I am a businessman and community volunteer with deep roots on Vancouver Island. I speak French, have worked for an MP in Ottawa and have the political, legal and financial education and experience to be an effective representative for you and your family. I am listening to your concerns and, if elected, will deliver real results for our communities.
I was raised by a family with strong community values. My commitment to Vancouver Island is complimented by diverse experiences. Public policy and public service are in my blood and I am committed to:
- making life more afforable,
- making our communities safer,
- growing our local economy and
- protecting our environment.
STRONG COMMUNITY VALUES
My parents were born on working farms during the Great Depression. They taught me to respect others, work hard and give back to the community.
Growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandmother Cecilia Magnusson. I learned many things from her. She did not finish high school but was full of wisdom and would give her last dollar to help those in need. She recently passed away at 102.
I was fortunate to have a supportive family and the opportunity to attend university. I have volunteered as a Big Brother to two little brothers and as Executive Director of a Federal charity that has helped thousands of at-risk youth. I believe in equality of opportunity and helping youth find success.
I am currently the volunteer coach of the Ballenas Secondary Grade 9/10 boys basketball team in Parksville.
While at university I did not have money to spare. I lived in marginal rental accommodation and had a variety of part-time and summer jobs to fund my education. These experiences combined with my work with at-risk youth and their families have provided me an understanding and empathy for the affordability challenges present in our communities.
Governments, like families, must live within their means. I am committed to investing taxpayer’s dollars’ efficiently. Reducing government waste allows us to sustain programs we all rely on and to protect and lift up the vulnerable.
LOCAL ROOTS COMPLIMENTED BY DIVERSE EXPERIENCES
Born, raised and educated on Vancouver Island, my wife Nicole and I live in Parksville. Our sons Wesley and Cyrus attend Ballenas Secondary and Springwood Elementary schools; Parksville is our home.
Like many Islanders I left the Island for educational and work opportunities but kept in touch with local issues and came home every chance I had, visiting family and friends. I love Vancouver Island – I want to deliver the Federal government for Islanders, grow our local economies and local educational and training opportunities so young people never have to leave to fulfil their dreams.
I have lived in other countries, traveled, done business and managed projects all over the world. From these experiences, I learned to work with other cultures; and developed leadership, finance and negotiation skills that I will use to effectively represent you and get real results for our communities.
For over ten years I have worked in a leadership role for a family-owned company whose BC operations include Seaspan (Vancouver Shipyard and Victoria Shipyard) and Southern Rail (former contract rail operator on the E&N Line on the Island). Seaspan employs thousands of unionized employees in BC and is a key transportation partner for the agricultural, value-added manufacturing and resource industries on Vancouver Island.
Seaspan also has a long and proud tradition working with First Nations on the coast, including a successful joint venture with the Haisla in Kitimat and a long-standing relationship with the Squamish and the Tsleil-Waututh First Nations in the lower mainland. Seaspan is also the title sponsor of the Great Bear Rainforest IMAX film where I serve as Executive Producer. I believe in reconciliation – when First Nations prosper the wider community and region prospers.
I am currently on an unpaid leave from my job – to spend all of my time meeting and listening to voters in Courtenay-Alberni.
PUBLIC POLICY AND PUBLIC SERVICE ARE IN MY BLOOD
I grew up talking politics around the family table. My grandfather was a Senator and three of my uncles were Members of Parliament. After graduating from high school on the Island, I served as a Page in the House of Commons and worked for an MP in Ottawa while completing a Political Science degree at Carleton University.
While working for an MP in Parliament, I advocated on behalf of constituents with federal departments, wrote speeches and did policy research. I understand the responsibilities of an MP and, if elected, would hit the ground running on behalf of all residents of Courtenay-Alberni.
My time in Ottawa also provided me the opportunity to learn French and nourished my lifelong interest in public service. Being able to speak French as your representative would help me work with native French-speaking civil servants to solve your issues. I have built teams my whole career and if elected will build a strong team in Ottawa and in Courtenay, Port Alberni and Oceanside to serve you and deliver real results.
After my time in Ottawa I was fortunate to earn full scholarships to continue my education in economics and public policy.
I completed a law degree and was called to the Bar of British Columbia. Understanding the laws of our land and how to change them to benefit our communities is critical to being an effective MP. I have drafted or read hundreds of legal documents. I understand our individual rights and freedoms, our criminal justice system and Federal, Provincial and Municipal jurisdictions. I know how to effectively advocate on behalf of constituents who may have administrative challenges with the Federal government.
Negotiating with business and industry groups and creating policies that help small and medium-sized businesses prosper requires speaking their language. I completed an MBA at UBC with a specialization in Finance. I have developed my financial skills working in the financial sector and as an investor. I have experience on the Audit Committees of a New York Stock Exchange public company and a large BC Crown Corporation.
I understand financial statements, budgeting and our tax system. As your MP, I would use this knowledge to get value for your hard-earned tax dollars, and real results for our local economies.
“Government needs political leaders who understand the economy from a business perspective. Byron is a successful businessman who is passionate about Vancouver Island. I have worked closely with Byron and am confident that he has the integrity, ability and work ethic to get real results for Courtenay-Alberni.” Dianne Watts – Former Conservative MP and Mayor of Surrey
COMMITTED TO PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT
I have had a lifelong love of nature – hiking, camping and fishing from the time I was a young boy. I have planted tens of thousands of trees in BC and even before our boys could walk our family holidays always included a tent and our hiking boots.
My commitment to conservation and protecting our environment is not just talk. I have put my money where my mouth is. I have invested in sustainable
Canadian companies and driven a hybrid for 12 years. I am the Executive Producer of the Great Bear Rainforest IMAX film. I knew going in that the Great Bear Rainforest IMAX Film would be lucky to breakeven but my time and investment in the film is worth it to me for the powerful conservation message and beautiful natural imagery.
A major objective of this project is youth education and I am proud to be part of the successful fundraising effort to help fund youth education related to the film. How can we expect the next generation to protect our natural environment if they don’t have an understanding and respect for its beauty and value?
I would welcome the opportunity to meet you or speak to you on the phone and listen to your concerns. Please email me or call me on my cell anytime 250-240-4049.