Rod Jackson is the MPP for Barrie, and the Community and Social Services Critic with responsibility for the Pan Am Games with the Official Opposition. Rod believes that Ontario should be the province that offers the very best jobs, opportunities and infrastructure for all Ontario families.
As a fourth generation resident of Barrie, Rod understands the importance of community. Rod and his wife Joanne have two children, Abbey and Will. As a working parent, Rod realizes what it’s like to balance work, family and public service, and has a deep commitment to ensuring a safe and prosperous Ontario for future generations.
Rod completed his undergraduate studies in Political Science and Communications at York University, followed by Graduate studies in Dispute Resolution. Rod then completed his Human Resources Management Diploma from Georgian College. Following his studies, Rod pursued a career in human resources and labor management as a professional mediator specializing in labour relations. He took an overseas assignment in Japan for three years before returning to his hometown of Barrie to live and work.
Interested in politics and serving the community, Rod acquired a position at Queen’s Park as the local MPP’s Legislative Assistant, a precursor to his life in public service. He then re-entered the private sector as the Director of Human Resources for Moore Packaging, learning about the real world costs, challenges and opportunities of doing business in Ontario. Rod then went on to start his own successful business where he provided human resources services to diverse businesses both small and large. As a business owner, Rod understands the unique needs of business and industry.
After serving on several boards and service groups, Rod decided to enter a life of service and was elected to Barrie City Council in 2006. As a Councillor, Rod authored and championed the Safe Parks Strategy which has evolved into a community safety program; ensured the passing of the Little Lake Master Plan; and contributed to the physician recruitment task for securing the largest funding ever for doctor recruitment to Barrie. Rod has also been instrumental in lobbying other levels of government for tens of millions of dollars in critically needed infrastructure investment and fighting to keep Central Collegiate open.
Rod’s concerns about the effect on his community from direction Ontario was taking led him to run for provincial office. In 2011, Rod was elected to represent the needs of Barrie as MPP for the riding. Upon his election, leader of the PC Party Tim Hudak also appointed Rod to be the Deputy Critic of Accountability for the Pan/Parapan Am Games.
As the Pan Am Games Critic, he has proven to be a respected, outspoken advocate for responsible public spending and investment, especially regarding the upcoming Pan/Parapan Am Games. He consistently stands up for Ontarians holding the government to account for their endless Liberal scandals including the gas plant and Ornge debacles.
In 2013, Rod was appointed to be the Critic for Community and Social Services, and was also asked to continue his Pan Am Games portfolio. During his first two terms as MPP, Rod has already demonstrated his commitment to serving the needs of the people of Barrie and the province, especially with his private members bill to support the dignity of children with special needs, his private members bill to support the rights of children in care, and advocating for improved frontline healthcare delivery. He is dedicated to fighting for bold, practical, and sustainable ideas needed to get Ontario’s economy back on track.
By ensuring accountable governance and advocating for Barrie residents, Rod believes our children will have the brightest future, the strongest communities and endless opportunity in Ontario.