South Okanagan—West Kootenay
Member of Parliament for South Okanagan—West Kootenay
(born March 31, 1954) A Canadian biologist, author and politician. I am currently serving as the South Okanagan—West Kootenay Member of Parliament.
I was first elected to this position in the 2015 Canadian federal election as a member of the New Democratic Party. During the 42nd Canadian Parliament I sponsored three private member bills: one to promote the use of wood in federal public works projects, one to add various lakes and rivers to Navigable Waters Protection Act, and another to a Minister of Environment to respond to a Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada report.
I was appointed as the NDP Critic for Post-Secondary Education as well as the Deputy Critic for Natural Resources in the 2015. I became the NDP Critic for Natural Resources in 2016 and served in that position until 2021. In October 2021 I became the NDP Critic for Emergency Preparedness (Climate Adaptation) and Critic for Small Business and Tourism, as well as Deputy Critic for Natural Resources and Deputy Critic for Innovation, Science and Industry. In December 2021 I was named an inaugural member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Science and Research. In January, 2023 I was also granted the added responsibility as the International Trade critic.
Prior to my involvement in politics, I worked as a biologist specializing in birds, taught at the University of British Columbia for 17 years, authored numerous books about birds and natural history, and was a member of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada for 8 years. I am an alumnus of Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of British Columbia. As a biologist, I have spent my life working to protect BC’s environment and wildlife. I got into politics to bring a scientific voice to the fight against climate change. Before entering politics, I operated my own consulting company and worked on conservation and bird population projects for government and NGOs. I was born and raised in Penticton and still live on the West Bench near Penticton in my long-time family home.