Robert E. Wanner was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the constituency of Medicine Hat, on May 5, 2015. On June 11, 2015, he was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
As Speaker he serves as chair of the Special Standing Committee on Members' Services and as president of the Alberta branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
Prior to his service with the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Wanner devoted 15 years to Canadians Reaching Out to the World's Children Foundation (CARO), of which he is a founding member and was president from 2000 to 2015. CARO is a Medicine Hat based foundation that is dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable children in Medicine Hat and around the world.
Mr. Wanner started his career as a social worker with the province of Alberta in Grande Prairie, Alberta. He then enjoyed a lengthy career with the city of Medicine Hat, where he worked for over 35 years in various senior management and executive-level positions, including as director of preventive social services, as the Medicine Hat Police Service's director of administration and planning and as the superintendent of social planning and housing. In 1995 he was appointed to the executive leadership of the city of Medicine Hat as the public services commissioner, and he then served as a project leader of a major organizational development initiative.
He is a registered social worker (RSW), qualified mediator (QMed) and registered family mediator (RFM). In 2005 he formed and operated a private mediation, conflict resolution and small property development business.
Extensively involved in his community, Mr. Wanner has over 40 years of community service experience, including as a senator for the University of Calgary; a founding member and past president of the Gas City Former Employees Association; a volunteer for the Salvation Army, the United Way and several community theatre organizations and, most recently, as chair of a family care clinic (FCC) steering committee.
He holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Saskatchewan, a master of arts in social welfare policy from McMaster University and a master of business administration from the University of Calgary.
Born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Mr. Wanner has called Medicine Hat home since 1972. He and his wife, Joan Emard-Wanner, have four children and 11 grandchildren.
August 17, 2015