History of service
For two decades I served my country both at home and overseas. It was my privilege to serve not only as a member of the Canadian Forces but more recently as an expert witness for the Senate and House of Commons. I am honoured to be a member of advisory committees and advocate on behalf of Canadian veterans and their families.
Father, husband and brother-in-arms.
My wife and I have four children: Sydney is 14, Gypsy 12, Liam 12 and Owen 10. Our discussions at home are always lively and sometimes, heated as each child navigates their way to their own opinions. Sydney has had the privilege of going to UBC this summer working on a Biomedical Engineering course that has led us down some interesting avenues of debate.
This week has left me with significant concerns for our Province. We have one child going to UBC and one to New Westminster, without the help of my brother-in-arms, who commutes daily to UBC as an electrician on new $1 million townhomes, this would be impossible to pull off because our infrastructure is so dysfunctional. Both the George Massey Tunnel and the Alex Fraser are in gridlock every morning, every afternoon. How are we going to get the talented youth from Langley to UBC? Our infrastructure or the lack of it, is going to impede the progress of our children’s futures.
Decaying infrastructure and mounting debt
BC’s mounting debt, the lack of a coherent jobs policy, the escalating costs on what few infrastructure projects are being undertaken and the very real fear that we will not be able to fund our environmental and social programming are deeply worrying.
A lack of foresight and planning has already seen the program for Electric Vehicles sliced by the BC NDP. Logistics and the dull work of planning is a cornerstone of good governance, there is a frightening lack of it in our current government which is holding on by a hair’s breadth.
Government business should be boring!
My NDP loving wife is kindly working on gathering all my testimonies over the years to both Senate and House of Commons. She has been vocal about the dullness of this task, and there have been a lot of heavy sighs. Yes. The work of committees is dull, plodding and pedantic. It should be. That’s how we gather all the facts, opinions and debate to make informed decisions. There is a shocking lack of respect for committees and their collective advice to the BC NDP: ride-sharing being a prime example of this!
Working hard with focus on detail, measured and open to other opinions is absolutely critical to being a good servant to the people of BC. Listening and being available to constituents is crucial. Honesty, responsibility, accountability and integrity in all things are the measure of a Legislative Assembly Member.
No environment protection without prosperity.
People that are economically insecure will do whatever necessary to gain that security, for many in BC that all too often means moving out of our Province to find work, affordable housing and a cost of living that is achievable. Those that remain do not have the luxury of thinking or acting green.
I believe that a good jobs plan is our social security network, our hospital support mechanism, our school protection fund. A strong, predictable and dynamic economy allows us to invest in our environment and social programming.
The enemy of social support is not business.
The enemy of social support is not business, it is public debt. Some of the social programs we dream of for our kids could actually be done with the stroke of a pen, if we could assign our debt servicing payments to that problem. http://www.debtclock.ca/provincial-debtclocks/british-columbia/british-columbia-s-debt/
Debt is our children’s enemy.
We can not claim in truth to care about our future, and say that we want the next decade to be progressively better, while the next generation is saddled with debt payments from the last. We are dumping our problems on our children, that is irresponsible and unnecessary.
Jobs and security will save our environment.
The environment was damaged by years of neglect, it can regenerate with years of positive action. That action requires an employed population that creates a tax base for the province. A family that feels financially secure will make green choices at home. This will not be done overnight. We can not ban our way there. A sustained focus on good jobs close to home will do more to clean the air and protect the water, than shutting down any individual project, or banning any one substance or emission.
Empower industry to save the planet.
The use of harmful substances and emissions can be brought to light with advocacy and education. However it only stops being used when we have developed viable alternatives. Harmful products and practices need to be identified. Those best suited to know this are those employed in those actual industries. I envision a province where industry specialists are our environment activists, as they know the space best. With government authentically consulting with them: mining their expertise and industry specific knowledge, and incentivizing their green recommendations government can then get out of the way of industry being on the side of the environment.
Debt is the enemy, not jobs, not industry.
Debt is the enemy, not jobs and not industry. A strong jobs plan, backed up with a solid debt reduction program will provide our children with the future they deserve and allow us to retire with them close to home, instead of living in Saskatchewan.