POLITICS

Quicksketches of B.C.'s political leaders

05/15/2013 03:11 EDT | Updated 07/14/2013 05:12 EDT
VANCOUVER - Here are quicksketches of B.C.'s political leaders, in alphabetical order:

Name: Christina Clark, known as Christy

Party: Liberal

Age: 47

Family: Born and raised in Burnaby by her mother Mavis, a family counsellor, and her father Jim, a school teacher and guidance counsellor. Youngest of four children. She is the mother of 11-year-old Hamish. She is separated from his father.

Education: Graduated Burnaby South Senior Secondary 1983. She attended Simon Fraser University, the University of Edinburgh and the Sorbonne in Paris. Clark left Simon Fraser without graduating, and her campaign team was unable to confirm her graduation from either of the other two schools.

Political history: In the early 1990s, Clark worked in Ottawa as an advisor to the federal Liberal government. First elected 1996 as member of Liberal Opposition. In 2001, she was re-elected as part of the Liberal government under Gordon Campbell. She served in cabinet as education minister and children and families minister, as well as deputy premier until she resigned in 2005 to spend more time with her young son.

Other work: Ran unsuccessfully in 2005 to be the Non-Partisan Association's candidate for Vancouver mayor. She went on to host a successfuly talk radio show on Vancouver radio station CKNW.

Won leadership: Won the race in 2011 after Campbell was forced to step down in the face of public anger over the harmonized sales tax. She was sworn in as premier May 14, 2011.

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Name: John Cummins

Party: Conservative

Age: 71

Family: Cummins was born and raised in Georgetown, Ont., and comes from a family tree that lives to a ripe old ages: his maternal grandmother lived to 103 and his father lived until he was 96. Cummins fathered a son, Martin, during his first marriage to school teacher Phyliss Kurtz. He was widowed in 1988 when his Phyliss died of ovarian cancer. Cummins married his current wife, Sue, three years later and gained a daughter, Carolyn, and two stepchildren, Erin and Christina. He has eight grandchildren and is anticipating a ninth in the fall.

Education: Cummins has a Masters degree from the University of B.C. and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario.

Political history: Cummins got into politics after reading an ad in the Vancouver Sun for what was then the Reform party, a precursor to the federal Conservatives. He sent the party $20, led a meeting in Delta, and ran for election in 1988. He was unsuccessful, but later won a seat in 1993. Cummins was elected six times as a Reformer, a member of the Canadian Alliance and a Conservative. Spanning more than 17 years, the federal politician represented Delta and Richmond before entering provincial politics.

Other work: Cummins kicked off his working career delivering The Globe and Mail at age 10. He has worked in the pulp-and-paper industry in Ontario, Alberta's oil sands and first moved to B.C. to work on construction of the Bennett hydroelectric dam. Cummins taught Grade 1 and high school in both northern B.C. and Alberta. The owner and commercial operator of two fishing boats, Cummins was arrested in 1996 and spent a night in jail after he reportedly fished during an aboriginal-only opening.

Won leadership: Ran for the leadership of the B.C. Conservatives in 2011 and won by acclamation.

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NameName: Adrian Dix

Party: NDP

Age: 48

Family: Wife Renee Saklikar, poet and writer

Education: UBC graduate

Political history: Worked for former premier Glen Clark when Clark was finance minister, then served as Clark's chief of staff from 1996 to 1999, when Clark was premier. Elected in Vancouver-Kingsway in 2005.

Other work: Served as executive director of the B.C.-Yukon chapter of Canadian Parents for French. Also worked as a media commentator.

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Name: Jane Sterk

Party: Green

Age: 65

Family: Born and raised in Edmonton. She has been married to her husband, John, for 44 years. They have two grown sons, Darryl and Lindsay, and two grandsons.

Education: PhD in counselling psychology from the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Political history: Ran as a Green party candidate in the 2004 federal election and the 2005 provincial elections in the Esquimalt area, near Victoria. She served as a councillor in the Township of Esquimalt from 2005 to 2008. In 2008, Sterk won seven per cent of the vote in a byelection in the riding of Vancouver-Fairview. She ran in Esquimalt-Royal Roads in the 2009 election, capturing 17 per cent of the vote.

Other work: Sterk worked as a mental health consultant with the Edmonton Board of Health. She started her teaching career as a public school teacher in Edmonton. She later taught at the University of Alberta's continuing studies program, the early childhood program at Grant MacEwen College, and University Canada West in Victoria in that school's business environment and organizational behaviour MBA program.

Won leadership: Sterk became leader of the Green party in October 2007.