I have been involved with my community and the New Democrats since 2000. In September 2013 I was elected President, North Vancouver- Lonsdale BC NDP and I’ve been a candidate for provincial and federal office in 2011, 2008 and 2001.
My involvement with my community includes being the President, Lower Lonsdale Community Garden Association and the North Shore Organizer for Sensible BC.
I am employed with the City of Burnaby as a Theatre Arts Instructor at Eilene Dailly Rec Centre, and Gilmore and Inman Schools”. A professional actor, I am a member of The Union of British Columbia Performers (UBCP/Actra) and Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.
I’m 51 years young, married to Jacqueline, and we reside with our SPCA shelter pets: one dog and cat.
Member of the Union of British Columbia Performers (UBCP)
Member of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)
Member of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
Past president of ACTRA’s Edmonton Branch
1. Do you do any volunteer work? If so, what?
I am a member of the Lower Lonsdale Community Garden. Every Halloween we put on a garden party to celebrate the harvest and I get to clear out the garden tools and set up The Shed of Terror. It’s dark and spooky and I say “Enter the Shed of Terror only if ye be stout of heart for here magic is afoot!” Then I do a series of close-up cheesy magic tricks, claiming like Count Floyd, that each one is scarier than the previous. The kids enjoy going into an anxious situation and through humour, conquering their fears. Like every other performing artist, I subsidize the arts through working for a cut of the gate in Equity co-ops and at the Fringe Theatre Festival- technicians and administrators will get paid but they’ll always ask the performers to do it for free because it will be “good exposure”. We all just want to act and we love it so much that yes, we would do it for free. That’s why I like being a member of EQUITY and UBCP/ACTRA; they make me put a value on my work so I don’t just give it away for free. All the work I do for the New Democrats is volunteer; I don’t get paid a penny.
2. What is something people don’t know about you?
Not that it matters, but I like to believe the plays attributed to William Shakespeare were actually written by Edward deVere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Don’t get me started on the authorship question or the Oak Island money pit.
3. What’s the last thing you watched on YouTube?
The latest Jack Layton ND TV ad and then I posted it to my twitter account.
4. Name one piece of legislation you would like to change and how?
It’s time to end cannabis prohibition and replace the failed war on drugs with a rational science-based policy and treat it like a health issue rather than a morality issue. It’s time to take the money away from organized crime and use it for social good through taxation. It’s time to get it out of the hands of children and ensure the purity of the product through proper regulation. There are already a number of regulation and distribution models for controlled substances- no one is calling for outright free-for-all legalization. I would prefer the liquor store model of distribution over the way cigarettes are regulated and distributed and I would like to see labeling, analysis of contents and warnings just like tobacco products. Taxation, regulation, relaxation.
5. What is the craziest moment you’ve experienced on the campaign trail?
In the February 2001 Alberta provincial election I ran for the New Democrats in Edmonton Castledowns, in a neighbourhood just north of where I grew up. Mike Hudema, who now works for Greenpeace, was a young radical who had just gotten into a lot of trouble for eating his ballot and was also running for the New Democrats. I’ve always had an interest in agitprop and the work of groups like the Living Theatre and the San Francisco Mime Troupe so when Mike asked me to be in his show I was more than happy. During that campaign, I stuffed pillows up my shirt and played Ralph Kline having an epiphany as the warm up act for fundraising music concerts.
6. Describe Canada in one word:
4th World (I know it’s two words but it’s a big country).
7. Have you ever run/worked for another political party?
8. How do you find out about what’s happening in your community?
Community newspapers- North Shore News and Outlook; posters on notice boards in coffee shops and posts on the street.
9. How do you get to work?
Acting requires a flexible schedule with the ability to jump on an opportunity when it arises. Shooting locations for film and television range all over the Lower Mainland and you can find yourself wrapping a sci-fi shoot at an industrial sewage treatment plant at 4:00 in the morning- not the most ideal time and place for traveling by transit. For performing and the drama classes I teach at the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam I drive my car. I take the Seabus to my other part-time casual gig in the Conveyance department of a Howe Street Commercial Real Estate company. Because I have free time between engagements, if I had nothing on the go that day I would wake up at 6:00 am, put on my steel-toed boots and go sit at the labour office for an hour or so and pick up a labouring job. Although the wages were minimum and the work dangerous at times it suited me because if a gig came up the next day it was “so long, no hard feelings”. How I got the little Conveyance gig is a whole other story and I’m glad to be working in a BOMA best downtown office building, but it’s good to remember what it was like to dig ditches in the rain for a living when everyone starts complaining about how bad the coffee is.