Dennis Gruending is an Ottawa-based writer and a former Member of Parliament from Saskatchewan. He has worked as a print, radio and television journalist, as a radio host and has written or edited seven books. His anthology Great Canadian Speeches was a best seller and the Ottawa Citizen described it as “a history of Canada as seen from the podium.” He has also written biographies of Emmett Hall whose Royal Commission recommended Medicare for Canada, and of former Saskatchewan premier Allan Blakeney. Gruending’s book Pulpit and Politics: Competing Religious Ideologies in Canadian Public Life examines the competition between religious progressives and conservatives for power and influence in Canadian politics.
Gruending was born in 1948 and raised in rural Saskatchewan and holds an Honours degree in English literature from the University of Saskatchewan, as well as a master's degree in journalism from Carleton University in Ottawa. In the 1970s, he worked as a reporter for the Prince Albert Daily Herald and the Saskatoon Star Phoenix and later as a feature writer for the Windsor star. Upon his return to Saskatchewan, he worked out of Regina for CBC Radio and Television as producer and reporter and later as co-host of Saskatchewan Today, CBC Radio’s early morning news and information program.
He was a candidate for the New Democratic Party in four federal elections beginning in 1997 and served as an M.P. for the constituency of Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar in the 36th parliament. He was his party’s critic for the Environment and for International Development. After his defeat he spent several years as a self-employed consulting researcher and writer for numerous clients, including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Wheat Board, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, Oxfam and a number of Canadian-based unions. In 2008, he became Media Relations Coordinator for the Canadian Labour Congress, CLC, a position he held for six years.
Following his tenure with the CLC, Gruending returned to journalism. He writes a personal blog called Pulpit and Politics as well as a blog called The Common Good for the United Church Observer. His blog pieces also appear regularly on Rabble.ca and he is a contributing editor to The Hill Times newspaper in Ottawa. Gruending is a member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery and a long-time member of The Writers’ Union of Canada.
Pulpit and Politics: Competing Religious Ideologies in Canadian Public Life (Calgary: Kingsley, 2011).
Truth to Power: The Journalism of a Benedictine Monk (Calgary: Kingsley, 2010), with Father Andrew Britz.
Great Canadian Speeches (Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside 2004).
The Middle of Nowhere: Rediscovering Saskatchewan (Calgary: Fifth House Publishers, 1996).
Promises to Keep: A Political Biography of Allan Blakeney (Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1990).
Emmett Hall: Establishment Radical (Toronto: Macmillan of Canada 1985).
Gringo: Poems and Journals from Latin America (Regina: Coteau Books, 1983).
Dennis Gruending Website
Dennis Gruending with the United Church Observer
Dennis Gruending with Rabble.ca
Dennis Gruending at The Writers’ Union of Canada
Parliamentary Press Gallery
Dennis Gruending interview with Rhubarb magazine:
|Parliament of Canada|
Chris Axworthy, New Democrat
|Member of Parliament for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar
Carol Skelton, Canadian Alliance