Raymond A. Speaker
Born in Enchant, Alberta in 1935, Raymond A. Speaker graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Education in 1962. He owns and operates an irrigation and dry land farm in Enchant and was a teacher with the Taber School Division from 1954 to 1959 and from 1962 to 1964.
Raymond Speaker began his political career in 1963 at the age of 27. He was elected to the Alberta Legislature in eight consecutive elections. While a member of the Legislature, he served as leader of the Official Opposition and held numerous cabinet portfolios in two different governments. He was elected leader of the Representative Party of Alberta in November 1984.
Mr. Speaker was elected to the House of Commons in 1993 and was the member of parliament for Lethbridge, Alberta until 1997. He was appointed the Reform Party of Canada’s finance critic in July 1994, and became the party’s house leader in July 1995.
Raymond Speaker served on several parliamentary committees: Procedure and House Affairs, Finance, National Defence, and Veterans Affairs. His ministerial appointments in the Alberta Cabinet include minister without portfolio (1967), minister of municipal affairs and housing (1989), minister of health and social development (1968), minister of personnel (1968), and chairman of the Human Resources Development Authority (1969).
He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001 and was named to the Privy Council of Canada in 1999. He received an honorary coctorate of laws from the University of Lethbridge in 2003 and the Alberta Centennial Medal in recognition of his public service work in 2005. The minister of defence appointed him honorary lieutenant colonel of the 746 Calgary Communication Squadron in 2007.
In September 2004, Mr. Speaker was re-appointed a member of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), an agency which provides Parliament and the Canadian public with an external review of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). SIRC also investigates complaints by individuals concerning CSIS and examines reports by ministers relating to the national security of Canada.