By John Francis
Rod Anderson of Tobermory and Owen Sound has expressed interest in running as a Liberal in this year’s Federal Election.
Anderson grew up in Ottawa but fell in love with the Bruce Peninsula when he came to Tobermory in 1975 to work as a commercial diver. When the project ended, he stayed on, working in the dive industry in Tobermory and studying Biology in the off-season at the University of Guelph. He graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science. In Tobermory, he met Valerie Warder of Lion’s Head; they were married in 1982. They have two children, Jessie and Graeme.
Biologists were not in heavy demand in Tobermory in those days, so Anderson worked at many jobs. He discovered he had a talent for fixing things on boats and found himself busier every year as yacht traffic steadily increased. He founded RAM Marine Services in 1979 but also worked as a deckhand on Pete Dean’s fish tug and continued in commercial diving.
As boats grew steadily more complex, Anderson learned many new skills — computers, navigation systems, automatic systems, electronics, security systems — to stay current. When the new Tobermory Hyperbaric Facility was established in 2012 he was the natural choice to design, set up and troubleshoot all the complex systems it required. This in turn got the attention of Médecins Sans Frontières (aka Doctors Without Borders) who offered him a chance to handle all the logistics at a refugee hospital in South Sudan.
Anderson first entered municipal politics in 1985 when he ran for a seat on St Edmunds Township Council. He served one term as Councillor, two terms as Deputy Reeve and one term as Reeve. He served on the Transition Team during the amalgamation into MNBP and was elected Deputy Mayor of the amalgamated Municipal Council.
Professional and family opportunities took the Andersons to Owen Sound for a few years after that but they maintained their home in Tobermory, moving back when the Hyperbaric Chamber needed him.
Anderson predicts another Liberal majority government in 2019 and feels Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound would be best served by having a strong voice in the government caucus, advocating for our farmers, our national parks and our seasonal economy.
If you would like to have Rod Anderson as your next MP, you can help make it happen. Two other would-be candidates have put their names forward: Megan Lipka and Michael Den Tandt, both of Owen Sound.
Candidates are nominated and selected by party members. In order to participate in the process, people need to join the Liberal Party of Canada. It’s easy — there is no cost and you can do it online. Anderson explains how the nomination battle works: “right now we need people to register as Liberals to sign nomination papers and to travel to and vote at the nomination meetings (date to be announced).”