Born in Melbourne, Australia, Mr. Sargeant attended the University of Manitoba, graduating with a B.A. in 1967. Following graduation, he served in Parliament from 1979-1984 representing the riding of Selkirk-Interlake as a member of the New Democratic Party. In parliament he served as critic for both National Defense and Sport. After his time in Parliament, Mr. Sargeant continued his public service, serving as a senior official in the provincial governments in Manitoba, the Yukon and British Columbia.
Following almost twenty years of government service, Mr. Sargeant entered the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba. After articling with the Public Interest Law Centre, he was called to the Manitoba Bar in June 2000. He then worked as the chair of two important quasi-judicial bodies in Manitoba - the Appeal Commission of the Workers' Compensation Board and the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission.
For nine years, Mr. Sargeant was a member of the University's Board of Governors; he served as Chair for four of those years. In these roles, Mr. Sargeant volunteered thousands of hours of his time to strengthening the University's governance system, advising two presidents and leading a presidential search process.
Mr. Sargeant is a steadfast community leader and volunteer, having served on the boards of numerous arts organizations, including Prairie Theatre Exchange, the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Winnipeg Folk Festival. He has also served in leadership roles in national organizations, including the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals, and the National Association of University Board Chairs and Secretaries.