Ted Menzies: Accountable – Accessible
Born in Claresholm, Alberta, Ted Menzies grew up in the rolling prairies and foothills west of Claresholm on his family’s farm.
Since his election to the House of Commons in June 2004, Ted has served as Official Opposition Critic for International Cooperation and Official Opposition Critic for International Trade.
Ted was a sitting member of the Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Vice-Chair of the Sub-Committee on International Trade, Trade Disputes and Investment. Upon his reelection in January 2006, Ted was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation and was a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade.
In addition to his role as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation, Ted assumed the additional responsibility of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade in January 2007. Then in October of 2007, Ted was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and was re-appointed to this position in November 2008.
On January 4, 2011, Ted was sworn in as Minister of State (Finance) and was reaffirmed as Minister of State (Finance) after the May 2011 election.
Ted came to parliament with a strong background in agriculture, international trade and in dealing with various governments, which provided Ted the opportunity to speak to audiences not only in Canada but also in Australia, Mexico, U.S., and Europe.
In the late 1990s, Ted was working in the business of agriculture and international trade. His work with the Grain Growers of Canada, Western Canadian Wheat Growers, the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance and the federal Agriculture, Food and Beverage Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade (SAGIT) gave him the chance to work with, advocate for and build coalitions with diverse groups on issues that were often international in scope with direct and local impact on neighbours, colleagues and all Canadians.
Ted is past President of Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA) and past Vice-President and Chair of the Marketing and Transportation Committee of the Grain Growers of Canada.
Ted played an active role in, and often presided over, community, municipal, provincial, national and international boards and committees. In 1975, he joined the local Claresholm Lions Club, of which he would later become president and chair various committees and would also serve for Lions Clubs International in various roles. In the late 1970s, Ted became politically active in the federal and provincial associations in his community.
After working as Warranty Supervisor for Safeway Shelter Systems where he coordinated warranty work in Western Canada and the Northwest Territories, Ted started farming at Claresholm with his wife, Sandy, and her family.
Ted and Sandy operated Section One Farm Ltd., near Claresholm, Alberta, for 30 years producing wheat, barley, canola, field peas, lentils, chickpeas and spice crops. Ted was an early adopter of new technologies such as zero-tillage to conserve valuable soil and moisture, global positioning for improved efficiency and hand held computers for record keeping.
Ted and Sandy raised two children Michael and Kari and have five grandchildren.
Provincial and Local
- Claresholm Curling Club, Member
- Claresholm Golf Club, Member
- Claresholm Lions Club, Member, Past President and Chair of various committees
- Lions Clubs International, Council Member for International District 37 D, Past Deputy District Governor and Zone Chairman, Chair of various committees
- Alberta Barley Commission, Director
- Municipal District of Willow Creek Development Appeal Board, Past Appointee
- Alberta Agriculture Financial Services Corporation Appeal Board, Past Member
- United Grain Growers, Past Delegate
- Macleod Provincial Progressive Conservative Constituency Association, Past President
- Highwood Provincial PC Association, Director
- Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, Past President
- Advocated for: farmers’ right to market their own crops, less unnecessary government regulation, more effective crop insurance, less international trade distortions
- Grain Growers of Canada, past Vice-President and Chair of the Marketing and Transportation Committee
- Instrumental in forming the Grain Growers of Canada, the first national association representing over 80,000 grain and oilseed producers from across Canada.
- Advocating better farm safety nets including, improved crop insurance, farmer participation in government programs, as well as a commercial grain transportation system for western Canada, and a science-based rather than emotional approach to biotechnology.
- National Safety Nets Advisory Committee, Western Canadian Wheat Growers Representative
- Appointed by the Hon. Lyle Vanclief, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
- Advising Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on implementing effective and affordable farm safety nets
- Agri-Industry Trade Group, Past Co-Chair
- Comprised of over 50 organizations seeking to influence the Canadian Government’s trade positions at the World Trade Organization (WTO)
- “Going Global” Conference, Co-Chair
- Conference held in preparation for Canada’s role in the Seattle WTO talks, attended by world-renowned trade experts
- Cairns Group Farm Leaders, Co-Chair
- Pre-conference held at Banff, Alberta, 2000
- Macleod Federal Progressive Conservative Riding Association, Past President
- Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, National Policy Advisory Committee Member
- Delegate to various National General Meetings and Policy Conferences; National Agriculture Environment Committee, Past Member
- Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA), President
- Alliance members account for over 80% of Canada’s agri-food exports, valuing over $19 billion annually and more than half of Canada’s farm cash receipts
- Advocating benefits of trade liberalization to Canada as well as developing countries
- Agriculture, Food and Beverage Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade (SAGIT), Appointee
- Appointed by the Hon. Pierre Pettigrew, Minister for International Trade and the Hon. Lyle Vanclief, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to advise the ministers on Canada’s international trade policy positions at the WTO, keeping in mind that Canada is a trade dependent nation that requires improved market access around the world
- Trade Delegation, Geneva, Switzerland, 2003, Representing CAFTA
- Held discussions with various international Trade Delegations and Ambassadors including Canada’s Hon. Sergio Marchi, Stuart Harbinson, Chairman of Agricultural Negotiations for the WTO, to increase the awareness of the need for trade liberalization for the majority of Canada’s agri-food industries.
- Idaho-Alberta Task Force, Industry Representative
- One of four, appointed by Idaho Governor Kempthorn and Alberta Premier Klein to establish better trade relations between the regions
- NAFTA Growers Network International Conferences, Grower Participant
- Network pursues international harmonization of crop protection products
- Farm Management 500 conferences in South Australia and New South Wales, Guest Speaker for two conferences
- o Spoke on the topic: “Expanding Your Farm to Remain Sustainable”
- Farm Foundation Canadian Conference, Guest Speaker
- Based in Washington D.C., the Farm Foundation serves to improve the economic and social well-being of U.S. agriculture
- Spoke on differences in farming between US (highly subsidized) and Canada (less subsidized)
- WTO 3rd Ministerial, Agri-Industry Trade Group, Registered NGO Delegate, Seattle, Washington, December 1999
- Met with farm leaders, and trade representatives from around the world to explain Canada’s dependence on trade.
- WTO 5th Ministerial, CAFTA Representative, Cancun, Mexico, September 2003
- Held meetings promoting trade liberalization with: U.S. Ag-Trade Coalition, Mexican trade representatives, Cairns Group Farm Leaders including delegations from numerous countries
- Cordell Hull Institute, Washington, D.C.
- Presented a paper on the need for trade liberalization from the perspective of Canada’s trade reliant sectors
- Provided an update on Western Canadian Agricultural issues to a PNWER meeting in Seattle.
- Pacific Northwest Economic Region (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Montana Senators and Members of Congress as well as Alberta, B.C. and Yukon members of legislative assembly)