the Manitoba Regional Caucus. Sopuck also Chairs the Conservative Hunting and Angling Caucus, which was founded in 2012 to provide a venue for Conservative MPs to ensure the Government was respecting Canada's hunters and anglers.
Fisheries Biology and Conservation
His first career (1976-1979) was in fisheries management where he was the district biologist (Eastern Arctic) for the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and then as fisheries biologist for the Province of Manitoba. For a number of years he ran his grain farm and an outfitting business near Riding Mountain National Park.
From 1988 to 1996 he coordinated the sustainable development initiative for the Province of Manitoba, serving as Manitoba’s observer on the founding board of the International Institute for Sustainable Development. In 1996 he took a position with the Pine Falls Paper Company as director of environmental programs. He was also on the board of the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation at this time.
Sopuck was the Vice-President of Policy (Western Canada) for the Delta Waterfowl Foundation from 2000 to 2009, and the Director of the “Smart Green” environmental policy project and the “Rural Renaissance Project” for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. He chaired the board of the Manitoba fisheries development group known as the Fish and Lake Improvement Program for the Parkland Region. During the winter of 2009/2010, he was a natural resources specialist with AMEC Earth and Environmental Limited and supervised an oil exploration and drilling program in Alberta.
In October 2007 he was appointed by Minister of the Environment to the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. He has operated a grain and oilseed farm, a small outfitting business, and carried out consulting work in the areas of environmental assessment and resource management. Sopuck's passion and experience in conservation, biology, and farming has led to becoming known as "the right-wing environmentalist."
Columnist and Author
Throughout his professional career, Sopuck also served as the hunting and outdoors columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press. Sopuck became a beloved institution of the newspaper, with his articles featuring a variety of perspectives on the rural Canadian way of life.
In November 2014, Sopuck announced that he was publishing his first book, A Life Outdoors: Essays on Hunting, Gathering and Country Living in the 21st Century. The book features a collection of his articles written for the Winnipeg Free Press, recipes featuring wild game meat, and new essays.
Election & Parliamentary Work
With Inky Mark announcing that he would be resigning as the MP for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette in June 2009, Prime Minister Stephen Harper called a by-election to be held on November 29, 2010. Sopuck was acclaimed as the Conservative candidate, and won the by-election handily with over 56% of the vote. In the subsequent General Election in May 2011 Sopuck increased his vote count, with over 63% of the vote.
Sopuck is a respected member of the Standing Committee for Environment and Sustainable Development and the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. In addition, he is Chair of the Manitoba Regional Caucus, which is the group of Conservative MPs representing Manitoba electoral districts who meet before national caucus meetings take place.
From 2011 to 2013 Sopuck served as Chair of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group. This is a non-partisan group open to all Parliamentarians seeking to promote positive relations between Canada and Ukraine. Conservative MP Ted Opitz took over as Chair from Sopuck.
In 2012, Sopuck was instrumental in founding the Conservative Hunting and Angling Caucus. The caucus, which has since grown to over 30 Conservative Members of Parliament, serves as a venue for Members of Parliament to discuss the common concerns of their constituents and move forward with solutions from the government that respect hunters and anglers. It also serves in an outreach role to meet with hunters, anglers, and trappers across the country to ensure their wealth of knowledge on environmental conservation is heard by our government. Sopuck is the chair of this caucus.
In the summer of 2014, Sopuck was confirmed as the Conservative candidate for the new riding of Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa.
In June 2014, Sopuck received the Canadian Wildlife Federation's Past Presidents' Award, which is awarded to "elected legislators for their contributions to the conservation of wildlife in Canada."
- PARLINFO - Parliamentarian File - Contact Information - SOPUCK, Robert , B.Sc., M.Sc. Retrieved 20-Mar-2011
- "Sopuck holds on to Dauphin-Swan River for Tories". Winnipeg Sun, November 29, 2010.