Monday, December 31, 2012

MLA: Robin Austin - Skeena

Heavenly Father, hear our petition on behalf of MLA: Robin Austin opposition critic for Education and Chair of the caucus committee on Social Policy. Give him new and beneficial ideas for improving the Educational and the Social Systems of our province. May he continue to present his suggestions in the legislature with clarity, sincerity and passion for that which he believes is right and good. Bless him with energy and good health as he serves those that he represents.  We pray a special blessing of honour on him for all his earnest labours.  Strengthen his wife and children and may they encourage this man of ability and dedication.  We pray in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus. 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 and Chair of the caucus committee on Social Policy.

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 young adults

Sunday, December 30, 2012

MLA: George Abbott - Shuswap

Heavenly Father, we thank You for MLA: George Abbott and his service and dedication to the citizens of British Columbia that he has demonstrated in a variety of roles while serving in our Legislative Assembly. As he is in a transitional phase of his life, we pray that You will continue to lead, guide and direct his path. Give him a clear vision of what this next phase of life looks like and the key relationships that he will need to pursue during the transition .  Bless MLA Abbott with a double portion of your Holy Spirit to guide him in all his decisions. Bless his wife and children as they journey along in partnership with him.  In the name of Jesus. Amen and Amen.

George Abbott most recently served as Minister of Education. Previously, he served as Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.  He was re-elected as MLA for the Shuswap on May 12, 2009. George is also a member of the Priorities and Planning Committee and the Cabinet Committee on Families First.

Prior to the 2009 election, he served as Minister of Health, 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, December 27, 2012

MLA: Hon. John Yap - Richmond-Steveston - Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism

Gracious Lord, we lift up MLA: Honourable John Yap to You in prayer. Thank You for the experience, the skill and the wisdom that he brings to his appointment as Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism as well as his role as MLA for Richmond-Steveston. Grant him favour with those he works with each day and open his eyes to new ways to approach the problems and challenges that come across his desk each day. Bless him with health and strength as we go forward into the New Year. Amen.

John Yap was appointed Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism on September 5, 2012.

John was first elected in the riding of Richmond-Steveston in 2005 and was re-elected on May 12, 2009.

He previously served as the Minister of State for Climate Action and as the chair of the Government Caucus. He was also a member of the Treasury Board, the Legislative Review Cabinet Committee, as well as the Select Standing Committees on Public Accounts, Crown Corporations and Finance and Government Services. He has also served as a member of the Special Committee on Sustainable Aquaculture.

John attended the University of British Columbia and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and obtained his Masters of Business Administration.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

MLA: Hon. Naomi Yamamoto - MLA: Hon. Naomi Yamamoto North Vancouver-Lonsdale - Minister of State for Small Business

Thank You, Father, for the MLA: Honourable Naomi Yamamoto. We are blessed in British Columbia to have her serve as Minister of State for Small Business. Grant her grace and wisdom as she serves her constituents in North Vancouver-Lonsdale and the people of British Columbia in her roles in Cabinet. Protect her as she travels and help her to find time for reflection and regeneration. May the New Year be one of extra special blessing for her. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

Naomi Yamamoto was appointed Minister of State for Small Business on September 5, 2012. Naomi is also a member of the Cabinet Committee on Jobs and Skills Training.

First elected as MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale in the 2009 general provincial election, Naomi previously served as Minister of Advanced Education, Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations, and Minister of State for Building Code Renewal.

Naomi had been the president and owner of Tora Design Group in North Vancouver for 21 years. She also enjoyed working with the business community as the president and general manager of the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce.

She also 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. As well, she represented the North Vancouver Chamber on the North Shore 2010 Spirit Committee and Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism Association Board.

In 1997, Naomi served as chair of the BC Chamber of Commerce. She completed a six-year term on the board of Capilano College, with the last three years as chair. She also enjoyed six 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.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

MLA: John van Dongen - Abbotsford South

Heavenly Father it is truly a privilege to have the freedom to come before You in prayer and to pray for those that serve You in this province. We thank You, Father, for people like MLA: John van Dongen and his many years of dedicated service. Be with him and his family as we enter this New Year.  Bless them with health and safety.  We pray that as MLA van Dongen reflects on the year past and looks ahead to 2013 that you will fill him with renewed vision and commitment for the tasks you are continuing to call him to fulfill. In Jesus' name, Amen.

John van Dongen, one of the longest serving MLAs in the B.C. Legislature, has represented Abbotsford voters since 1995.

He was re-elected in 1996, 2001, and 2005 and began representing the new riding of Abbotsford South in the spring of 2009.  During that time, he has held a variety of posts, including Solicitor General and Minister of Public Safety, Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.

John has called Abbotsford home for more than 30 years, and before his election to the Legislative Assembly operated his own successful dairy farm.

He was actively involved in farm organizations and business for 20 years, serving as the Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Dairyland and as a board member of Agrifoods International Co-operative (Dairyland), BC Dairy Foundation, BC Federation of Dairyman’s Association and the Federal Farm Debt Review Board.

John, the oldest of seven children, was born in Canada after his parents emigrated from Holland.  He is the father to two adult sons and has two grandchildren.  John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of British Columbia.

Monday, December 24, 2012

MLA: Claire Trevena - North Island

Father, we pray that MLA: Claire Trevena will continue to represent the people of the North Island with the same committment and dedication that she has shown to this point.  Continue to surround her with those who will support and encourage her as she fulfills her mandate as opposition critic for Children and Family Development. May she also realize how much her efforts are appreciated by those she serves. Give her a renewed sense of strength, purpose and vision as the New Year approaches. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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

Claire serves as opposition critic for Children and Family Development.

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.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

MLA: Joe Trasolini - Port Moody-Coquitlam

Jesus, we thank You for the leaders that You have as members of the the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. We pray that You will continue to give MLA: Joe Trasolini direction, wisdom and strength as he tackles his responsibilities as an MLA. We ask that You will help him bring new perspectives to the legislature that will see new direction and initiatives pursued leading to innovative legislation. Protect him and keep him in good health. May he experience an extra special time of refreshing during the Christmas season. In Jesus' name we ask this.  

Joe Trasolini immigrated to British Columbia in 1963 from his birthplace in Italy. He graduated from the BCIT Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering Technology Program, and worked in the public and private sector. Since 1985, Trasolini has owned and managed a contracting firm based in BC.

In 1996, Trasolini was elected to Port Moody City Council, and in 1999 was elected Mayor. During his four terms in the mayor’s office, Port Moody has received a number of awards for sustainability initiatives and good management practices. Trasolini was the first mayor in British Columbia to institute a weekly open door session, an opportunity for constituents to meet with the mayor and raise issues important to them.

Trasolini served as a Director of Metro Vancouver, and on the Translink Mayor’s Council where he has successfully secured funding for the Evergreen Line Skytrain expansion.

Joe was elected on April 19, 2012.  He currently serves as the official Opposition Critic for Housing, Construction, and Business Development.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

MLA: Jane Thornthwaite - North Vancouver-Seymour

Lord Jesus, we are grateful that You have MLA: Jane Thornthwaite serving in our legislature.  We thank You for her enthusiasm and diligence in her role as Parliamentary Secretary for Student Support and Parent Engagement to the Minister of Education. We pray that she will be able to use her experience as a school board trustee and chair to make public education in British Columbia all that it can be. May she have an extra special Christmas season with her family and close friends. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Jane Thornthwaite was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Student Support and Parent Engagement to the Minister of Education on September 5, 2012.
She was elected MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour in the 2009 general provincial election. She is a member of the Cabinet Committee on Families First.
She previously served on the Select Standing Commitees on Children and Youth, Education and Finance and Government Services.
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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

MLA: Diane Thorne - Coquitlam-Maillardville

Father, we thank You for MLA: Diane Thorne. We ask that Your peace that passes all understanding would surround her and her every decision as she walks through this coming year. May her thoughts be Your thoughts and her ways be Your ways. We pray that You will bless her work and her family members as they continue loving, caring and encouraging her. Give her strength and wisdom and let her know her efforts are appreciated. In Jesus' name we ask this. Amen.

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.

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.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

MLA: Hon. Steve Thomson - Kelowna-Mission - Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Father, we give You thanks for MLA: Hon. Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. We pray that You will give him supernatural wisdom and vision as he oversees the many natural resources that You have given us in this wonderful province.  We thank You that You have appointed him to fulfill Your purposes for this time and season. May he know that You, Lord, guide and direct his every step and that You walk with him. May he and his family enjoy a Happy and Joyous Christmas and a prosperous New Year. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen

Steve Thomson is the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

He previously served as Minister of Natural Resource Operations, Minister of Energy, and Minister of Agriculture and Lands.

Born and raised in Kelowna, Steve comes from a pioneer family who continues to operate the original family farm established in 1896. He was elected to represent the riding of Kelowna-Mission on May 12, 2009.

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 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.

Monday, December 17, 2012

MLA: Hon. Ralph Sultan - West Vancouver-Capilano - Minister of State for Seniors

Father, we thank You for MLA: Hon. Ralph Sultan, Minister of State for Seniors. May You enable him to put to effective use the knowledge that he has gained in a long career in both the private and now public sector  in order to improve the lives of seniors in our province.  We thank You that You surround him and cover him through every season of life that he walks through. May he know and feel Your love and walk in Your wisdom and revelation. We pray that Your blessing and favor would rest upon him and his family. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Ralph Sultan was appointed Minister of State for Seniors on September 5, 2012.

He was elected to the B.C. 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 Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts Committee, and as 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.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

MLA: Hon. Dr. Moira Stilwell - Vancouver-Langara - Minister of Social Development

Lord, we thank You that You have called MLA: Hon. Dr. Moira Stilwell to serve in our legislative assembly. We thank You that the knowledge she obtained as a leader in the Health Care sector she has chosen to bring to the tasks of helping govern our great province. Continue to give her vision, wisdom, strength and strategic relationships to aid her in implementing the legislation and programs she desires to see in place for the good of our citizens. May she and her family experience a very Merry Christmas season and a happy and prosperous New Year. Amen.

Dr. Moira Stilwell was appointed Minister of Social Development on September 5, 2012. 

Moira was elected MLA for Vancouver-Langara in the 2009 provincial general election. She previously served as Parliamentary Secretary for Industry, Research and Innovation to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health with a focus on Health Innovation. She also served as Vice Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Jobs and Economic Growth.

She previously served as Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development from June 2009 to October 2010.

Moira is a radiologist and nuclear medicine physician who worked 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.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

MLA: Hon. Ben Stewart - Westside-Kelowna - Minister of Citizens' Services and Open Government

Father, we thank You for MLA: Hon. Ben Stewart and his vast experience in the area of community service. We are grateful also for his expertise in the area of business and commerce in our province and also Canada at large. Lord, we pray that You will open up many opportunities for Minister Stewart to be able to employ these skills in unique and effective ways in the fulfillment of his portfolio as Minister of Citizens' Services and Open Government. May this Christmas Season be a time of relaxation, rejuvenation and reconnection with family and those who he is closest to. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Ben Stewart was appointed Minister of Citizens’ Services and Open Government on September 5, 2012.

Elected as the MLA for Westside-Kelowna in 2009, Ben previously served as the Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Community and Rural Development, Minister of Citizens' Services, and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism and the Public Affairs Bureau.

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 his wife of 30 years Ruth and has three grown children.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

MLA: John Slater - Boundary-Similkameen

Lord, we thank You that MLA: John Slater has many years experience in community service to the people of of the South Okanagan and British Columbia. May his desire to see positive changes in our government and and its usage of our resources continue to bring about improvements in the quality of life that we all enjoy in our province.  Connect him with those that are are like minded. May he have a relaxing and refreshing holiday season. In Jesus' name. Amen.

John Slater is the MLA for Boundary-Similkameen and serves on the Cabinet Committee on Open Government and Engagement.

John previously served as Parliamentary Secretary for Water Supply and Allocation to the Minister of Environment. He has also served on the Environment and Land Use Committee, and the Parliamentary Select Standing Committees on Aboriginal Affairs, Legislative Initiatives, and Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders, and Private Bills.

He also owns 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 an additional 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 and District Recreation Commission, the Osoyoos Child & Youth Committee, the Osoyoos Chamber of Commerce, the Okanagan Regional Library, the Interior Vegetable Marketing Agency and Greenhouse Growers Association, Chair of the Okanagan Basin Water Board 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.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

MLA: Shane Simpson - Vancouver-Hastings

Dear God, we ask Your blessing on MLA: Shane Simpson today as well as his family and his constituency.  Give them treasures of goodness from Your hand and may their hearts be full of gratitude for the privileges and freedoms that we enjoy in our province and country.  Guide and shape MLA Simpson’s leadership so that it continues to be characterized by honesty, integrity and a love for the truth.  Let his actions be rewarded by bringing improvements to the conditions in his constituency and our province.  In Your name, we pray, Amen.

Shane Simpson was re-elected as the MLA for Vancouver-Hastings on May 12, 2009. He was first elected to the Legislature in 2005.

Shane serves as Official Opposition Caucus Chair and critic for Labour.

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.


Monday, December 10, 2012

MLA: Bob Simpson - Cariboo North

 Heavenly Father, we ask for a time of refreshing for MLA: Bob Simpson.  Give him fresh insight into his responsibilities and a deeper understanding of the many people who are affected by his actions.  Let him work with a competence that is beyond his natural abilities.  In this Christmas season, give him a fresh awareness of Your great gift of love for him and his family.  Bless and protect them we pray, 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. He began sitting as an Independent MLA in December of 2010.

While in Opposition, Bob was the critic for Forestry and for Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. As an Independent, Bob works towards Electoral and Democratic reform, as well as working to solve issues important to his constituents and to British Columbians with both the Government and Opposition in a non-partisan matter.

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.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

MLA: Nicholas Simons - Powell River-Sunshine Coast

Lord, You know our MLA: Nicholas Simons and his thoughts, desires, words and actions.  Your hand is upon him.  We pray he would honour those who elected him by serving and leading them in ways that are approved by You.  Give him clarity of mind to make wise decisions and a voice that is willing to speak up at the right time.  Accomplish Your good purpose in and through him. We pray in Jesus' name, Amen.

Nicholas Simons was first elected as MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast on May 17, 2005.

Nicholas has spent over fifteen years working in the areas of health, justice, social services and child welfare.

Nicholas serves as opposition critic for community living and deputy critic for social development and housing.

Prior to his employment with the Sechelt Nation, he worked as a child-protection social worker for the Ministry for Children and Family Development, as a Financial Assistance Worker, and as the Crime Prevention Coordinator for the Northwest Territories.  He has been a consultant for the Federal, Northwest Territories, and First Nations governments in areas including law reform, child welfare, and legal. 

He has lectured in Criminology at Simon Fraser University (SFU), in which he has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Ottawa (1986) and a Master's degree from SFU (1993).  He has taught child-protection social work to social workers working in First Nations communities.

Nicholas has been active in the arts community both as a cello teacher and performer.  He has performed and recorded with local, national and international artists and is the former President of the Sunshine Coast Arts Council.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

MLA: Michael Sather - Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows

Lord,  we thank You for the giftings and abilities that You have given to MLA: Michael Sather. We thank You that he is a man who is persistent and desires to do his best for those in his constituency and this province. We ask that in his pursuit to have honest government that You would give him wisdom and lead him into the areas where he can cause effective change making our province an even more desirable place to live and work. We ask this in the name of Jesus.

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 and Fisheries critic.

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.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

MLA: John Rustad - Nechako Lakes

We ask, Father, that You would bless MLA: John Rustad. We ask for wisdom and revelation and quick understanding for him and those that work in his office.  We pray that You would give him the ability to see not only what the issues are but also the ability to spot any hidden issues that could effect the people of British Columbia.  As there are many that lean on him for support and direction, we ask that as the Christmas season approaches it will be a season of rest and restoration for him. In Jesus' name, Amen.

John Rustad was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Forestry to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations on September 5, 2012.

He was re-elected to represent Nechako Lakes on May 12, 2009, and 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 Special Committee on Timber Supply, the Select Standing Committee on Crown Corporations, the Special Committee to Appoint a Police Complaint Commissioner and the Government Caucus Committee on Social Development. He is a current member of the Select Standing Committee on Health, and has also been 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.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

MLA: Doug Routley - Nanaimo-North Cowichan

Father, We thank You for the vision, tenacity and pursuit for honest government that is in MLA: Doug Routley's heart.  We ask that You would grant him fresh eyes to see and ears to hear what is on Your heart and Your agenda.  We also ask that You would surround him with wise counselors and those that have a right spirit and that together they would move forward and witness those positive changes in British Columbia that You desire. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Doug Routley was elected as the MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan on May 12, 2009. He served as MLA for Cowichan-Ladysmith from May 17, 2005 until the riding boundaries were re-drawn.

Doug serves as opposition critic for Citizens’ Services and Open Government and is deputy Health critic.

Doug was born May 9, 1961 in New Westminster, BC and grew up in Duncan.

He comes from a family of educators and attended the public schools of the Cowichan Valley and attended Camosun College before traveling to Japan, where he lived and worked for one year.

Doug has experience in logging, as a sawmill worker, treeplanter and in construction. He also has been a business owner and operator, school custodian and School Trustee.

While in Japan, Doug taught English and studied Sumea, traditional Japanese ink painting. He was a bicycle racer and while training in Japan, met a bicycle manufacturer. After his return to Canada, Doug established a bicycle retail and wholesale company which had dealers throughout Canada and the USA.

Doug has two daughters, Sasha and Madeline.

Monday, December 3, 2012

MLA: Bill Routley - Cowichan Valley

Heavenly Father, we are grateful that MLA: Bill Routley, official opposition critic for Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, entered the arena of British Columbia politics. We thank You that he is able to use his many years of expertise in the Forest Industry and related environmental issues in guiding our legislature's oversight of the natural resources that our province has. Provide him all of the resources, vision, wisdom, strength, personnel and contacts, required to  fulfill the plans he has to both employ and sustain our natural resources. May this Christmas season be a time of refreshing and relaxation with family and friends. Amen.

Bill Routley was elected MLA for Cowichan Valley on May 12, 2009.

Bill serves as deputy official opposition critic for Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

Bill began his career in the Forest industry working at the Youbou Sawmill where he became active first as the Safety Chairman, and then as Plant Chairman. He was elected the President of IWA Local 1-80; now USW-Steelworkers Local 1-1937.

Bill served as a Pension Trustee on the IWA-Forest Industry Pension Plan. He was a member of the IWA-Forest Industry Pension Audit Committee, and was a Trustee on the IWA-Forest Industry Health and Welfare Benefit Plan. Bill's service to the community includes five years as a School Trustee in Lake Cowichan (1980 -1985).

Bill and his wife Charmaine enjoy the company of their two grown children, son Noah and daughter Alisha who have provided the gift of five wonderful grandchildren; ages four to nine years. While Bill and Charmaine currently reside in Duncan, they started their family in Youbou and then lived at Marble Bay on Lake Cowichan for many years. Bill and Charmaine were very active in Lake Cowichan with their involvement in Boy Scouts (Beavers) and Girl Guides.

Bill and Charmaine owned a home decorating business "Decorating Den" for many years.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

MLA: Linda Reid - Richmond East

Lord, we are blessed and honored to have MLA: Linda Reid serving in our legislature for more that two decades in a variety of roles and currently as Deputy Speaker. We pray that You will continue to open up many opportunities for her to be able to use and apply the expertise that she acquired over her years of public service. Renew her strength, commitment and vision as she continues to serve. May she realize that although she can look back on many accomplishments to this point that the best is still to come. May the Holiday Season be a time of extra special times with her family and friends. Thank You Jesus. Amen.

Linda Reid is the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and has served since June, 2009. Previously, she was Minister of State for Childcare from June, 2005 to June, 2009 and the Minister of State for Early Childhood Development from June, 2001 to June, 2005. She was first elected in 1991 to represent the riding of Richmond East and was re-elected in 1996, 2001, 2005 and 2009.

Linda previously served in a variety of critic roles for the Official Opposition, including children and families, health, attorney general, municipal affairs, and science, technology and research.  She was also the Opposition Caucus Chair.

She has served on Treasury Board, and on the Select Standing Committee to Appoint a Child, Youth and Family Advocate, the Select Standing Committee to Appoint a Police Complaints Commissioner, the Select Standing Committee on Transportation, Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Select Standing Committee on Crown Corporations.

Before her election to the Legislative Assembly, Linda worked as a language therapist, teacher and school administrator for the Richmond School District.

She graduated from the University of British Columbia with an education degree and earned a master of arts from UBC specializing in education, exceptional learners, language acquisition and public administration.

Linda was the BC chair for the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind and a director of the Garden City Hospice Society. She has been active in the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, the Asia-Pacific Business Association, and the Canadian Council for Exceptional Children and the Family Court Committee of Richmond. She was a founding member of the Richmond Chinatown Lions Club and was chair of the British Columbia Youth Parliament board from 1986 to 1991.

Linda and her husband Sheldon live in Richmond and have two children – Olivia and Will.