Gerry Ritz was first elected to Parliament on June 2, 1997 for the Saskatchewan Riding of Battlefords-Lloydminster for the Reform Party with 42% of the vote.
He served on the House of Commons Standing Committee for Finance from 1997 to 1999 as Deputy Critic. He was also a member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food during that time period, and served as Deputy Critic on that committee from 1999-2000.
From November 1999 through to March of 2000, Gerry was instrumental in organizing and chairing over 50 of the 70 meetings that the Reform Party Caucus held across Canada in response to the farm income crisis. On March 25, 2000 the Reform Party membership elected to become the Canadian Alliance. In September 2000, Gerry's duties in the Canadian Alliance Caucus changed to Question Period Co-ordinator.
Upon re-election on November 27, 2000 with 61% of the vote, Gerry continued his role as Question Period Coordinator, until April 1, 2002. From April 2002 to June 2003, Gerry served the Canadian Alliance Caucus as Senior Critic for Public Works and Government Operations.
In June 2003, he assumed the role of Senior Agriculture Critic, a role he continues within the new Conservative Party of Canada Caucus.
Garry was born on August 19, 1951 in Delisle, Saskatchewan and was raised on the family farm. Hentered the work force right after high school and worked in sales until 1975. He has been farming since 1975. He diversified into raising ostrich in 1994, and contracted out the farming operation after elected to Parliament. He owned and operated a general contracting business from 1975 to 1994. He co-owned a weekly newspaper from 1986 to 1995.
Gerry became interested in politics in 1989 and served on the Board of Directors of the Kindersley-Lloydminster constituency association for five years. He was campaign manager for Elwin Hermanson during the 1993 election.
Gerry worked as Constituency Co-ordinator for Elwin Hermanson, MP for the Kindersley-Lloydminster Riding from 1993-1996.
He is married to Judy and has two adult children. Gerry and Judy divide their time between the Battlefords, Lloydminster and Ottawa. Gerry was actively involved in the Rosetown Economic Development Committee, the Knights of Columbus, and coaching kid's hockey. He loves playing with machinery, sports and the outdoors -- especially hunting, fishing, and raising horses.
First elected to the House of Commons in 1997.
Married to Judy. They have two adult children. Gerry and Judy divide their time between the Battlefords, Lloydminster and Ottawa.