Rod Sykes

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Rod Sykes
30th Mayor of Calgary
In office
October 22, 1969 – October 31, 1977
Preceded byJack Leslie
Succeeded byRoss Alger
Personal details
Born (1929-05-19) May 19, 1929 (age 92)
Montreal, Quebec

James Rodney Winter Sykes (born May 19, 1929)[1] is a Canadian politician. He served as the 30th Mayor of Calgary from 1969 to 1977 and as leader of the Alberta Social Credit Party from 1980 to 1982. He ran as a Liberal candidate in the 1984 federal election.

Early life[edit]

Sykes was born in 1929 in Montreal, Quebec, and was primarily raised in Victoria, British Columbia. He attended Sir George Williams University in Montreal. He also has a sister, Anne, who lives in Victoria.

Political career[edit]

Sykes served as mayor of Calgary from 1969 to 1977. He was defender of the underdog and the importance of financial safety nets for the needy, attacked corruption among the rich and powerful, and left office after ensuring Calgary would begin on LRT construction.[2] During his time as mayor, Calgary switched from the pro-rep (STV) system to plurality election in single-member wards.

Sykes was leader of the Alberta Social Credit Party from 1980 to 1982. He quit as party leader in 1982, frustrated by the party's internal and financial problems.

In 1984, he was nominated by Alan Clarke, Calgary East Federal Liberal Riding Association Vice President, to run for the Liberal Party for a seat in the House of Commons, in the riding of Calgary East. At the time this was the largest riding in Canada.

Sykes was acclaimed at a nomination meeting with over six-hundred members in attendance. Despite being the only Liberal candidate endorsed by the Calgary Sun that year, he lost to Progressive Conservative Alex Kindy in the general election.

Personal life[edit]

He and his wife Gisèle (Deceased) have five children and fourteen grandchildren.

Sykes was a long-time friend of professional wrestler and promoter Stu Hart.[3]


  1. ^[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Marshall, Thin Power
  3. ^ Marshall, Andy (2016). Thin Power: How former Calgary Mayor Rod Sykes stamped his brand on the city . . . And scorched some sacred cows. FriesenPress. ISBN 9781460283974.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of Calgary
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Social Credit Party of Alberta Leader
Succeeded by