The Honourable Roger Simmons, PC, is a public policy consultant in Canada. Born at sea, on the Atlantic Ocean near Lewisporte, Newfoundland and Labrador, he spent his childhood years in the bustling railway town of Bishop’s Falls. His early career as an educator and clergyman took him to coastal towns in his beloved rural Newfoundland. As a politician, provincially and federally, he was the voice of the island’s south coast for twenty-five years. √ Kicked out of school at fifteen, he clawed his way to the top of the teaching profession √ The tale of a whistle-blower and the below-the-belt payback scheme that couldn’t shut him up √ The Hail Mary moves of an incurable optimist and risk-taker √ Humorous anecdotes of life as an educator, clergyman, politician, and diplomat √ Insider stories of his feuds with Joey Smallwood, his high-profile kneecapping by the taxman, and his passion for the Salvation Army’s redemptive outreach √ Cameos of interloping in the foreign service As a diplomat, Roger Simmons headed Canada’s mission in Seattle, and for six years he was a senior policy advisor with Gowlings, one of Canada’s largest law firms. He also spent a year in Baghdad as an advisor to the Iraqi parliament and served as an election observer in Ukraine. “[The Man in the Arena is an] engaging and wonderful account documenting the ups and downs of a successful and colourful Newfoundland politician . . . excellent . . . most entertaining.” — John C. Crosbie
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About the Author
The Honourable Roger Cyril Simmons, PC, is a public policy consultant and former politician and diplomat in Canada. The son of Willis Simmons and Ida Williams, he was born in Lewisporte, Newfoundland. He studied at the Salvation Army College for Officers, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and Boston University and was a teacher/principal in Newfoundland’s denominational school system. He subsequently became principal of Grant Collegiate, Springdale, and superintendent of the Green Bay Integrated School District. Simmons became president of the Newfoundland Teachers’ Association in 1968. During his second term, he resigned to manage the campaign of Justice Minister Alec Hickman, a candidate for the Liberal leadership. In a 1973 by-election, he was elected to the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly as the Liberal MHA for Hermitage. He was re-elected in 1975 and 1979 as MHA for Burgeo–Bay d’Espoir. Later in 1979, he successfully contested a federal by-election and became the Liberal Member of Parliament for Burin–St. George’s, succeeding long-time federal cabinet minister and media icon Don Jamieson. He was re-elected in 1980 and appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment and Minister of State for Science and Technology. On August 12, 1983, he was named to the cabinet of Pierre Trudeau as Minister of State for Mines. He resigned ten days later after learning that he was being investigated by the Canada Revenue Agency for failing to file an income tax return. Simmons narrowly lost his seat in the 1984 election. In April 1985, he returned to the Newfoundland House of Assembly as the provincial Liberal MHA for Fortune–Hermitage and served as Leader of the Opposition for a year. Simmons returned to the federal House of Commons in the 1988 federal election. He represented Canada at the Rio Summit in 1992. He was re-elected in the 1993 election and was defeated in the 1997 election. In 1998, Roger Simmons was appointed Consul General for Canada in Seattle. He served in that position for five years and represented Canada at the World Trade Organization. Then, he was for six years a senior policy advisor with Gowlings, one of Canada’s largest law firms, and later served as an advisor to the Iraqi parliament and an election observer in Ukraine.