Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hon. Pat Bell - Minister of Forests and Range, Member for Prince George McKenzie

Dearest Heavenly Father, we come to You today with thanks for Your omnipotence and great wisdom in appointing MLA, the Honourable Patrick Bell, to government for such a time as this. We ask, Lord, that You give him great wisdom, and special insights into the affairs of his portfolio in Forests and Land Management, and a desire to accomplish all that You would put in his heart.


We ask that You bless and strengthen his family unit even as they make sacrifices for his schedule and all that goes with being a government minister and an MLA to the people of Prince George-Mackenzie. Give him peace, and may he sense Your guiding hand in all he does.


Pat Bell was re-elected to a third term as MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie on May 12, 2009 and re-appointed Minister of Forests and Range and Minister Responsible for the Integrated Land Management Bureau on June 10, 2009.


Bell was first appointed Minister of Forests and Range on June 23, 2008. He previously served as Minister for Agriculture and Lands and as Minister of State for Mining.

Bell was elected to represent the riding of Prince George North in the 2001 election and re-elected in 2005.

He has served on the Government Caucus Committee on Natural Resources and B.C. Task Force on Mining, and as chair of the Small Scale Salvage Review Committee. Bell has also served on the Legislative Select Standing Committees on Education and Crown Corporations.

Prior to becoming an MLA, Bell owned a trucking company and co-owned a logging company. He owns two Wendy's Restaurants in Prince George.

Committed to youth sport, Bell chaired the junior golf program at the Prince George Golf and Curling Club from 1993 to 1997. He also coached high school volleyball and supported the Prince George Barracuda Swim Club. Bell served for several years on the Tourism Prince George Board of Directors.

Born in Vancouver and educated at the University of British Columbia, Bell has lived in Prince George since 1988. He and his wife Brenda have three children.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MLA Donna Barnett

Thank you, Lord, for Donna Barnett and her willingness to serve in her community. We lift her up to You today and pray your blessing would rest on her in everything she sets her hands to do. Grant her wisdom and insight into decisions she will face today. We pray a hedge of protection around her and her family. Bless her, Lord, for her commitment to the people she serves. Amen

Donna Barnett was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Pine Beetle Community Recovery to the Ministry of Community and Rural Development on June 10, 2009. She was elected MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin on May 12.


A self-employed business owner and realtor, Donna served as mayor of the District of 100 Mile House from 1986 to 1990 and again from 1996 to 2008.

During that time, Donna served as co-chair of the Council of Resource Community Mayors, as well as chair of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition. Additionally, she was a member of the federal government’s Minister of Natural Resources Committee and a member of the Premier's Climate Action Team.

Donna’s political experience is very diverse. She has been either a member of or involved in: the Cariboo Regional District and Hospital District, Community Policing, the Premier's Task Force on Opportunities, Land Use Planning, Health Care, the Restorative Justice Committee, the Regional Economic Development Committee, the BC Open Learning Agency, the Board of Directors for the Cariboo College and the Chamber of Commerce.

With over 35 years of community involvement, Donna has been a Rotarian, a member of the 100 Mile House Kinettes, a member of the 100 Mile Outriders Club, chair of the Spirit of BC 100 Mile House Community Committee, chair of the100 Mile Chapter of Kisport, chair of the 100 Mile & District Safety Committee, a member of Measuring up the North 100 Mile Committee, chair of the 100 Mile Advisory Committee for the Industrial Hemp Pilot Project, a member of the 100 Mile House Museum Society, a member of the Lower Bridge Creek Watershed Society and served as chair of the South Cariboo Planning Council.

Donna has been the recipient of many awards including the 2008 Women in Resource Communities Woman of the Year Award and 2006 BC Government Community Achievement Award.

Donna and her husband Jack have two grown children and one grandchild.






Monday, December 28, 2009

Hon. Bill Barrisoff, Speaker and Member for Penticton Okanagan Valley

Today we are praying for the Hon. Bill Barrisoff, Speaker and Member for Penticton Okanagan Valley.


Almighty and Everlasting Lord, This day we have the privilege of praying for Bill Barisoff, who holds the position of Speaker. We acknowledge the immense accomplishments and abilities that Mr. Barisoff has, and the desire to serve his constituents. Thank you for his committment to our country, Government and the people of Canada. Give him the stamina he needs to keep up with such a busy scedule and the ability to keep balance between his family life and work. We ask Your abundant blessings will shower over Bill, Edna, Glen, Michael, Darren, Eliza and Kayla today and all throughout 2009.

Bill Barisoff was first elected Speaker on September 12, 2005, and re-elected to this position on August 25, 2009. He also served as Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection and Minister of Provincial Revenue.

Mr. Barisoff previously held a variety of critic roles for the Official Opposition, including agriculture, transportation and highways and aboriginal affairs. He served on the province's Motor Carrier Commission and was a member of the Select Standing Committees on Aboriginal Affairs and on Agriculture.

He was first elected in 1996 to represent the riding of Okanagan-Boundary and was re-elected in 2001 and in 2005 as the Member for Penticton-Okanagan Valley. In 2009 he was re-elected as the Member for Penticton.

Bill, who was born and raised in Oliver, owned a trucking firm before his election to the Legislative Assembly.


He served as a school trustee for 18 years, including eight as chair of the Southern Okanagan school board; was a volunteer firefighter in Oliver for over 25 years; and sat on the Okanagan Labour Relations Council. He was also chair of the Oliver Recreation Commission for one year.


Bill and Edna Barisoff live in Oliver. Their family includes sons Glen, his wife Hilary; Michael; Darren, his wife Eliza, and grand-daughter Kayla Ramos Barisoff.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

MLA Robin Austin - Skeena

Father, we come to You today for Robin Austin, MLA for Skeena and Opposition Critic for Education, Early Learning and Literacy.


Lord, we ask that he and Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, the Minister in these areas, will work together with joy and appreciation, which would result in much benefit for our children, especially those in remote areas of our province.

Holy Spirit we ask You to flow through Robin as the rivers flow through Skeena: refreshing, enriching, and blessing him and all he comes in contact with. We pray in Jesus' Name. Amen

Robin Austin was re-elected as the MLA for Skeena on May 12, 2009. He was first elected to the Legislature on May 17, 2005.

Robin serves as opposition critic for Education, Early Learning and Literacy.

Robin was employed as a Community Schools Coordinator for a Non-Profit Society in Terrace.

Prior to entering the social work field, Robin spent 20 years working in the Private Sector for both large corporations and small businesses associated with the Hotel/Tourism industry. Robin has a B.A. from Strathclyde University in Scotland as well as a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Northern BC.

Robin and his wife have been married for twenty years and are the parents of two active teenagers

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas From All Of Us At Leading Influence Ministries

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


On behalf of Barb, our family and our ministry board, we would like to wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas!  Thank you for standing in the gap for our MLA's and for our ministry.  We really appreciate your partnership and support!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hon. George Abbott - Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Member for Shuswap

Heavenly Father, we pray for George Abbott today. We ask that you would grant him tremendous wisdom and strength as he serves our province in this very important portfolio. Lord, we pray that you would help him to love mercy, do rightly and walk humbly before You and before all men.


Bless him and his family today!  We ask this in Jesus' name, Amen

George Abbott was appointed Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and government deputy house leader on June 10, 2009. He was re-elected as MLA for the Shuswap on May 12, 2009.

He had served as Minister of Health since June 16, 2005 and previously served as Minister of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services and Minister of Sustainable Resource Management.

George has also been deputy house leader for the Official Opposition and was critic for municipal affairs and forests. He was Deputy Chair of the Select Standing Committees on Forests, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, and was a member of the Select Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs. Additionally, he sat on the Official Opposition Caucus Committee on Crime.

First elected as MLA in 1996 to represent the riding of Shuswap, George was re-elected in 2001 and again in 2005. Before his election to the Legislative Assembly, George was a political science instructor at Okanagan University College. He also owned the oldest and largest berry farm in the Interior.

He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and his Master of Arts in political science from the University of Victoria.

George was the chair of the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District. He was also involved in amateur sports as a minor hockey coach.

George and Lesley Abbott live in Sicamous and have three children.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hon. John Yap - Minister of State for Climate Action, Member for Richmond Steveston

We give thanks for the Honorable John Yap and for the position he holds in the government as the Minister of State for Climate Action.


Father, we lift him up today in prayer and ask that you would bless him for his commitment to his constituency and our province.

You have blessed him with many talents, and we pray that You would continue to give him the wisdom he needs to carry out the tasks You have set before him.

May you give him divine strategies to help him with these unique responsibilities.

We pray that You would protect his wife and his 2 children, and continue to strengthen the bonds they have as a family. In Jesus name, Amen

John Yap was appointed Minister of State for Climate Action on June 10, 2009. He previously served as the Chair of the Government Caucus and on various committees.


First elected in the riding of Richmond-Steveston in the 2005 provincial election, Minister Yap was re-elected in 2009.

Minister Yap is active in the community as a Rotarian, being a charter member and Past President of the Richmond Sunset Rotary Club. He is also a member of Gilmore Park United Church, where he has previously served as Board Chair, Finance Chair, Treasurer and Personnel Committee Chair. He has served as board chair of Gilmore Seniors Centre, a 117 unit seniors residence. Minister Yap is an honorary member of the Vancouver Diamond Lions Club.

Minister Yap is also a former member of the Mission Through Finance Committee of British Columbia Conference of the United Church of Canada and is a past member of the Seniors Advisory Council of the City of Richmond.

Born in Singapore, Minister Yap immigrated as a teenager to Canada with his parents and has lived in the Lower Mainland for the past 32 years, living in Richmond for 22 of those years. Married with two children, he enjoys reading, jogging, golf and travel.




Monday, December 21, 2009

Hon. Naomi Yamamoto - Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations and Member for North Vancouver Lonsdale

Lord, we come to You today for Naomi Yamamoto: MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale, and Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations.



"Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness," says Your Living Word. Father, we pray these words for Naomi.


Holy Spirit, fill her with Your joy and peace, surrounding her wherever she is called to be, especially in her constituency, producing that harvest of righteousness.


Bless her with walking in Your ways, we ask in Jesus' Name. Amen


Naomi Yamamoto was appointed Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations on June 10, 2009.


Minister Yamamoto was elected as MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale in the 2009 general provincial election.

Naomi has been the president and owner of Tora Design Group in North Vancouver for 21 years and for the past 2 years she has been with the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce as its President and General Manager.

Recently, Naomi served on the board of the North Shore Credit Union and the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and was President of the Gordon and Marion Smith Foundation, an organization working to build an endowment to ensure the ongoing viability of the Artists for Kids Program in School District 44. As well she represented the North Vancouver Chamber on the North Shore 2010 Spirit Committee and Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism Association Board.

In 1994, Naomi served as Chair of the BC Chamber of Commerce. She completed a six year term on the board of Capilano College, the last three years as Chair. She also enjoyed 6 years as a director of the North Shore Neighbourhood House.

In 2005, Naomi was appointed as an inaugural member of the Premier’s Small Business Roundtable.

When her schedule permits, Naomi enjoys catch and release fishing for Steelhead in British Columbia’s rivers and running the trails of the North Shore with a group of dedicated runners known as the North Shore Lemmings.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

MLA John van Dongen - Abbotsford South


Heavenly Father, it is with gratefulness that we come to You on behalf of Mr. van Dongen, to pray blessings on all he is called to do as Party Whip. We pray You will grant him favour, wisdom and discernment. Bless him as he continues to serve with integrity and honesty.



And bless his family with safety and good health.

In the name of Jesus,


Amen


John van Dongen was re-elected as MLA to serve the new riding of Abbotsford-South in the spring of 2009.


John was first elected in 1995 in a by-election to represent the riding of Abbotsford and was re-elected in 1996, 2001, and 2005.

Mr. van Dongen currently serves as the Government Caucus Whip.

Mr. van Dongen has served as the Solicitor General and Minister of Public Safety. He has also served as Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations and as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. He has also been a member of the Government Caucus Committee on Social Development. For the past several years, John served on the Hospital Construction Committee for the new Abbotsford Hospital and Cancer Centre.

Before his election to the Legislative Assembly, Mr. van Dongen operated a dairy farm in Abbotsford. He studied agricultural economics at the University of British Columbia.

Mr. van Dongen was involved in farm organizations and businesses for almost two decades. He was on the board of directors of the B.C. Dairy Foundation, Agrifoods International Co-operative (Dairyland) the B.C. Federation of Dairymen's Association and the Federal Farm Debt Review Board.

He was Chair of the Building and Finance Committee of St. Joseph's Church in Mission. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus. He is the father of two sons and has one granddaughter.






Thursday, December 17, 2009

MLA Claire Trevena - North Island

Heavenly Father, we give thanks today for Claire Trevena and her service for the riding of the North Island.

We pray a blessing upon her and her husband Mike, and the work she is accomplishing on the North Island.
We ask that You watch over her and bless her with strength and health for all that she sets her hand to.
May You grant her even more wisdom and knowledge for the many challenges she faces. In Jesus name, Amen


Claire Trevena was first elected in May 2005 and was re-elected on May 12, 2009.


Claire is a former journalist, community activist and human rights worker.

In the early 1990s, Claire came to Canada as the BBC's Canadian correspondent.

Awarded the Canadian Civilian Peacekeeping Medal, she's worked on democratic development projects overseas and in Canada.

Claire was an active trade unionist in her professional life. Since moving to BC she has been involved in a number of community initiatives, including a weekly community kitchen on Quadra Island as well as various environmental initiatives.

She was elected to the board of the Quadra Community Association and held a seat on the Regional District of Comox Strathcona Regional Area J Advisory Planning Committee.

Prior to the 2005 election, Claire ran a small communications business on Quadra Island with her husband, Mike McIvor.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

MLA Jane Thornwaite - North Vancouver-Seymour




Lord, thank You for bringing Jane into our provincial government; thank you for her enthusiasm in all she does, so much appreciated by others. We bless her in Your Name, Jesus.

We ask that You anoint her with great joy, and let her light shine not only in the halls of the Legislature, but in her constituency and in her family. May Your grace abound for her so that, "Thy will be done in North Vancouver-Seymour and all B.C."

Thank You for hearing us, Father. Amen.


Jane Thornthwaite was elected MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour in the 2009 general provincial election.


Since 2005, Jane was a School Trustee for the North Vancouver Board of Education and topped the polls in both the 2005 and 2008 municipal elections. She was elected Chair of the North Vancouver Board of Education in December 2008 and resigned from the Board June 2009 after being elected to the Legislature.

Previously, Jane was a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (B.Sc., B.H.E.) with a 22-year career in health care. Jane’s work experience includes positions in hospital dietetics and community health, an instructor for a third year required Nutrition course at UBC, a Corporate Nutritionist for an international Health Food Chain and a National Sales Representative for an international pharmaceutical firm.

Her writing has been published in a wide variety of publications and she has been a guest presenter and lecturer at numerous colleges and universities.

As a former self-employed health consultant, Jane has experience operating a small business and supporting a family as a mother of three kids.

Jane has an extensive volunteer career on the North Shore and has lived in North Vancouver for over 19 years.

MLA Diane Thorne - Coquitlam Maillardville

Father, as we pray for MLA. Diane Thorne. May she know she is appreciated in her role as critic for the portfolio of Early Learning and Literacy.



We pray, Father, You will bless her in the Legislature that she be heard, as she voices fresh ideas, raises concerns, and works for changes that that will be invaluable for the children and the youth of this province.


We pray she and her family will be abundantly blessed with protection, good health and happiness.

Diane Thorne was re-elected as the MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville on May 12, 2009. She was first elected to the Legislature in 2005.


Diane serves as deputy opposition critic for Education, Early Learning and Literacy.

Diane served on Coquitlam council from 1996 to 2005, bringing considerable experience in business and social services to the political arena. Diane and her husband Neil have owned and operated several successful small businesses.

Diane has been extensively involved in a wide cross-section of women's issues over the past 35 years. She served on the board of directors of the B.C./Yukon Women's Centres Association and spent several years as the province's representative on the National Action Committee on the Status of Women.

In 1993, Diane received the BC Distinguished Service to Families Award and in 1992, the Canada 125 medal. She was a founding member of the PoCoMo Youth Services Society, the Family Life Educators of BC and the Fraser Burrard Restorative Justice Society. Diane studied liberal arts at several community colleges and Simon Fraser University. Diane and Neil live locally and have two adult sons, Jay and Lee.




Monday, December 14, 2009

Hon. Steve Thomson - Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Member for Kelowna Mission

Today we come together and give thanks for the Honorable Steve Thomson.
Heavenly Father, You have place him in the position of Minister of Agriculture and Lands, and with it come many commitments and challenges.

We thank You for blessing the Honorable Steve Thomson, enabling him to succeed in the many roles you have set before him. Continue to bless him with leadership and insight and the desire to serve our Province.

We pray that You would bless him and his wife Brenda abundantly with good health, happiness as well as protection and safety. Continue to strengthen the bonds they have with their children and their grandchildren, in Jesus name we pray. Amen

Steve Thomson was appointed Minister for Agriculture and Lands on June 10, 2009. He was elected to represent the riding of Kelowna-Mission on May 12, 2009.


Born and raised in Kelowna, Steve comes from a pioneer family who continue to operate the original family farm established in 1896.

Steve is the former executive director of the BC Agriculture Council and has developed his career and experience working on behalf of British Columbia farmers and ranchers. He has served as General Manager of the BC Fruit Growers Association and the BC Milk Producers Association.

He has been selected for many leadership roles and advisory positions dedicated to the continuous improvement of our province. Steve brings to his role of MLA for Kelowna Mission extensive leadership expertise, experience in economic development and a clear understanding of how to get things done in government. He has served the community and province as president of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and chair of the BC Chamber of Commerce and has represented those organizations and others on provincial government task forces focused on red tape reduction and small business development.

He has also served as a director of the Kelowna Museum, the Okanagan Innovation Fund and the BC BioEnergy Network.

He has a great love of sports and had a long career in rugby including the opportunity to play for the Canadian National Rugby Team. Current interests include golf, gardening and being an ardent rugby fan.

Steve is a husband, father and grandfather. He is married to Brenda and has three children and five grandchildren.




Sunday, December 13, 2009

MLA Ralph Sultan - West Vancouver Capilano

Lord, we come to You today to thank You for Ralph Sultan, a man of many talents and a wealth of experience in different fields of life.



We ask that his wisdom acquired over the years may produce good fruit in due season.

We ask, Lord, that You endow him with Your insight so that through him and many others Your will would be accomplished in his constituency, West Vancouver-Capilano, and through our Legislature in B.C.


We ask for an abundance of productive ideas through him.

In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.


Ralph Sultan was elected to the BC Legislature to represent the riding of West Vancouver-Capilano in 2001, 2005 and 2009. He has served on the Government Caucus Committee for the Economy and the Legislature's Public Accounts Committee, and the Caucus Liaison for the Ministry of Finance. Ralph previously served as the Chair for the Government Caucus Committee for the Economy and the B.C. Mining Task Force.


Ralph is an economist, educator and businessperson who also maintains registration as a professional engineer (P.Eng.). Prior to attending university, he worked as a tree faller, as a lineman on the construction of the Kemano-Kitimat transmission line, as surveyor's helper on the Lillooet and Bridge River hydroelectric projects, and was an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers permit member.

Graduating from UBC in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Ralph worked as a technical sales representative for a major international company before earning MBA, MA, and Ph.D. (Economics) degrees from Harvard University. He completed those degrees in 1965. He then served as Assistant and Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, for nine years. He was then employed by The Royal Bank of Canada for almost ten years as Chief Economist; then Senior Vice President, Marketing in Montreal, and subsequently Senior Vice President, Global Energy and Minerals Group in Calgary. He was retained by the J. W. McConnell Foundation, Canada's largest philanthropic fund, as investment advisor.

In 1974 and 1975 Harvard University Press published his two-volume study of price fixing in the electrical industry.

Between 1980 and 2000, Ralph held senior officer and director positions in a variety of financial, mining, forestry and technology sector companies, and owned and operated his own investment company. In the mining sector, he was Executive Vice President of Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company, a subsidiary of Anglo American Corporation, and was Chair of Curragh Resources in the Yukon, and held other executive positions.

In the 1990's, after returning home to British Columbia , Ralph served as President of a joint venture with a major American corporation, engaged in the development of a fibreboard mill in Williams Lake.

Ralph was the Eagle Harbour Yacht Club executive secretary and was an Augustana Lutheran Church Councilor. He was Chair of the Financial Research Foundation (1984-1985), Chair, Queen's University Business School Advisory Committee (1981-84), Economic Council of Canada member (1979-83), and Harvard Business School fundraiser (1968-1994). Ralph arranged for the endowment of a UBC professorship in mining engineering (1990) and served on Harvard's Graduate School Arts & Science Advisory Committee (1993-1996). Ralph has received academic awards, including graduation from the Harvard Business School with High Distinction, UBC's Cayley Prize, the Engineering Institute of Canada Prize, Harvard's designation as Baker Scholar and Ford Foundation designation as Fellow. Ralph is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia.

Born in 1933, Ralph was raised in a family of ten in the Mt. Pleasant District of East Vancouver. He has lived on Vancouver's North Shore since returning to B.C. His wife of 43 years, Shirley, a surgical nurse and rehabilitation clinic entrepreneur, died suddenly in 1999. He has four children and four grandchildren. He enjoys boating, skiing and gardening.






Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hon. Moira Stillwell - Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development

Dear Lord, we come to You in the powerful Name of Jesus, in prayer for Hon. Moira Stillwell.



May You grant her great grace and favour as she adjusts to her new way of life in the legislature. We give thanks for the excellent qualifications she brings to this important portfolio.


Bless her, Lord, with the insight and clear vision needed for this portfolio.


Dear Lord, bless her abundantly with sound judgment and right decisions as she meets these daily challenges. May she know the love of Your presence, as You give guidance and direction in all of her endeavors.


Dr. Moira Stilwell was appointed Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development on June 10, 2009.


Minister Stilwell was elected MLA for Vancouver-Langara in the 2009 provincial general election.

Dr. Moira Stilwell is a radiologist and nuclear medicine physician who has been working at BC Women’s Hospital for nearly a decade. Prior to being elected, Moira was Head of Nuclear Medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital, Abbottsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Clinic. She was also the Co-Chair of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation 2020 Task Force. She previously worked at BC Women’s Hospital where she was Co-medical director of the Breast Health Program and staff radiologist. She was a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology in the Faculty of Medicine at University of British Columbia.

She is the past Chair of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation/BC Yukon Chapter, has served on the Board of the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance, as well as on the BC Women’s Hospital Foundation Board.

In addition to her active involvement in promoting a healthy community, both as a volunteer and physician, Moira has been actively involved in her children’s schools and local community.

Moira has three grown children and currently lives in Vancouver with her husband Dr. Sam Lichtenstein.






Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hon. Ben Stewart - Minister of Citizen's Services and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism and the Public Affairs Bureau

The Honorable Ben Stewart was appointed Minister of Citizens’ Services and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism and the Public Affairs Bureau. 

You have set him in this position for such a time as this. We thank You, Father, for his desire to serve our government and our province, and acknowledge the immense accomplishments and abilities that You have enabled him with. You have blessed him with many entrepreneurial talents, and we ask that You would continue to guide him and give him the strength he needs to keep up with the busy schedule You have placed before him.

We pray that Your favor continue to rest upon him and his wife Ruth. May You give them health, peace and joy in all that they set their hands to.  May they continue to strengthen the bonds they have with their family and community, in Jesus name. Amen.


Ben Stewart was appointed Minister of Citizens' Services and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism and the Public Affairs Bureau on June 10, 2009. He was elected MLA for Westside-Kelowna on May 12, 2009.



An entrepreneur, Ben founded and built Quails’ Gate into one of Canada’s leading estate wineries.


Ben has 30 years of extensive experience serving the community and is a founding director of a Venture Capital Fund for local business development. He was on the board of the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation and has been active in the fundraising and establishment of the Brookhaven Extended Care Facility Campaign, Southern Interior Cancer Centre Campaign, and the Rotary Centre for the Arts.


Ben was chair of the BC Grape Marketing Board where they successfully negotiated with provincial and federal governments on agricultural stabilization. Additionally, he was chairman of the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee for the Thompson Okanagan, as well as a member of the Presidents Community Advisory Council at UBC Okanagan.


His other experience includes having served as the past chair of VQA Canada, where they successfully resolved a number of significant international issues such as trademark protection, international mutual recognition agreements including national wine and health standards. As vice-chair of the Canadian Vintners Association, he oversaw the establishment of new national wine association offices in Ottawa and the hiring of their first CEO.


Ben has been recognized as Business Leader of the Year in Kelowna in 1998, received the Westbank Chamber of Commerce President’s Award in 2006, and recognized as Family Business of the Year by Grant Thornton in 2007. He also received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for Community Service. He was a Kinsman, a scout leader and a member of the Canadian Ski Patrol.


Ben lives in Westside with Ruth his wife of 30 years and has three grown children.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

MLA John Slater - Boundary Similkameen

Father, we come to you today praying for John Slater from the Okanagan constituency, Boundary-Similkameen. You know that we are grateful for the environment of British Columbia, for our water and our land. We ask that you, as Creator, will guide John as he deals with the issues surrounding Water Supply and Allocation, and Environment and Land Use. Fill him with awe as he remembers, "Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea...call us to rejoice in Thee".


Bless him in his calling, Father, in these areas and in his constituency and that, as he responds to all the demands, his joy will increase and you be glorified.

In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

John Slater was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Water Supply and Allocation to the Minister of Environment on June 10, 2009. He was elected as MLA for Boundary-Similkameen on May 12, 2009. He will also be serving on the Environment and Land Use Committee. He currently owns and operates Desert Edge Nursery, a retail/wholesale operation selling vegetable and nursery products.


John is a well-known proactive community leader in the South Okanagan having served Osoyoos for twelve years on city council and then six years as Mayor.


For nearly 30 years in Osoyoos, John has been actively involved in the community. For more than 20 years he coached youth basketball, soccer, hockey and baseball. He was a Kinsman as well as serving as Director for the Osoyoos & District Recreation Commission, the Osoyoos Child & Youth Committee, the Osoyoos Chamber of Commerce, the Okanagan Regional Library, the Interior Vegetable Marketing Agency & Greenhouse Growers Association, and was a Director of the BC Vegetable Marketing Commission.

Born and raised in Kelowna, John studied at the University of Victoria but soon returned to the Okanagan moving to Osoyoos in 1980. Over the years, he has owned and operated tourism and service industry businesses. He established a nursery and greenhouse business specializing in vegetable production where he became very involved in agricultural issues and organizations.

Monday, December 7, 2009

MLA Shane Simpson - Vancouver Hastings

Our heavenly Father, today our prayer is for MLA Shane Simpson, to bless him in his role as Environment Critic in the Legislature.



Shane works hard to implement change for the betterment of his constituents in his riding, so, Dear Lord, we pray You will continue to grant him favour and wisdom in the workplace. Grant him success as he endeavors to bring about the needed changes.


We pray a blessing of protection and good health on his family, as Shane carries out the duties of his position.

Shane Simpson was elected as the MLA for Vancouver Hastings on May 17, 2005 and again on May 12, 2009.



Shane serves as Opposition Critic for Environment.


Born and raised in Vancouver, Shane has lived, worked, and engaged in community-building activities in East Vancouver for more than 35 years.


In his professional career, Shane has worked as the Director of Policy and Communications for Smart Growth BC, Chair of the Vancouver City Planning Commission, Instructor in the Community Economic Development program at Simon Fraser University, Executive Director of the Worker Ownership Resource Center, Legislative Coordinator for the Canadian Union of Public Employees, coordinator and fundraiser for the Ray Cam Cooperative Center, executive assistant to former Vancouver East MP Margaret Mitchell, and as a self-employed consultant on business and economic development for labour, co-operative and non-profit groups.


Shane was the recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for his contribution to community in 2002. In 1992, he was awarded the Governor General's 125th Anniversary Commemorative Medal for Community Service.


Shane, his partner Cate Jones and their daughter Shayla, live in the Burrardview neighbourhood of Vancouver Hastings

Sunday, December 6, 2009

MLA Bob Simpson - Cariboo North


Heavenly Father, we come to You on behalf of Bob Simpson and thank You for him, for his willingness to serve the people of this Province and the constituency of Cariboo North.


We pray that, as the Opposition Critic for Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, You give him insightful strategies as he works with the governing party.

Give him all the necessary abilities he will need to accomplish the goals that have been planned for the benefit of his community.

Continue to bless his marriage, and give them all the wisdom and knowledge they need to raise their two children. In Jesus name, Amen.

Bob Simpson was re-elected as the MLA for Cariboo North on May 12, 2009. He was first elected to the Legislature in 2005.


Bob serves as opposition critic for Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.

A former small business owner and entrepreneur, Bob was most recently Corporate Manager, Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership Development for a major forest products company.

Born in Scotland, Bob's family immigrated to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1967 and he moved to British Columbia in 1973 when he joined the Canadian Navy. He has two undergraduate degrees and a Teaching Certificate from the University of Victoria.

Bob is a former National Triathlon Champion in his age group and was named BC’s Male Triathlete of the Year in 2002; he is also an avid mountain biker and runner.

Bob, his wife Trish, and their two teenage children live in Quesnel


Friday, December 4, 2009

MLA: Hon. Bill Barisoff

Photo of MLAToday we are praying for the Hon. Bill Barrisoff, Speaker and Member for Penticton Okanagan Valley.


Almighty and Everlasting Lord, This day we have the privilege of praying for Bill Barisoff, who holds the position of Speaker. We acknowledge the immense accomplishments and abilities that Mr. Barisoff has, and the desire to serve his constituents. Thank you for his committment to our country, Government and the people of Canada. Give him the stamina he needs to keep up with such a busy scedule and the ability to keep balance between his family life and work. We ask Your abundant blessings will shower over Bill, Edna, Glen, Michael, Darren, Eliza and Kayla today and all throughout 2009.
Bill Barisoff was first elected Speaker on September 12, 2005, and re-elected to this position on August 25, 2009. He also served as Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection and Minister of Provincial Revenue.
Mr. Barisoff previously held a variety of critic roles for the Official Opposition, including agriculture, transportation and highways and aboriginal affairs. He served on the province's Motor Carrier Commission and was a member of the Select Standing Committees on Aboriginal Affairs and on Agriculture.
He was first elected in 1996 to represent the riding of Okanagan-Boundary and was re-elected in 2001 and in 2005 as the Member for Penticton-Okanagan Valley. In 2009 he was re-elected as the Member for Penticton.
Bill, who was born and raised in Oliver, owned a trucking firm before his election to the Legislative Assembly.
He served as a school trustee for 18 years, including eight as chair of the Southern Okanagan school board; was a volunteer firefighter in Oliver for over 25 years; and sat on the Okanagan Labour Relations Council. He was also chair of the Oliver Recreation Commission for one year.
Bill and Edna Barisoff live in Oliver. Their family includes sons Glen, his wife Hilary; Michael; Darren, his wife Eliza, and grand-daughter Kayla Ramos Barisoff.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

MLA Harry Bains - Surrey Newton

Heavenly Father, We thank You for Harry Bains, and bless his commitment to serve in our government. As Solomon was made king over a great nation, he asked that God would give him a wise and discerning heart to govern the people and to distinguish between right and wrong. We ask, Father God, that You give Harry Baines a wise and discerning heart, and more than he has asked for. Bless and protect his life, family and home.



Thank You, Father!

Amen




Harry Bains was re-elected as the MLA for Surrey-Newton on May 12, 2009. He was first elected to the Legislature on May 17, 2005.







Harry serves as opposition critic for Transportation and Infrastructure.






Harry has been active in the Surrey community for many years. He has years of experience in education having served on the Kwantlen College Board of Governors between 1993 and 1999.

Harry was an elected officer of Steelworkers-IWA Canada local 2171 for over fifteen years. He served most recently as Vice president of his local, where he led negotiations and engaged in bargaining for better working conditions for working people.

Harry and his wife Rajvinder live in Surrey. They have two children, Kulpreet and Jasmeen.






Tuesday, December 1, 2009

MLA Robin Austin - Skeena

Father, we come to You today for Robin Austin, MLA for Skeena and Opposition Critic for Education, Early Learning and Literacy.


Lord, we ask that he and Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, the Minister in these areas, will work together with joy and appreciation, which would result in much benefit for our children, especially those in remote areas of our province.

Holy Spirit we ask You to flow through Robin as the rivers flow through Skeena: refreshing, enriching, and blessing him and all he comes in contact with. We pray in Jesus' Name. Amen

Robin Austin was re-elected as the MLA for Skeena on May 12, 2009. He was first elected to the Legislature on May 17, 2005.


Robin serves as opposition critic for Education, Early Learning and Literacy.

Robin was employed as a Community Schools Coordinator for a Non-Profit Society in Terrace.

Prior to entering the social work field, Robin spent 20 years working in the Private Sector for both large corporations and small businesses associated with the Hotel/Tourism industry. Robin has a B.A. from Strathclyde University in Scotland as well as a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Northern BC.

Robin and his wife have been married for twenty years and are the parents of two active teenagers.






Monday, November 30, 2009

Hon. George Abbott - Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Member for Shuswap


Heavenly Father, we pray for George Abbott today.  We ask that you would grant him tremendous wisdom and strength as he serves our province in this very important portfolio.  Lord, we pray that you would help him to love mercy, do rightly and walk humbly before You and before all men.

Bless him and his family today! 

We ask this in Jesus' name, Amen

George Abbott was appointed Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and government deputy house leader on June 10, 2009. He was re-elected as MLA for the Shuswap on May 12, 2009.


He had served as Minister of Health since June 16, 2005 and previously served as Minister of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services and Minister of Sustainable Resource Management.

George has also been deputy house leader for the Official Opposition and was critic for municipal affairs and forests. He was Deputy Chair of the Select Standing Committees on Forests, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, and was a member of the Select Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs. Additionally, he sat on the Official Opposition Caucus Committee on Crime.

First elected as MLA in 1996 to represent the riding of Shuswap, George was re-elected in 2001 and again in 2005. Before his election to the Legislative Assembly, George was a political science instructor at Okanagan University College. He also owned the oldest and largest berry farm in the Interior.

He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and his Master of Arts in political science from the University of Victoria.

George was the chair of the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District. He was also involved in amateur sports as a minor hockey coach.

George and Lesley Abbott live in Sicamous and have three children.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

MLA Bob Simpson - Cariboo North

Our Gracious Father we pray for MLA. Bob Simpson today and thank You for the special leadership qualities You have blessed him with.  Lord, we realize his past experiences in business, education , his service in the Canadian Navy, have prepared him for the position he now holds as MLA. We thank you , that he is continuing to serve in this riding,for another term , which he does, so faithfully and well.


Grant him Your grace and wisdom to discern how best , to fulfill his duties . We pray You will bless the work of his hands, to benefit those he represents in Cariboo-North

We bless and appreciate his family , for their sacrifice of time and effort, so that Bob , may serve in the province of BC. Dear Lord,keep them all safe and well, in Your loving care.

Bob Simpson was re-elected as the MLA for Cariboo North on May 12, 2009. He was first elected to the Legislature in 2005.


Bob serves as opposition critic for Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.


A former small business owner and entrepreneur, Bob was most recently Corporate Manager, Organizational Effectiveness and Leadership Development for a major forest products company.


Born in Scotland, Bob's family immigrated to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1967 and he moved to British Columbia in 1973 when he joined the Canadian Navy. He has two undergraduate degrees and a Teaching Certificate from the University of Victoria.


Bob is a former National Triathlon Champion in his age group and was named BC’s Male Triathlete of the Year in 2002; he is also an avid mountain biker and runner.


Bob, his wife Trish, and their two teenage children live in Quesnel

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

MLA Nicholas Simons - Powell River-Sunshine Coast

Creator God, You have blessed the Sunshine Coast with ocean, mountains, lakes, forests-a beautiful masterpiece.


You have blessed us with a caring and thoughtful MLA, Nicholas Simons.  Honor his commitment and sacrifice to his constituents with wisdom, compassion and understanding.  Guide his heart and mind in the issues that concern us. Help him to work well here with the various people groups he tries to represent.

And,Oh Lord, bless our riding with wisdom from above as Nicholas represents us in the Legislature, voicing our needs and concerns to the larger governmental body.

We thank you for Nicholas and pray your hand will always be upon him.


Nicholas Simons was elected as the MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast on May 17, 2005 and again on May 12, 2009.


Nicholas serves as Opposition Critic for Children and Family Development.


Nicholas spent over fifteen years working in the areas of health, justice, social services and child welfare. For the past eight years he served as the Director of Health and Social Development for the Sechelt Nation, where he was the Executive Director of Child and Family Services.


Prior to his employment with the Band, he worked as a child-protection social worker and as a consultant for private firms and various governments in areas including law reform, child welfare, legal education and crime prevention.


Nicholas lectured in Criminology, taught child-protection social work to those working in aboriginal communities, and is a proponent of First Nations autonomy in child welfare.


Nicholas is a cello teacher and performer, former-President of the Sunshine Coast Arts Council and has served as a coach with Sechelt Minor Softball.


Nicholas lives with his partner on the Sunshine Coast

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

MLA Michael Sather - Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows

Lord, we come to you today for Michael Sather, MLA for Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows.


Heavenly Father, we thank you for leaders who are passionate about the environment and nature.  We are especially thankful for Mr. Sathers interest in caring for the wilderness and his experience in agriculture, the environment, education, small business, social services and health care.

We ask, Father, that you will network him with other like-minded men and women, on both sides of the house. We ask that out of their discussions will come forth many new ideas and plans that 'all things will work together for good'. May his training and background be appreciated by all who hear him speak, and wisdom flow from him in such a way that, although a member of the Opposition, his ideas will produce rich fruit for our Province.


We ask this in Jesus' Name.  Amen

Michael Sather was re-elected as the MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows on May 12, 2009. He was first elected to the Legislature in 2005. Michael serves as deputy opposition critic for Environment. Michael attained a teaching certificate from the University of Alberta and taught school in Alberta. Michael later attained his Bachelor of Science in Zoology at the University of Alberta. He moved to British Columbia in 1974 and pursued a career studying wildlife for the next ten years. In 1985 he became a wilderness guide and set up a small business as owner/operator of Hummingbird Nature Tours in Maple Ridge.






Michael also served as the Constituency Assistant to former NDP MLA Bill Hartley.


Michael attained his Masters Degree in Psychology in 1998 and was employed as a Mental Health Therapist for the Fraser Health Authority for three and a half years prior to being elected MLA.


Michael has an extensive background and experience in agriculture, education, environment, small business, social services and health care. Michael lives with his spouse, writer and conservationist Annette LeBox. He has two stepchildren, Christian and Sara.

Monday, November 23, 2009

MLA John Rustad - Nechako Lakes

Father, we come to you today for John Rustad of the Nechako Lakes riding.  You know his extensive background in forestry and his ability to work on innovative projects.


We ask, Lord, that you will fill his mind with wisdom, that he may use his background knowledge and his ability to bring new ideas into focus, to bring great prosperity to the region he is representing.

You have given us our forests, Father, and for them we are truly grateful. We ask that they will be managed and harvested wisely for the good of all people in our Province.

You have also raised John to be a member of several Select Standing Committees with social and financial applications.

We pray for his family and his riding, that they may prosper at this time and be blessed because of your hand on this man.  We pray all this in the great Name of Jesus. Amen.

John Rustad was re-elected to represent the newly redistributed riding of Nechako Lakes on May 12, 2009, and was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Silviculture to the Minister of Forests and Range on June 10, 2009. He was previously elected as MLA for the riding of Prince George-Omineca in the 2005 provincial election.


John currently co-chairs the Farm Assessment Review Panel and has chaired the Select Standing Committee on Crown Corporations, the Select Standing Committee to Appoint a Police Complaint Commissioner and the Government Caucus Committee on Social Development. He was also a member of the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth, the Select Standing Committee on Education, the Selection Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services and the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts.


Since 2005, John has chaired the Northern Caucus of B.C. and has toured extensively throughout the North to listen and bring forward issues that affect those communities. He is also a chair of B.C.’s Outdoor Caucus and government representative to PNWER (Pacific Northwest Economic Region).


Born and raised in Prince George, John has worked in the forest industry for more than 20 years. He formed Western Geographic Information Systems Inc. in 1995, offering a consulting service to the forest industry. Previously he was the Geographic Information Systems department manager for Timberline Forest Inventory Consultants in Prince George. John also owns a woodlot license and has been involved in land development projects.


Elected as a school trustee in 2002, John has worked on innovative projects throughout the district, including the South Fort George Family Resource Centre, a project designed to combine social services from a variety of agencies. John also championed the renovation and expansion of the College Heights Secondary School (CHSS) through a self-financed project; and advocated for the new Trade and Technical Program of Excellence for Grade 10-12 students and the Healthy Choices Committee designed to promote healthy choices in diet and exercise within schools.


John and his wife Kim were married in 1995. John is an avid soccer player and he and Kim enjoy theatre, golf, skiing and the outdoors.