Father,we offer our prayers to You today for MLA: Hon. Bill Bennett. God, we pray that You help him lead in a way that is both positive and effective. These are times in which all our leaders need wisdom and guidance from You, the creator of all things. Lord God, help him in all that he puts his hand to in the work he is doing on behalf of everyone in British Columbia. May Your supreme guidance be with this leader in many ways throughout the year. We pray this sincerely for Minister Bennett. May You also be with his family in all of their endeavours. Thank You Lord. Amen.
Bill was appointed Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development on September 5, 2012.
He 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 previously served as Minister of Energy, Mines and 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 Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, the B.C. Outdoor Caucus, the Kootenay Caucus, and chaired the Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides. He has also been a member of various parliamentary committees, including the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth, the Select Standing Committee on Crown Corporations, the Select Standing Committee on Health, and the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts. He has also served on many 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.