|Member of the Canadian Parliament
|Preceded by||new riding|
|Chair of the Standing Committee on
4 May 2006 – 1 February 2007
|Preceded by||Paul Steckle|
|Succeeded by||James Bezan|
August 19, 1951 |
Canadian Alliance (2000–2003)
|Residence||North Battleford, Saskatchewan|
|Profession||Construction contractor, politician|
|Portfolio||Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food|
Life and pre-political career
Ritz was born in Delisle, Saskatchewan and prior to his political career, he worked as a farmer at the family farm for over 20 years and owned a contracting business company.
Ritz was elected as the Reform Party candidate in the 1997 general election, and then re-elected with the Canadian Alliance in the 2000 election and the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2004 election. Ritz has been the vice-chair of the House of Commons Agriculture Committee since 2002. He was appointed Secretary of State for small business and tourism in the Harper government on January 4, 2007.
Minister of Agriculture
Ritz made national news when, in response to the 2008 Canadian listeriosis outbreak he was quoted as saying, "This is like a death by a thousand cuts. Or should I say cold cuts." Then when told of a death in Prince Edward Island, Ritz said, "Please tell me it's (Liberal MP) Wayne Easter." Ritz later apologized for his comments  and Prime Minister Stephen Harper kept Ritz in Cabinet after the 2008 Canadian general election.
In September 2012, E. coli bacteria was found in meat from the XL Foods plant in Brooks, Alberta. This led to over 1800 products being recalled across Canada and the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that 1.1 million kilograms of meat from XL Foods were recalled from American stores. This was also the largest beef recall in Canadian history, with meat being recalled in every province and territory in Canada and 41 American states.
- "About Gerry Ritz - Member of Parliament for the Battlefords and Lloydminster". Gerry Ritz. 2008. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
- "MacKay takes over defence in cabinet shuffle". CTV News. August 14, 2007. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
- "Ritz sorry for 'tasteless' Listeria jokes". CTV News. September 17, 2008. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
- "XL foods to destroy all meat from E.coli recall". CBC News. October 20, 2012. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
- "XL Foods didn't follow some safety procedures, agency says". CBC News. October 3, 2012. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gerry Ritz.|
- Gerry Ritz official site
- Profile at Parliament of Canada
- Gerry Ritz – Parliament of Canada biography
- Speeches, votes and activity at OpenParliament.ca
|28th Ministry – Cabinet of Stephen Harper|
|Cabinet Post (1)|
|Chuck Strahl||Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
|New position||Secretary of State (Small Business & Tourism)