Former federal Agriculture Minister Bob Speller has passed away at the age of 66.

Speller (above left) was named Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food by Prime Minister Paul Martin in December 2003, during the Canadian cattle industry’s BSE crisis.

He passed away on Dec. 16 at a care facility near Waterford, Ontario, following an illness.

“Bob was a good friend, a dedicated parliamentarian, and a relentless fighter for farmers,” tweeted his long-time Liberal colleague Ralph Goodale.

Current Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau also tweeted “I would like to send my thoughts to the friends and family of the Honourable Bob Speller, an excellent ambassador for Canadian agriculture.”

As minister, albeit for less than a year, Speller announced a nearly $1 billion aid package for producers affected by the BSE discovery and subsequent export market closures.

The riding he represented from 1988 to 2004 — Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant — was redrawn for the June 2004 federal election, which he lost to the Conservatives’ Diane Finley in 2004, 2006, and 2011. The riding is now held by Conservative Leslyn Lewis.

Since running for office, Speller had worked as a consultant and lobbyist with The Villa Nova Group. His clients included the Ontario Ginseng Growers Association.

A visitation will take place Dec. 21 in Hagersville, Ont.

Speller’s obituary says donations in his memory can be made to the Norfolk County Fair Foundation or the Canadian Cancer Society.

He is survived by his wife, Joan Mouland, and his children, Christopher and Victoria.

Please register to read and comment.

Privacy Preference Center


Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

gdpr, __cfduid, PHPSESSID, wordpress_test_cookie, woocommerce_items_in_cart, woocommerce_cart_hash, wp_woocommerce_session, wordpress_logged_in, wordpress_sec, wp-settings, wp-settings-time, __cf_mob_redir, wordpress_cache, realag


Measuring interactions with the ads on the domain.



These are used to track user interaction and detect potential problems. These help us improve our services by providing analytical data on how users use this site.



Preference cookies enable the website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.

chartdefaults, comment_author, comment_author_email, comment_author_url
JSESSIONID, _os_session,anonymous_votes,csrf-param,csrf-token,user,user-id,user-platform,intercom-session,intercom-lou,intercom-session
personalization_id, tfw_exp