Open main menu

Bobert Zimmer MP (born October 20, 1968) is a Canadian politician and a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons of Canada. He was elected to represent the riding of Prince George—Peace River in the 2011 election, and re-elected in the 2015 election, as a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. He served in both the 41st Parliament as part of the governing party, and 42nd Parliament as part of the official opposition. He has introduced one piece of legislation, the private member bill Bill C-346 An Act to amend the Firearms Act (licences) which would have eliminated the expiry of firearms licences, with a mandatory provision that the licence holder update his or her relevant information every 10 years, but the bill was defeated at second reading. Zimmer, a former carpenter, Fort St. John high school teacher, and a rugby enthusiast, first became involved with federal politics with the Reform Party of Canada.

Bob Zimmer

Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies
Prince George—Peace River (2011-2015)
Assumed office
May 2, 2011
Preceded byJay Hill
Personal details
Born (1968-10-20) October 20, 1968 (age 51)
Dawson Creek, British Columbia
Political partyConservative
Other political
affiliations
Reform
Spouse(s)Val Zimmer
Children4
ResidenceFort St. John, British Columbia
Alma materNorthern Lights College
Trinity Western University
University of British Columbia
ProfessionTeacher (North Peace Secondary School)

BackgroundEdit

Zimmer was born in Dawson Creek and grew up in Fort St. John. After graduating from North Peace Secondary School in 1986, he worked as a welder's assistant in the oil industry.[1] Through the Northern Lights College he became a journeyman carpenter and operated a small construction business between 1995 and 1998. In the 1990s he moved to the Fraser Valley to play in the British Columbia Rugby Union. Between 1999 and 2003 he attended Trinity Western University, where he coached varsity rugby and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Human Kinetics.[2] He completed a 12-month teaching degree at the University of British Columbia and moved back to Fort St. John where he accepted a teaching job at the North Peace Secondary School.

Political careerEdit

Zimmer joined the Reform Party of Canada in 1988. He has cited Ralph Klein and Preston Manning as his political role models.[1] While living in Abbotsford he campaigned for Randy White who was elected as a Reform Party member of parliament.[3] Back in Fort St. John he joined the Conservative Party Prince George-Peace River Electoral District Association and worked as its president until 2009 when he became its secretary and CEO.[4] After long-time Member of Parliament Jay Hill announced he would not seek re-election an election was held for the riding's Conservative Party nomination. In August 2010 Zimmer resigned from his duties in the Electoral District Association and announced he would stand in the nomination election.[1] Five other people stood in the election, including fellow Fort St. John teacher Dan Davies and the former mayor of Prince George Colin Kinsley. With 1,350 votes cast in the March 2011 preferential vote, Zimmer won the nomination in the sixth round.[5]

Member of ParliamentEdit

The next federal election was held in May 2011, when Zimmer faced former provincial politician Lois Boone for the NDP, Prince George lawyer Ben Levine for the Liberal Party of Canada, and physiotherapist Hilary Crowley for the Green Party. During the campaign Zimmer said he would advocate for reduced spending until the federal budget was balanced but also lobby to direct federal funds to widen Highways 2 and the Alaska Highway to four lanes between the Alberta border and Fort St. John.[6][7] He noted that he believed pensions for former politicians were too high and that he would seek pension reform.[8] Zimmer won the election with 62.12 per cent of the vote.

During the 2015 federal election, Zimmer opposed another study into murdered and missing Aboriginal women during a heated local candidates debate, saying 42 previous studies had already been done and that a primary problem, as stated in the RCMP report, was economic status or lack of a job.[9] After the debate, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs called for Zimmer to step down as a candidate. Zimmer had stated that, "One of the major drivers of missing and murdered aboriginal women is the lack of economic activity, or simply put, the lack of a job. … Ultimately, when people have a job, they're not in despair. They can stay on reserve, and that's where we want them to be, we want them to be happy where they live." President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Grand Chief Stewart Philip, characterized Zimmer's remarks as "simplistic" and "unacceptable".[10] Zimmer later clarified his comments, stating that he was referencing the RCMP's report on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women which lists employment status as one of the risk factors of murdered Aboriginal women.[11] Zimmer went on to say that, "I absolutely care about missing and murdered Aboriginal women and want to see it stopped. I have a wife and a daughter and a mother and it is a tragedy that we need to fix."[12]

Zimmer was re-elected with over 50% of the vote,[13] and his Conservative Party formed the Official Opposition for the 42nd Canadian Parliament. Zimmer was appointed to be the deputy critic of Families, Children and Social Development (to Karen Vecchio). In May 2016, Zimmer sponsored and brought forward in the House of Commons a petition with 25,000 signatures advocating for the derestriction of the AR-15 semi-automatic modern sporting rifle. A month later when that weapon was used in the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, the petition and Zimmer's advocacy were criticized.[14] In the May 2017 Conservative Party leadership election Zimmer endorsed Andrew Scheer.[15] Following Scheer's victory, he moved Zimmer to deputy critic of the Treasury Board. On April 6, 2017, Zimmer introduced his first private member bill, Bill C-346 An Act to amend the Firearms Act (licences) which would eliminate the expiry of firearms licences, with a mandatory provision that the licence holder update his or her relevant information every 10 years. The bill was debated but defeated at the second reading stage in November 2017 with only the Conservative Party voting in favour.

Election resultsEdit

2015 Canadian federal election: Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Bob Zimmer 27,237 52.5 -9.35
Liberal Matt Shaw 12,863 24.9 +19.74
New Democratic Kathi Dickie 8,014 15.5 -10.35
Green Elizabeth Biggar 2,672 5.2 -0.86
Libertarian W. Todd Keller 559 1.1
Progressive Canadian Barry Blackman 464 0.9
Total valid votes/Expense limit 51,189 100.0   51,808 $259,460.73
Total rejected ballots 97
Turnout 52,056 68.21
Eligible voters 76,312
Conservative hold Swing -14.55
Source: Elections Canada[16][17]
2011 Canadian federal election: Prince George—Peace River
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Conservative Bob Zimmer 23,946 62.12 −1.47 $81,669
New Democratic Lois Boone 9,876 25.62 +8.04 $38,397
Green Hilary Crowley 2,301 5.97 −4.44 $11,625
Liberal Ben Levine 2,008 5.21 −3.20 $9,197
Pirate Jeremy Cote 415 1.08
Total valid votes 38,546 100.0  
Total rejected ballots 125 0.32 −0.03
Turnout 38,671 54.08 +5
Eligible voters 71,507
Conservative hold Swing −4.76

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Bell, David (August 6, 2010). "Two educators join Conservative Party nomination race". Alaska Highway News. Fort St. John, B.C. p. 1.
  2. ^ "Bob Zimmer makes it three". The Prince George Free Press. September 7, 2010. p. 4.
  3. ^ Hoekstra, Gordon (April 6, 2011). "Tory's background runs from rugby to carpentry to politics". Prince George Citizen. p. 5.
  4. ^ Makowsky, Sarah (August 7, 2010). "Contest for Hill seat grows". Prince George Citizen. p. 4.
  5. ^ Williams, Arthur (March 14, 2011). "Zimmer 'amazed' after nomination win". Prince George Citizen. p. 1.
  6. ^ Burnett, Stewart (25 Apr 2011). "Candidates tackle the issues". Dawson Creek Daily News. p. 1.
  7. ^ Lux, Ryan (June 6, 2011). "Zimmer finds his seat". Alaska Highway News. Fort St. John. p. 2.
  8. ^ Lux, Ryan (May 5, 2011). "Pension reform: Zimmer says he will investigate MP pension reform to bring them in line with the private sector". Alaska Highway News. Fort St. John. p. 1.
  9. ^ Stodalka, William (7 October 2015). "Tensions flare over missing women inquiry during Fort St. John federal debate". Alaska Highway News. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  10. ^ "UBCIC Demands Conservative Candidate Bob Zimmer Step Down for Derogatory Comments". Union of BC Indian Chiefs. October 9, 2015. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-10. Retrieved 2016-01-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Conservative candidate Bob Zimmer clarifies comments on MMIW". audioBoom. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  13. ^ Maloney, Ryan (20 October 2015). "6 Controversial Tory Incumbents Who Lost (And 2 Who Didn't)". Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  14. ^ Zilio, Michelle (June 13, 2016). "Pension reform: Tory MP backed petition to ease access to gun used in Orlando shooting". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. p. 1.
  15. ^ Fekete, Jason (September 28, 2016). "Andrew Scheer announces support of 20 members of Conservative caucus as he makes leadership bid official". Ottawa Citizen. Archived from the original on October 3, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  16. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, 30 September 2015
  17. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit