Brent Rathgeber

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Brent Rathgeber
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Edmonton—St. Albert
In office
October 14, 2008 – October 19, 2015
Preceded by John G. Williams
Succeeded by Michael Cooper
Member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly
for Edmonton Calder
In office
March 12, 2001 – November 22, 2004
Preceded by Lance White
Succeeded by David Eggen
Personal details
Born (1964-07-24) July 24, 1964 (age 51)
Melville, Saskatchewan
Political party Progressive Conservative (2001-2004)
Conservative (2008-2013)
Independent (2013-present)
Residence Edmonton, Alberta
Alma mater University of Saskatchewan
Profession Lawyer, author

Brent M. Rathgeber (born July 24, 1964) is a lawyer, author and politician from Alberta, Canada. He was a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 2001 to 2004 and was elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 2008 federal election as a Conservative. He resigned from the Conservative caucus in 2013 and sat as an Independent. He ran as an Independent candidate in the riding of St. Albert—Edmonton in the 2015 federal election, but was defeated by Conservative candidate Michael Cooper.

Early life[edit]

Rathgeber was born in Melville, Saskatchewan. After graduating from Melville Comprehensive School in 1982, Brent obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Saskatchewan.

Alberta MLA (2001–2004)[edit]

Rathgeber won election to the provincial electoral district of Edmonton Calder in the 2001 Alberta general election after defeating Liberal incumbent Lance White.[1]

In the 2004 Alberta general election, after only serving one term in office, he was defeated by David Eggen of the New Democratic Party.[2][3]

House of Commons (2008–2015)[edit]

Rathgeber stood as the Conservative Party of Canada candidate for the federal electoral district of Edmonton—St. Albert in the 2008 election,[4] and was elected with 61.6 per cent of the vote.[5] He was re-elected in the 2011 federal election.[6][7]

Regarding supply management, Rathgeber said "One can occasionally be critical of the Government without being disloyal. I proudly serve in the Conservative (Government) Caucus but do not leave the viewpoints of my constituents behind every time I board a plane to Ottawa. It is natural for me to question Supply Management, since I represent 140,000 consumers but not a single dairy farmer. Similarly, all of my adult constituents are taxpayers but only a tiny fraction work for the federal government; as a result, I believe it is appropriate that I question public pensions (including my own) and demand respect for taxpayer dollars generally."[8]

Rathgeber has voiced his support for motion 312, which says Canada should re-examine when human life begins.[9]

Rathgeber blogged in 2012 that voters complained to him about the limousine expenses of Tory cabinet ministers when he travelled to Saskatchewan for a funeral.[10]

On 5 June 2013, Rathgeber announced that he had resigned from the Conservative Caucus due to what he believed to be the "Government's lack of commitment to transparency and open government."[10][11] In the 2015 federal election, he ran as an independent in St. Albert—Edmonton, a reconfigured version of his old riding.[12][13] He finished third, with 19.7 percent of the vote, behind Conservative candidate, Michael Cooper.[14][15]


  • Irresponsible Government: The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy in Canada (September 2014) Dundurn Press[16][17]

The book contrasts the current state of Canadian democracy to the founding principles of responsible government established by the Fathers of Confederation in 1867. It examines the consequences of the inability or disincentive of modern elected representatives to perform their constitutionally mandated duty to hold the Prime Minister and his cabinet to account and the resultant disregard with which the executive now views Parliament. A chapter is devoted to Withholding the power: Canada's broken Access to Information laws.

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Brent Rathgeber 34,468 63.46 +1.82
New Democratic Brian LaBelle 11,644 21.44 +5.67
Liberal Kevin Taron 5,796 10.67 -3.92
Green Peter Johnston 2,409 4.44 -3.54
Total valid votes/Expense limit 54,317 100.00
Total rejected ballots 151 0.28 +0.05
Turnout 54,468 56.26 +2.59
Eligible voters 96,815
Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Conservative Brent Rathgeber 31,436 61.6%
New Democratic Dave Burkhart 8,045 15.8%
Liberal Sam Sleiman 7,441 14.6%
Green Peter Johnston 4,072 8.0%
Total valid votes 50,994
Total rejected ballots 118
Turnout 51,112  %


  1. ^ "Tory sends White riding into history". Edmonton Journal. March 13, 2001. 
  2. ^ "Alberta Votes 2004: Edmonton-Calder". CBC News. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Teacher's win gives NDP opposition status". Edmonton Journal. November 23, 2004. 
  4. ^ "Rathgeber looks to succeed John Williams in St. Albert". Edmonton Journal. October 8, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Federal Election 2008: Edmonton—St. Albert". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Rathgeber romps to victory". St. Albert Gazette. May 3, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Rathgeber re-elected in Edmonton-St. Albert". Toronto Sun. May 3, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  8. ^ Wherry, Aaron. "Brent Rathgeber Maverick Watch". Maclean's. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  9. ^ Wherry, Aaron. "Another vote for motion 312". Macleans. Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Rathgeber, Brent. "Brent Rathgeber, MP". Twitter. Brent Rathgeber. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  11. ^ "A political barometer of voter discontent". Waterloo Region Record. June 8, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Former Alberta Conservative Brent Rathgeber to go up against one-time supporter in 2015 election". Global News. January 8, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Several Alberta seats could be up for grabs, poll analyst says". CBC News. September 9, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Conservatives elected in five of eight Edmonton ridings". CBC News. October 19, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Rathgeber falls short in bid to win as independent". Edmonton Journal. October 19, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  16. ^ Brent Rathgeber (September 10, 2014). Irresponsible Government: The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy in Canada. Dundurn Press. ISBN 9781459728370. 
  17. ^ "Harper's caucus control described in book by MP, a former Tory". The Globe and Mail. September 7, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 

External links[edit]