Sunday, January 3, 2010
Hon. Bill Bennett - Minister of Community and Rural Development, Member for Kootenay East
Bill Bennett was re-elected as MLA for Kootenay East on May 12, 2009 and appointed Minister of Community and Rural Development on June 10, 2009.
Bill Bennett was previously appointed Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts on June 23, 2008. In 2007, he became Chair of the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, a member of the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth, and Chair of the BC Outdoor Caucus. He previously served as Minister of State for Mining.
Bill Bennett was elected to represent the riding of East Kootenay in the 2001 provincial election and re-elected in 2005. Bill served on the Government Caucus Committee on Natural Resources and is a member of the Kootenay Caucus. He was also deputy chair of the Parliamentary Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts, a member of the Government Caucus Committee on Natural Resources, a member of the Premier's Olympic Live Sites Committee, the Caucus Committee on Treaties, the Waste Management Review Committee and is a legislative member of the committee for the Pacific Northwest Economic Region. Bill served on the Committee of Development of the Provincial Noxious Weed Strategy, the Land Use Task Force as well as the Small Scale Salvage Committee and the Mining Task Force.
He formerly served as deputy chair of the Legislative Select Standing Committee on Crown Corporations and as a member of the Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct Committee, Standing Orders and Private Bills Committee.
Before being elected, Bill was a partner in a Cranbrook law firm. In 1976, he earned an honours degree in English from the University of Guelph and in 1992 a law degree from Queen's University.
Bill owned and operated successful fly-in wilderness lodges in the Northwest Territories and Manitoba from 1977 to 1992. In 1988, he worked as a tourism consultant with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs and to the Manitoba Keewatin Tribal Council.
Bill was a Cranbrook Rotary Club member who has also served as BC Chamber of Commerce first vice-chair (1999), Cranbrook & District Chamber of Commerce president (1997 & 1998), Kootenay Ice WHL franchise committee member (1998), and Kootenay Bar Association president (1998). In 1997 and 1998 he was elected Cranbrook Business Person of the Year.
Born in 1950, Bill and his wife Beth married in 1974 and have two children, Dylan and Daniel. They have lived in the constituency since 1994. Bill is a passionate snowboarder who also hunts, fishes and hikes.