A former Conservative agriculture critic best known for his work on the Canadian Wheat Board file won’t return to the House of Commons after this fall’s election.
David Anderson, MP for the southwestern Saskatchewan riding of Cypress Hills-Grasslands since 2000, announced Monday he won’t seek re-election on Oct. 21.
Anderson, 61, didn’t give a specific reason for his departure in his statement Monday, other than to say “the time has come to step down,” adding “it has been an honour to serve the people of southwest Saskatchewan and I know I will miss doing so in the future.”
Currently the secretary for human rights and religious freedom in the Conservatives’ shadow cabinet, Anderson said it’s “my expectation that Andrew Scheer and his caucus will form the next government of Canada and I give them my support and best wishes.”
Before entering federal politics, Anderson farmed at Frontier, Sask., about 170 km southwest of Swift Current.
First elected as a Canadian Alliance MP, Anderson was that party’s associate critic for agriculture, behind southern Manitoba MP Howard Hilstrom in the lead chair. He also served as critic for the CWB, a portfolio he also handled after the Alliance’s 2003 merger into the Conservatives.
During the Conservatives’ run in government under Stephen Harper, Anderson sat as parliamentary secretary for the CWB from 2006 to 2013, then as parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs from 2013 to 2015.
Following the Conservatives’ return to official Opposition in 2015, Anderson served briefly (2016-17) as the party’s lead agriculture critic under interim leader Rona Ambrose.
When the CWB’s single marketing desk for Prairie wheat and barley was deregulated in 2012, Harper hailed Anderson in a speech as having “long fought hard for marketing freedom for his fellow farmers.”
Harper also credited Anderson with spearheading the move for formal pardons for Prairie farmers charged with violating the federal CWB Act. — Glacier FarmMedia Network