I first stepped foot in this beautiful province at the age of four. Coming from Australia, I was lucky that my parents chose Kamloops to raise a young family. Each day I left our modest home to go to school, hike or fish – depending on the day of the week. The Interior was a wonderful place for a young boy to live, and I was constantly adventuring in the great outdoors of our beautiful province. Even at a young age, I knew I wanted to make British Columbia my home forever – regardless of where life took me before adulthood.
My mom hadn’t had a chance to finish high-school because of World War II. So she instilled in me and my siblings the importance of working hard to get as much education as we possibly could. Her drive for us to get a good education and make something of our lives has been the key to all of our successes.
My admission on a scholarship to the University of Alberta was a big deal for me and my family. I pumped gas and worked on chicken farms through much of my young adulthood to get my degree, and I continued to work hard on my education, eventually graduating from both medical and law school.
Ready to give something back to the province I considered home, I returned to British Columbia fresh out of school. As a physician, I had the unique and fulfilling opportunity to work in rural and remote communities throughout British Columbia including Dease Lake, Lillooet and Campbell River. My eyes were opened to the varying challenges that these communities faced and how different they were from the challenges people faced in southwest British Columbia.
As a lawyer, I visited countless communities across the province. I saw the effects of boom and bust economies and the societal impacts that occur in any town, large or small, when families don’t have a steady income and access to opportunity.
After witnessing the damaging effect that the BC NDP had on British Columbia in the 1990’s, I became President of the BC Liberal Party – and I was focused on renewal of the party. I was proud to be on hand to see the BC Liberal Party bring free-enterprise back to B.C. in the 2001 election.
I wanted to contribute however I could to restoring hope and opportunity to B.C., and did so this time as a public servant. I was appointed as a Deputy Minister of Economic Development in the B.C. government, and in that role helped to turn the province’s economy around from the have-not status we had fallen to under the NDP.
In 2013, I took an additional step in public service and put my name on a ballot. Thankfully, the voters in the riding entrusted me with the honour of representing their views in Victoria. Still today, I am humbled to sit down with my constituents and act as a listening post and as a conduit for their ideas. I was privileged to be chosen to serve in several cabinet positions during my time in Victoria, including Advanced Education and Attorney General & Minister of Justice. All of my experiences add up. I understand and love British Columbia from corner to corner.
And I'm ready to lead.
I have three wonderful, smart, accomplished kids just setting out in life. Like most parents, my wife and I worry about what the future holds, and if they’ll be able to stay here. Our children and grandchildren deserve the same opportunities that B.C. has shown me throughout my life. The potential of our great province is limitless, and we need a leader who can bring that opportunity for all of B.C.