Bob Speller was first elected to the House of Commons in 1988, and was re-elected in 1993, 1997 and 2000.
Appointed as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in December 2003. In March 2001, he was named Chair of the Prime Minister’s Caucus Task Force on Future Opportunities in Farming, an endeavour which took him across Canada to consult with agricultural stakeholders. The Task Force delivered its final report in December 2002.
From July 1998 to July 2000, he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade. He has also been a member of two Standing Committees – Foreign Affairs and International Trade as well as Agriculture and Agri-Food, where he held the position of Chair. He has also been an active member of the Parliamentary Steel Caucus which he chaired from 1993-97.
In September 2002, Mr. Speller was elected as the first federal Canadian politician to Chair the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. The CPA has been in existence since 1911, and is composed of more than 16,000 members in 172 parliaments and legislatures.
From 1998 to 1993, Mr. Speller was associate trade critic and youth critic for the Liberal opposition in the House of Commons. He was also Chair of the Liberal Rural Caucus.
He received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from York University. He and wife Joan have two children, Christopher and Victoria.