Jim Rondeau
Jim Rondeau is a politician in Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. He has been a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba
Legislative Assembly of Manitoba
The Legislative Assembly of Manitoba and the lieutenant governor form the Legislature of Manitoba, the legislature of the Canadian province of Manitoba. Fifty-seven members are elected to this assembly in provincial general elections, all in single-member constituencies with first-past-the-post...

 since 1999, and is currently a cabinet minister in the provincial government of Greg Selinger. Rondeau is a member of the New Democratic Party
New Democratic Party of Manitoba
The New Democratic Party of Manitoba is a social-democratic political party in Manitoba, Canada. It is the provincial wing of the federal New Democratic Party, and is a successor to the Manitoba Co-operative Commonwealth Federation...


Early life and career

Rondeau was born in Winnipeg, and was educated at John Taylor Collegiate
John Taylor Collegiate
John Taylor Collegiate is a public high school in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It is part of the St. James-Assiniboia School Division and is located at 470 Hamilton Avenue, in the Crestview area of Winnipeg...

. He holds a Bachelor of Education
Bachelor of Education
A Bachelor of Education is an undergraduate academic degree which qualifies the graduate as a teacher in schools.-North America:...

 degree from the University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg
The University of Winnipeg is a public university in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada that offers undergraduate faculties of art, business and economics, education, science and theology as well as graduate programs. The U of W's founding colleges were Manitoba College and Wesley College, which merged...

 and has completed post-baccalaureate studies at the University of Manitoba
University of Manitoba
The University of Manitoba , in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is the largest university in the province of Manitoba. It is Manitoba's most comprehensive and only research-intensive post-secondary educational institution. It was founded in 1877, making it Western Canada’s first university. It placed...

. He was a teacher at Norway House
Norway House, Manitoba
- Treaty and York Boat Days :Held annually each summer, the York Boat events serve as the main attraction.-External links:* * * *...

 High School from 1981 to 1984 and later taught at Cranberry Portage
Cranberry Portage, Manitoba
Cranberry Portage, located in the Rural Municipality of Kelsey, Manitoba, was an important part of the pre-European contact trade routes of the Cree and Assiniboine peoples...

, before becoming coordinator of the Frontier School Division
Frontier School Division
Frontier School Division is the largest geographical school division in Manitoba, Canada, covering most schools in northern Manitoba. With 41 schools operating across Manitoba, the Frontier School Division provides educational services to a larger geographical area than any other school division in...

 at the University of Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg
The University of Winnipeg is a public university in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada that offers undergraduate faculties of art, business and economics, education, science and theology as well as graduate programs. The U of W's founding colleges were Manitoba College and Wesley College, which merged...

. Rondeau helped establish several learning centres and libraries throughout the province, and founded a school-to-work transition program for young people from northern Manitoba. He also coached the Winnipeg Eagles Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

 Club, and was coach and manager of the Manitoba Volleyball team in several North American Aboriginal Games.

Government backbencher

Rondeau was first elected to the Manitoba Legislature in the 1999 provincial election
Manitoba general election, 1999
The Manitoba general election of September 21, 1999 was held to elect Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Manitoba, Canada....

 with a dramatic victory in the west-end Winnipeg riding of Assiniboia, previously regarded as safe for the Progressive Conservative Party
Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba
The Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba is the only right wing political party in Manitoba, Canada. It is also the official opposition party in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.-Origins and early years:...

. On election night, the final vote totals showed Progressive Conservative incumbent Linda McIntosh
Linda McIntosh
Linda Laughlin McIntosh is a politician in Manitoba, Canada. She was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1990 to 1999, and a cabinet minister for most of this period.-Early life:...

 winning re-election by two votes. After the institutional ballots were counted, however, Rondeau was declared elected by six votes. A recount later reduced his majority to four, and a subsequent judicial ruling struck it down to three.

Rondeau entered the legislature as a backbench supporter of Gary Doer's government, and soon became known as a strong constituency worker. He kept a strong interest in educational issues, and was a frequent participant in debates at the St. James-Assiniboia School Board
St. James-Assiniboia School Division
St. James-Assiniboia School Division is a school division in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Currently, there are 15 elementary schools, 6 middle schools, and 4 high schools. Thus, in total, there are 25 schools...

. He represented the provincial government at Manitoba's 2001 Hire a Student Day event, and was appointed to the board of Junior Achievement of Manitoba in 2003 with responsibility for Government, Education and Labor Relations. Rondeau also played an important role in assuring passage of the provincial Canadian Forces Personnel Act.

Rondeau is the first openly
Coming out
Coming out is a figure of speech for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people's disclosure of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity....

Gay is a word that refers to a homosexual person, especially a homosexual male. For homosexual women the specific term is "lesbian"....

 member of the Manitoba legislature, and was the keynote speaker of Winnipeg's 2000 Gay Pride
Gay pride
LGBT pride or gay pride is the concept that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity...

 Parade. He encouraged the Doer government to introduce full legal equality for gay and lesbian couples during its first term, and strongly supported 2002 legislation that ensured full equality for all common-law relationships. He later became a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage in Canada
On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world and the first country in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act which provided a gender-neutral marriage definition...

, which was legalized in Canada in 2005. Rondeau has said that his sexual orientation has never been controversial in his constituency, once telling a journalist, "People don't care one way or the other. I'm surprised, pleasantly surprised, that people don't make it an issue."

Rondeau supported Jack Layton
Jack Layton
John Gilbert "Jack" Layton, PC was a Canadian social democratic politician and the Leader of the Official Opposition. He was the leader of the New Democratic Party from 2003 to 2011, and previously sat on Toronto City Council, serving at times during that period as acting mayor and deputy mayor of...

 for the leadership of the federal New Democratic Party
New Democratic Party
The New Democratic Party , commonly referred to as the NDP, is a federal social-democratic political party in Canada. The interim leader of the NDP is Nycole Turmel who was appointed to the position due to the illness of Jack Layton, who died on August 22, 2011. The provincial wings of the NDP in...

 in 2003.

Minister of Healthy Living

Rondeau's narrow victory in 1999 made his seat a key Progressive Conservative target in the 2003 election
Manitoba general election, 2003
The Manitoba general election held on June 3, 2003 was held to elect Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Manitoba, Canada. It was won by the New Democratic Party, which won 35 seats out of 57. The Progressive Conservative Party finished second with twenty seats...

, but he was re-elected with 63% of the vote, winning every poll but one. In November 2003, he was appointed as Minister of Healthy Living within the Department of Health
Ministry of Health (Manitoba)
List of Health Ministers in Manitoba:* Official title: Minister of Health and Public Welfare ....

, with special responsibility for Seniors and Healthy Child Manitoba. He became a strong advocate for public awareness and preventative medicine, and indicated that the Doer government would consider removing the provincial sales tax from nutritional supplements and alternative foods.

In December 2003, Rondeau announced that Manitoba would ban all smoking from indoor public places and workplaces within a year. The initiative was described as the most ambitious anti-smoking strategy in Canada, and a February 2004 poll showed that many smokers were considering quitting in light of the ban. Rondeau introduced the anti-smoking bill in March 2004, and the ban came into effect at the beginning of October. The bill exempted tobacco shops as well as native reserves and casinos, which the government argued were outside provincial jurisdiction.

In March 2004, Rondeau announced that the Doer government had signed a $2.5-million contract to create a Prostate Centre at CancerCare Manitoba. He later handled negotiations concerning whether or not the Manitoba government would provide funding for an abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

 clinic in Winnipeg. Despite some initial reluctance, he announced in July 2004 that the government would fully fund abortions at Jane's Clinic, once owned by Henry Morgentaler
Henry Morgentaler
Henry Morgentaler, CM is a Canadian physician and prominent pro-choice advocate who has fought numerous legal battles for that cause.-Early life:...

. In late April 2004, he announced that the provincial government would pay for child vaccinations against chicken pox, meningitis
Meningitis is inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. The inflammation may be caused by infection with viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms, and less commonly by certain drugs...

 and pneumococcus.

Rondeau and Fort Garry representative Kerri Irvin-Ross
Kerri Irvin-Ross
Kerri Irvin-Ross is a politician in Manitoba, Canada. She is a current member of the Manitoba legislature.Irvin-Ross defeated Progressive Conservative incumbent Joy Smith by 3852 votes to 3765 in the general election.-External Links:...

 co-chaired public hearings on Manitoba's privacy laws in May 2004. Later in the year, he announced that the government would establish a "Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures" committee of the legislature.

Minister of Industry, Economic Development and Mines

Rondeau was promoted to a full cabinet portfolio on October 12, 2004, as Minister of Industry, Economic Development and Mines. He indicated that Manitoba had the potential for strong economic growth in the mining sector, particularly in light of the need for raw materials in countries such as India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. He also announced that he would work to reduce government bureaucracy in the sector, and make it easier for mining projects to get underway. The mining sector reported dramatic growth in 2005, highlighted by a new investment from Inco and a new gold mine project in Bissett
Bissett, Manitoba
Bissett is a community in the Canadian province of Manitoba. Located on Manitoba Provincial Road 304, Bissett is an entry point to Nopiming Provincial Park.-History:...


Rondeau launched a farm immigration program in February 2005, making it easier for young farmers to move to Manitoba. He also expanded oil exploration in the province, removing the sales tax for drilling and exploration equipment. Manitoba's oil sector grew at a record level in 2006, with 478 new wells started.

In 2004-05, Rondeau accused the federal government and federal Health Minister
Minister of Health (Canada)
The Minister of Health is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for overseeing the federal government's health department and the enforcing the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canada Health Act, the law governing Medicare...

 Ujjal Dosanjh
Ujjal Dosanjh
Ujjal Dev Singh Dosanjh, PC, QC, is a Sikh Canadian lawyer and politician. He served as 33rd Premier of British Columbia from 2000 to 2001 and as a Liberal Party of Canada Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2011 including a stint as Minister of Health from 2004 until 2006 when the party lost...

 of undermining Manitoba's online pharmaceutical industry, which was then shipping large quantities of medication to the United States of America. He argued that the government should compensate Manitoba for lost jobs if it chose to shut down the sector. Rondeau later indicated that he would support a ban on bulk exports to America, but added that government intervention appeared to be unnecessary in any event.

As Industry minister, Rondeau was responsible for overseeing the troubled Crocus Investment Fund
Crocus Investment Fund
The Crocus Investment Fund was a Labour Sponsored Venture Capital Corporation in Manitoba, Canada.In 2004-05, the company stopped trading and was forced into receivership following allegations that it misled shareholders and overvalued its assets...

 and faced difficult questions relating to the fund's management in early 2005. He acknowledged that the province was responsible for regulating Crocus, but argued that it had no involvement in the fund's day-to-day operations.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mines

After a cabinet shuffle
Cabinet shuffle
In the parliamentary system a cabinet shuffle or reshuffle is an informal term for an event that occurs when a head of government rotates or changes the composition of ministers in their cabinet....

 on September 21, 2006, Rondeau was reassigned as Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mines. Soon after his appointment, he announced that the Doer government would spend $70M to clean up the province's abandoned mines.

Rondeau criticized the environmental strategy of Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

's Conservative
Conservative Party of Canada
The Conservative Party of Canada , is a political party in Canada which was formed by the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003. It is positioned on the right of the Canadian political spectrum...

 government in late 2006, saying that Harper was not moving as assertively as had the previous government of Paul Martin
Paul Martin
Paul Edgar Philippe Martin, PC , also known as Paul Martin, Jr. is a Canadian politician who was the 21st Prime Minister of Canada, as well as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada....

. Notwithstanding this criticism, he indicated in early 2007 that Manitoba's share of a $1.5 billion federal Eco-Trust and Clean Air Fund will be at least $50 million, and could reach $100 million. He has said that the money will go to developing hydrogen technology for buses and providing energy efficiency programs for low-income Manitobans.

Rondeau supports a proposed east-west Canadian power grid, and has endorsed the federal government's plan for a national ban on inefficient incandescent light bulb
Incandescent light bulb
The incandescent light bulb, incandescent lamp or incandescent light globe makes light by heating a metal filament wire to a high temperature until it glows. The hot filament is protected from air by a glass bulb that is filled with inert gas or evacuated. In a halogen lamp, a chemical process...

s by 2012. In February 2007, he announced that anyone who registers an energy-efficient hybrid vehicle in Manitoba between 15 November 2006 and 15 November 2008 will receive a $2,000 rebate from the provincial government.

Rondeau was re-elected in the 2007 provincial election
Manitoba general election, 2007
The Manitoba general election held on May 22, 2007 was held to elect Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Manitoba, Canada. It was won by the New Democratic Party, which won 36 seats out of 57. The Progressive Conservative Party finished second with nineteen seats. The Liberal...

, as the New Democratic Party won a third consecutive majority government. He retained his position as Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mines, and was also appointed as interim Minister of Competitiveness, Training and Trade
Minister of Competitiveness, Training and Trade (Manitoba)
The Minister of Competitiveness, Training and Trade is a cabinet minister in the province of Manitoba, Canada. The position was established in 2006, combining responsibilities from the portfolios of Industry, Economic Development and Mines, Intergovernmental Affairs and Trade and Advanced...

, a position he held until February 2008.

Rondeau has said that Manitoba would neither raise Hydro rates nor implement a carbon tax
Carbon tax
A carbon tax is an environmental tax levied on the carbon content of fuels. It is a form of carbon pricing. Carbon is present in every hydrocarbon fuel and is released as carbon dioxide when they are burnt. In contrast, non-combustion energy sources—wind, sunlight, hydropower, and nuclear—do not...

 to promote conservation, arguing that the goal could be achieved by other means. He announced a "pause" on further uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

 exploration permits the following month, after health and environmental concerns were raised by the Northlands Dene First Nation
Northlands Dene First Nation
The Northlands Dene First Nation is a first nation located at Lac Brochet, in the northwestern part of Manitoba. The population is about 600 Dené who speak Chipewyan and were sometimes referred to in history as "Caribou-eaters".- References :* *...

. He has also indicated that the provincial and federal governments will spend over half a million dollars to expand a biodiesel testing laboratory in Manitoba Hydro
Manitoba Hydro
Manitoba Hydro is the electric power and natural gas utility in the province of Manitoba, Canada. Founded in 1961, it is a provincial Crown Corporation, governed by the Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board and the Manitoba Hydro Act. Today the company operates 15 interconnected generating stations. It has...

's East Selkirk plant, and has announced legislation to encourage further growth within the sector.

In late 2007, he wrote an editorial piece in support of a government policy requiring that 8.5% of the total volume of gasoline sold in Manitoba is to be ethanol. The mandate will take effect in 2008. In January 2008, Rondeau announced a tax credit for investments in small and medium-sized businesses.

Electoral record

All Manitoba divisions were redistributed before the 1999 election.

All electoral information is taken from Elections Manitoba
Elections Manitoba
Elections Manitoba is the non-partisan agency of the Government of Manitoba, responsible for the conduct of provincial elections....

. Expenditure entries refer to individual candidate expenses.

External links

  • Dave Chomiak was designated as Minister of Energy, Science and Technology
  • Scott Smith was designated as Minister of Competitiveness, Training and Trade
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