|Official Opposition Critic for International Trade|
November 20, 2015 – August 29, 2017
|Preceded by||Don Davies|
|Succeeded by||Dean Allison|
|Member of Parliament|
June 2, 1997 – October 2, 2017
|Preceded by||Len Taylor|
|Succeeded by||Rosemarie Falk|
|Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food|
August 14, 2007 – November 4, 2015
|Prime Minister||Stephen Harper|
|Preceded by||Chuck Strahl|
|Succeeded by||Lawrence MacAulay|
|Chair of the Standing Committee on |
May 4, 2006 – February 1, 2007
|Preceded by||Paul Steckle|
|Succeeded by||James Bezan|
|Born||August 19, 1951|
Delisle, Saskatchewan, Canada
Canadian Alliance (2000–2003)
|Residence(s)||North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada|
|Profession||Construction contractor, politician|
Gerry Ritz(born August 19, 1951) is a former Canadian politician. He served as member of the House of Commons of Canada for Battlefords—Lloydminster from 1997 until his resignation in 2017. He served as Canada's Agriculture minister from 2007 through 2015 under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
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.
On August 14, 2007, Ritz was promoted to the Cabinet as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food replacing Chuck Strahl.
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.
Ritz announced on August 31, 2017 that he intended to resign from the House of Commons in the near future and leave politics to spend more time with family.
On September 19, 2017, Ritz caused controversy when he tweeted a link to a news story stating no industrialized nations were on pace to meet Paris Agreement carbon emission targets with the comment "Has anyone told our climate Barbie! [sic]" (referring to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna). Ritz deleted the original post within 20 minutes, afterward posted another message stating: "I apologize for the use of Barbie, it is not reflective of the role the Minister plays". Conservative leader Andrew Scheer condemned Ritz's comment later in the day and stated he would reach out to McKenna personally to "assure the minister that this type of behavior has no place in the Conservative caucus". The next day Ritz's office issued a statement confirming his resignation from the House of Commons effective October 2, 2017.
Ritz's successor, Rosemarie Falk, was elected in a by-election on December 11, 2017.
|2015 Canadian federal election: Battlefords—Lloydminster|
|New Democratic||Glenn Tait||5,930||17.61||-10.45||$6,284.73|
|Total valid votes/expense limit||33,678||99.45||$214,778.83|
|Total rejected ballots||186||0.55||–|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|2011 Canadian federal election: Battlefords—Lloydminster|
|Conservative||(x) Gerry Ritz||19,203||66.9||+6.8||$57,125|
|New Democratic||Glenn Tait||7,767||27.1||+1.8||$57,552|
|Total valid votes/expense limit||28,705||100.0||–|
|Total rejected ballots||109||0.4||0.0|
|2008 Canadian federal election|
|Conservative||(x) Gerry Ritz||15,621||60.1||+6.1||$60,942|
|New Democratic||Bob Woloshyn||6,572||25.3||+9.6||$52,759|
|Christian Heritage||Harold Stephan||368||1.4||+0.4||$6|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||25,988||100.0||$87,340|
|Total rejected ballots||96||0.4||+0.1|
|2006 Canadian federal election|
|Conservative||(x) Gerry Ritz||16,491||54.1||-4.2||$54,526|
|New Democratic||Elgin Wyatt||4,829||15.7||-4.6||$20,468|
|Christian Heritage||Harold Stephan||306||1.0||-0.2||$562|
|Total valid votes||30,560||100.0||–|
|Total rejected ballots||89||0.3||-0.1|
|2004 Canadian federal election|
|Conservative||(x) Gerry Ritz||15,441||58.3||-7.0||$45,813|
|New Democratic||Shawn McKee||5,367||20.2||+2.9||$41,961|
|Christian Heritage||Diane Stephan||316||1.2||–|
|Total valid votes||26,507||100.0||–|
|Total rejected ballots||94||0.4|
|2000 Canadian federal election|
|Alliance||(x) Gerry Ritz||17,691||60.2||+17.5||$43,761|
|New Democratic||Elgin Wayne Wyatt||5,107||17.4||-10.4||$22,558|
|Progressive Conservative||Harry Zamonsky||1,474||5.0||-4.4||$3,102|
|Total valid votes||29,370||100.0||–|
|Total rejected ballots||107||0.4|
|1997 Canadian federal election|
|New Democratic||(x) Len Taylor||8,535||27.8||–||$49,152|
|Progressive Conservative||Ken Ritter||2,888||9.4||–||$22,635|
|Total valid votes||30,703||100.0||–|
|Total rejected ballots||91||0.3|
On Wednesday, Ritz's Parliament Hill office confirmed that he sent a letter of resignation to the Speaker of the House of Commons shortly after announcing he would be resigning, indicating his intent to vacate his seat, effective Oct. 2.
((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)