When did you come to Salt Spring and what brought you here?
My partner and I bought a farm on Bullock Lake about 15 years ago. We fell in love with the landscape here - the coastal rain forest is quite amazing. The island has a great cultural and food scene.
Why did you decide to become a Fire Trustee?
Our Fire Board has had difficulty in addressing important issues like a new firehall and balancing costs with public safety. It’s a hard balance to find. We need some common sense and a drive to get basic things done. I think my experience in life gives me some of that.
What do you hope to accomplish as a Fire Trustee?
I would like to has us finally build a new firehall. We can see the main risks we have here are wildfires in BC and a possible earthquake. We need to give our Fire rescue team the resources they need to protect public safety. Previous proposals may have been a bit too ambitious. We need to find a practical proposal we can afford. It’s do able! We can work with other agencies on the island like the Islands Trust and CRD to combine our office space and achieve some common savings. We have some exciting opportunities ahead.
What did you do before becoming a trustee?
After graduating from university, I worked in Ottawa with Joe Clark on his leadership campaign. I worked in Washington DC on several Presidential campaigns including Jimmy Carter’s. I was elected as an Alberta MLA twice and served on several legislative committees. I also served as an Alberta delegate to two constitutional conferences that led to a new amending formula for Canada and our Charter of Rights. I understand how government works and how a trustee should provide oversight to operations.
After politics I started an advertising agency in Edmonton. Our clients included Labatts brewery and a major bank. I went on to teach economics and international trade at a university in Beijing. I invested in a small Chinese property start up in 1995. Over the next twenty years we built over 10,000 apartment units and some commercial space. We did quite well. I can manage projects and people. Setting priorities and working as a team player gets things done.