Father we lift up MLA Bill Bennett to Your throne today. Thank you for his fervency and willingness to serve his constituency and this province. May he know Your peace hope and love in his life this season as he spends time with family and friends. Amen
Bill was re-elected as MLA for Kootenay East on May 14, 2013.
He was appointed Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Core Review on June 10, 2013.
Bill currently chairs the Cabinet Working Group on Core Review. He is a member of the Priorities and Planning Committee, the Environment and Land Use Committee, and the Cabinet Working Group on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Bill was first elected to represent the riding of Kootenay East in the southeast corner of British Columbia in 2001, and re-elected in 2005, 2009 and 2013. Bill has previously served as Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development; Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources; Minister of Community and Rural Development; Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts; and Minister of State for Mining.
Bill has chaired the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services; the Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides; the B.C. Outdoor Caucus; and, the Kootenay Caucus. He has also been a member of various parliamentary committees including the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth; the Select Standing Committee on Crown Corporations; the Select Standing Committee on Health; and the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts. He has also served on many other government committees, particularly focused on land use and natural resource issues.
Before being elected, Bill was a partner in a law firm in Cranbrook. In 1976, he earned an honours degree in English from the University of Guelph and in 1992, at the age of 42, a law degree from Queen’s University. Bill owned and operated fly-in wilderness fishing and hunting lodges in the Northwest Territories and Manitoba from 1977 to 1993. Bill served as president of the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce in 1997 and 1998, and was incoming chair of the BC Chamber of Commerce in 2000 when he made the decision to enter provincial politics. Bill was twice elected Cranbrook Business Person of the Year, and served as President of the Kootenay Bar Association.
Bill and his wife Beth married in 1974 and have two sons, Dylan and Daniel. Bill enjoys the outdoors by hunting, fishing, hiking, and snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies.