Jerry Pickard

Jerry Pickard, PC, MP (born November 14, 1940 in Chatham, Ontario) is a former Canadian politician. He was a member of the Canadian House of Commons from 1988 until his retirement in 2005 representing the riding of Chatham-Kent—Essex for the Liberal Party in his later terms in office.[1]

Pickard has Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees from the University of Windsor, and worked as a teacher in the Kent County and Essex County boards of education following his graduation. He was elected to the Kingsville municipal council in 1974 and remained in municipal politics for the next fourteen years, including tenures as deputy reeve and mayor (1984–1988).

He was first elected to parliament in the federal election of 1988, defeating Progressive Conservative incumbent Jim Caldwell by about 6,500 votes in the riding of Essex—Kent. He was re-elected in the 1993 election, and in the redistributed riding of Kent—Essex in the 1997 election.

Pickard's riding was renamed (but not redistributed) as Chatham-Kent—Essex in 1998. In the 2000 election, he defeated a candidate of the Canadian Alliance by over 7,000 votes.

He faced his first difficult re-election in 2004, defeating Conservative candidate Dave Van Kesteren by only 407 votes. Former Liberal MP Rex Crawford campaigned for the Conservative candidate in this election, and some local residents were upset that the federal government had cut down more than 80,000 ash trees to stop a devastating beetle infestation.

Pickard served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food from 1996 to 1997, and to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services from 1997 to 1998. In December 2003, he was named Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, with special emphasis on border transit. He was transferred from this position in July 2004, and named Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry. Pickard did not run in the January 2006 election.

Electoral record

1997 federal election : Kent—Essex edit
Party Candidate Votes % +/- Expenditures
     Liberal (x)Jerry Pickard 21,451 50.20 $48,652
     Reform Don R. Clarke 8,941 20.92 $32,040
     Progressive Conservative Jim Hawryluk 6,634 15.53 $28,040
     New Democratic Party Derry McKeever 4,323 10.12 $22,590
     Christian Heritage Roger James 621 1.45 $1,951
     Canadian Action Victor Knight 470 1.10 $1,515
     Green Greg Zolad 291 0.68 $141
Total valid votes 42,731 100.00
Total rejected ballots 300
Turnout 43,031 59.25
Electors on the lists 72,624

Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.


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