What is your background/political experience?
I have long experience in politics at the provincial and federal levels, much of it serving the Fraser Valley. I began work with Harvey Schroeder, then Social Credit Minister of Agriculture, followed by Grace McCarthy in Victoria. I also worked for Preston Manning, Stockwell Day and Stephen Harper when they were leaders of Canada’s official opposition. When the Conservative government came to power, I assisted Chuck Strahl as his Chief of Staff in three federal departments; additionally I was director of policy for the Minister of Health. I have a Master’s degree in public administration as well as a PhD in history, and I wrote a book in 2008 about the history of our penitentiary system. Most recently (fall 2012) I taught criminal law at the University of the Fraser Valley.
What are the most pressing issues currently facing the riding?
People are more and more willing to travel long distances in order to shop, and Hope is feeling the effects. The trend has resulted in economic dislocation in Hope, particularly in the local business community. While I believe that economic growth will happen naturally as the population in the Fraser Valley grows, the period of transition has been difficult. The most pressing issue facing the Hope area, therefore, is the need for more local jobs, which would in turn increase local economic activity.
If elected, what would be your main priority as MLA?
Beside the priorities of representing and assisting constituents and performing my legislative duties, my personal interest is in providing more long-term treatment for those addicted to drugs. I see this as one of the greatest public policy opportunities of our time to reduce poverty, homelessness, property crime, gang activity, and general human misery. To that end I have toured the Thunderbird Motel in Hope, and would like to assist the good work that they do.
What can be done to stimulate economic growth in the Hope area?
To stimulate economic growth I will advocate, as MLA in Victoria, for government assistance to establish a serviced industrial park near Hope that would attract clean, light industry – and jobs – to the area.
Why should people vote for you?
People should vote for me for three reasons: I am a free enterpriser who wants to see business, rather than government, grow. I am an experienced and well-qualified person of integrity who can get things done, and I am a friendly and approachable person with whom they will feel comfortable.