As your NDP candidate for Arm River, I commit to serving the constituency and the province with integrity and passion for a better future for Saskatchewan people. I hope that the following brief outline of who I am, my commitment to public service and good public policy, will convince you to choose me as your MLA for Arm River.
I was born and took my schooling in Saskatoon, graduating from Kelsey Institute with a degree in Renewable Resources. Weekends and summers were spent on our family farm northeast of Hanley on the edge of the Allan Hills. I started working my own land in 1975, and continue to work with my two brothers on a grain operation that grows mostly cereals and oilseeds on owned and rented land.
I married my wife Beverley in 1984, and we have three children. Our eldest girl is living in Ontario doing post-doctoral work in Kitchener-Waterloo, while our two youngest are living and working in Saskatoon.
Bev and I purchased the Shell service station in Hanley in 2002 and set up a supply shed that distributed farm inputs for a major Saskatchewan independent dealer. We developed the Shell business over the years and continued to supply farm inputs for over a decade until we sold the business in 2015.
My involvement in politics started when the federal Conservative government embarked on its path to destroy the Canadian Wheat Board. In 2008 district farmers elected me as a pro-Board director to the CWB, where I served until 2011, when its farmer control was eliminated.
In 2014 Saskatchewan farmers elected me as a director to the newly formed Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission, where I served as its first Chair for two years. I was re-elected in 2016, and finished my final term in January of 2020.
In 2017 I was elected to the Executive of the National Farmers Union and served as Vice President of Operations for two years and VP of Policy for one year. I stepped down in November 2019.
My involvement with farm politics, and running a local business, have given me a strong background in the history, principles and practices that influence agriculture and rural life today. I have a personal understanding and knowledge of its policies and participants. In agriculture as in all rural life, we are stronger if we work together for the benefit of everyone, and invest in the success of our local communities.
I have seen how most of the issues that we face as rural residents need to be addressed in the political sphere if we are to move forward and make meaningful progress in maintaining and rebuilding a dynamic rural Saskatchewan. This is the reason that I have decided to let my name stand for provincial office.
I have also been inspired by the vision and determination of the Saskatchewan NDP’s current leader, Ryan Meili. He has spent a decade envisioning a transformative path for our province to follow, one in which we will strive to restore our relationships with one another and the institutions that shape our society. Health care, education, justice, Indigenous relations, the environment – all of these issues and more require us to address the roots of the problems, not just the symptoms.
I plan to have discussions with the residents of Arm River constituency until election day, to learn of their individual and local concerns. Should I be elected I will take their voices to the provincial legislature, and represent them to the best of my ability.