Unfortunately I don’t find the same pleasure in talking about myself as most politicians do, and I would rather talk about the issues that are important to the people of this riding, but I understand it is part of the job. I was born in St. Catharines, Ontario to a military father, and spent most of my childhood living on military bases across Canada and Germany. My first job was delivering beer door-to-door in Soest, Germany, after which, back in Canada I picked fruit on farms and crushed gravel for CP.
I then dropped out of high school and started selling shoes part-time where I was put in an accelerated management training program. By the age of 26 I was the manager of Sayvette (Loblaws), one of the largest department stores in Toronto. I adopted a son and began raising a family, but was not spending enough time with them. I gave up this very successful career and 40 years ago I bought an empty storefront in Petawawa sight unseen in order to spend more time with my family and haven’t looked back. I started a chain of three convenience stores in Pembroke/Petawawa (Criger’s Grocery), a clothing store, and a mail order company, Today I own and operate Criger’s Country Decor with Carolyn, my wife of 49 years.
Canada is a country where opportunities like these still exist for anybody who is willing to put in the time and effort - especially the effort. The spirit of hard work and success is within us all, and I want to dedicate the next four years to helping the people of Renfrew County succeed - no matter their definition of success.