Senator Bob Runciman’s fascination with politics started as a child, while listening to his father Sandy, longtime editor of The Brockville Recorder and Times, at the dinner table. He began his lifetime of public service in 1972, when he won a seat on city council in his hometown, the eastern Ontario city of Brockville.
He spent eight and a half years at the council table. In 1981, upon the retirement of longtime Leeds MPP James Auld, Bob ran for, and won, the Progressive Conservative nomination and subsequent election – the first of eight election wins in the provincial riding of Leeds, later Leeds-Grenville.
During a 29-year career at Queen’s Park, he served in six different cabinet posts under three different premiers, served as chair of cabinet for more than eight years, and was his party’s House leader. He was twice named Leader of the Opposition and was also interim leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.
He was named to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on January 29, 2010. He is chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and a member of the Standing Senate Committee on Transportation and Communications and the Joint Parliamentary Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.
Senator Runciman and his wife, Jeannette, continue to live in Brockville. They have two police-officer daughters, Sue and Robin, and were predeceased by a son, Bill.