Ernie Hardeman was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in June, 1995 and was appointed as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing until 1999. He was re-elected in June 1999 and was appointed by Premier Harris to Cabinet as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. He served in this position until February 2001.
From March 2001 to May 2002, Mr. Hardeman held the office of Parliamentary Assistant to the Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance. In this capacity he was responsible for the SuperBuild program and sat on the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation as the government representative. In May 2002, Mr. Hardeman became Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Community, Family and Children’s Services.
On February 25, 2003 Mr. Hardeman’s long municipal background and rural knowledge was recognized by Premier Ernie Eves when he was asked to join Cabinet as the Associate Minister to Municipal Affairs (Rural).
Ernie was re-elected in June 2014 and is the longest serving MPP in Oxford’s history. Ernie is been a member of the Official Opposition, where he has served as the critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and is now critic for Municipal Affairs and Housing.
Prior to the 1995 election, Mr. Hardeman had a long career in municipal politics in Southwestern Ontario. He was first elected to the Township of South-West Oxford council in 1980 and, later, served as mayor from 1988 to 1994. Mr. Hardeman is also a former warden of Oxford County council and has served as chair of the Warden’s Association of Ontario.
On the provincial scene, Mr. Hardeman served as chair of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) in 1993 and 1994. He served on the board of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario for five years from 1989 to 1994 and, during that time, also served as chair of the A.M.O. 911 Committee and co-chair of the Municipalities in the Future Task Force.
Mr. Hardeman, who owned and operated Hardeman Feed Ltd. in Salford from 1966 to 1995, has served on many other local committees and community boards, including the Alexandra Hospital Board of Trust in Ingersoll and the Woodingford Lodge Board of Trust in Woodstock. For 25 years Mr. Hardeman was a volunteer firefighter and retired in 1995 as Captain of the South-West Oxford Fire Department. He and his wife, Reta, have three sons and a daughter.