We want to thank You for MLA: Hon. Bill Bennett and the experience and knowledge that he brings with him to our legislature. We are grateful that he is a person who is not afraid of taking on new challenges in the public sector that are beneficial to the people of British Columbia. We lift him up to You and ask that You would continue to be with him in the new role of Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development that he has recently taken on. Give him keen insights and quick understanding in this area. May he receive renewed encouragement from family, friends, colleagues and constituents in the process. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Bill was first elected to represent the riding of Kootenay East in the southeast corner of British Columbia, Canada, in 2001, re-elected in 2005 and in 2009. Bill has served as Minister of Energy, Mines & Petroleum Resources, Minister of Community and Rural Development, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, and Minister of State for Mining.
Bill has chaired the BC Legislative Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, the B.C. Outdoor Caucus, the Kootenay Caucus and currently chairs the BC Legislative Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides. He has also been a member of various legislative committees, including the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth, the Select Standing Committee on Crown Corporations, Select Standing Committee on Health, and the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts. He has also served on many other government committees, particularly focused on land use and natural resource issues.
Before being elected, Bill was a partner in a law firm in Cranbrook. In 1976, he earned an honours degree in English from the University of Guelph and in 1992, at the age of 42, a law degree from Queen’s University. Bill owned and operated fly-in wilderness fishing and hunting lodges in the Northwest Territories and Manitoba from 1977 to 1993. Bill served as president of the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce in 1997 and 1998 and was incoming chair of the BC Chamber of Commerce in 2000 when he made the decision to enter provincial politics. Bill was twice elected Cranbrook Business Person of the Year and served as president of the Kootenay Bar Association.
Bill and his wife Beth married in 1974 and have two sons, Dylan and Daniel. Bill enjoys the outdoors by hunting, fishing, hiking and snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies.