Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Rodney Anthony Allan “Rod” Zimmer (1942-2016)

Businessman, senator.

Born at Kuroki, Saskatchewan on 19 December 1942, son of Joseph I. Zimmer and Josephine Reit, he was educated at St. Peter’s College (Muenster, Saskatchewan) and the University of Saskatchewan, graduating from the latter in 1973. He worked as an executive assistant to James Richardson before becoming Vice-President of Corporate Communications at CanWest Capital under Izzy Asper. He was later Director of Marketing at the Manitoba Lotteries Foundation. He served on the boards of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Winnipeg Blue Bombers, worked on the Pan Am Games, and was active in federal Liberal politics. Appointed to the Canadian Senate in August 2005, he was forced to resign in 2013 due to ill health. During his tenure in the Senate, he was accused of making inappropriate expense claims for a secondary residence, travel and hospitality costs, and he married a woman 46 years his junior. In recognition of his community service, he received the Canada 125 Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). He died at Ottawa, Ontario on 6 June 2016 and was buried in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Nanton Estate Gates / Gatehouse (229 Roslyn Road, Winnipeg)


“Senate seat was a life-long goal,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 June 2016, page A2.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 18 June 2016, page A32.

We thank Vern Warkentin for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 3 March 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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