Peter Stoffer

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Peter Arend Stoffer
Peter Stoffer.jpg
Stoffer in the spring of 2007 at Lockview High School, Fall River, Nova Scotia, Canada
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Sackville—Eastern Shore
Assumed office
Preceded by riding renamed from
Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore
In office
June 2, 1997 – 1999
Preceded by new riding
Succeeded by riding renamed to
Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore
In office
Preceded by riding renamed from
Sackville—Eastern Shore
Succeeded by riding renamed to
Sackville—Eastern Shore
Personal details
Born (1956-01-06) January 6, 1956 (age 59)
Heerlen, Limburg, Netherlands
Political party New Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Andrea Pottyondy
Residence Fall River, Nova Scotia
Profession Manager

Peter Arend Stoffer (born January 6, 1956) is a Canadian politician.

Stoffer is currently a member of the New Democratic Party caucus in the Canadian House of Commons, representing the riding of Sackville—Eastern Shore. He represented Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore after the 2000 election, and after the 1997 election, he represented the riding of Sackville—Eastern Shore. (Riding changes are due to redistribution.) Stoffer is a former airline employee and union activist who was also vocal on environmental issues.

Stoffer is the Official Opposition Critic for Veterans' Affairs. He is a former critic for Fisheries and Oceans, Shipbuilding, Seniors, Amateur Sport, Canada Post Corporation, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and National Defence.

Stoffer is a populist and has been an advocate of Third Way policies championed by Tony Blair. He was affiliated with the internal party reform group NDProgress that successfully pushed the NDP to adopt a 'one member, one vote' system to choose its leader, and which has called for limits on union influence within the party.

Background and elections[edit]

Stoffer was born in Heerlen, Netherlands, where his father worked in the coal mines. After the mines closed down in 1956, they decided to move to Canada. His father became a mail carrier, his mother was a nurse and later they ran a group home for disabled youth.

In 1997, Stoffer won his seat by 39 votes.[1] Subsequently, however, he increased his margin of victory, in the 2004 election, his plurality was over 6,000 votes. In 2006, he took 53 per cent of the vote, the second placed candidate was over 12,000 votes behind. He was the only Nova Scotia NDP Member of Parliament elected in 1997 to have retained his seat, other than McDonough. In the federal election of 2008, Stoffer received 24,290 votes or 61.5 per cent of the total votes cast. He was more than 16,000 votes ahead of the candidate in second place.[2]

On May 6, 2015, Stoffer received the Dutch honour of Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau.[3]

Stoffer lives in Fall River, Nova Scotia with his wife Andrea, his two daughters (Jasmin and Amber) and his dogs Angel and Buddy.

On Parliament Hill[edit]

In Ottawa on Parliament Hill, Stoffer has been consistently voted “Most Fun MP to work for” by The Hill Times newspaper, and is known for the “All Party, Party” – a non-partisan fundraiser for various charities.

In 2006 Stoffer withdrew his own private members bill aimed at preserving Canada's neglected heritage lighthouses, in order to support similar legislation, Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act introduced by Conservative Senator Pat Carney.[4]

Stoffer has been critical of MPs who cross the floor and has repeatedly introduced a private member's bill banning party-hopping by Members of Parliament. His proposal, requiring MPs who leave their party to either resign and contest a by-election or sit as independents, was included in a list of demands issued by NDP leader Jack Layton in October 2005, in exchange for continued NDP support of the Liberal minority government. After David Emerson's controversial decision to cross the floor, he has revived this idea.

In 2010, Maclean's magazine named him "Most Collegial" in its annual Parliamentarians of the Year awards.[5] This was the second consecutive year that Stoffer received the award, which is voted on by fellow MPs.[6]

In 2012, Stoffer attracted controversy when he called Conservative MP Rob Anders "a complete dickhead" following comments Anders made insinuating that NDP leader Thomas Mulcair helped hasten the death of former NDP leader Jack Layton. Stoffer apologized to Anders the next day, calling his comments "unparliamentary".[7] In 2013 Peter Stoffer, was named Canada’s Parliamentarian of the Year by his House of Commons peers in the seventh annual survey of Canada’s 305 sitting Members of Parliament (MPs). The study was conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Maclean’s in partnership with Historica Canada and L’Actualité, and is designed to honour the public service of Canada’s parliamentarians.

2003 leadership election[edit]

During the 2003 NDP leadership convention, Stoffer was the campaign co-chair to Lorne Nystrom, a former long serving NDP MP from Saskatchewan. Days before the leadership convention, Stoffer let it be known to the media that his second ballot intention was to move to support Manitoba MP Bill Blaikie. At the convention, Toronto city councillor Jack Layton was elected on the first ballot.


  1. ^ "NDP rookie Stoffer rides wild comeback". The Chronicle Herald. June 3, 1997. Archived from the original on February 12, 2001. Retrieved 2014-09-29. 
  2. ^ "40th General Election". Elections Canada. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ 'Lighthouse Bill Protecting Our Lighthouses - The Icons of Canada's Maritime Heritage' Canadian Heritage Foundation Featured Heritage Buildings by Douglas Franklin
  5. ^ Most Collegial: Peter Stoffer - Canada - (2010)
  6. ^ Most Collegial: Peter Stoffer - Canada - (2009)
  7. ^ Radia, Andy. "Yahoo! News - NDP MP Peter Stoffer lashes out at colleague Rob Anders’ ‘stupid’ Layton comments". Yahoo! News. Yahoo! News. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 

External links[edit]