David Wilks

David Wilks
David Wilks
MP
Member of the 41st Canadian Parliament
for Kootenay—Columbia
Taking office
May 30, 2011
Succeeding Jim Abbott
Personal details
Born September 23, 1959 (1959-09-23) (age 52)
Lethbridge, Alberta
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Cindy
Children Amanda, Matthew and Christine
Residence Sparwood, British Columbia
Profession Police officer, politician

David Wilks is a Canadian politician and a Member of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons. He was elected in the Kootenay—Columbia riding as a member of the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2011 election. In the 41st Canadian Parliament, Wilks was appointed to the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and introduced one piece of legislation, a private members bill called An Act to amend the Criminal Code (kidnapping of young person) (C-299) which sought a minimum sentence of five years in prison for someone convicted of kidnapping a person under the age of 16.

Wilks, originally from Lethbridge moved to Saskatchewan in 1978 and briefly worked in the potash mines. He joined the RCMP and served in British Columbia detachments from 1980 to 2000. After retiring from the police, Wilks and his wife purchased and operated Sparwood Bowl and Billiards. He was elected as a Councillor for the District of Sparwood in 2002 and then as the town's mayor in 2005. As mayor he was appointed as a Director to the Regional District of East Kootenay where he eventually became the chair of the Regional Board. After local Member of Parliament Jim Abbott announced his retirement, Wilks joined the race to replace Abbott as the Conservative Party nominee in the Kootenay—Columbia riding. Wilks would go on to win the nomination race and the general election.

Contents

Background

David Wilks was born and raised in Lethbridge but after graduating high school he moved to Saskatoon. He worked briefly in the potash industry while under-going recruitment process. He attended RCMP Academy in Regina. His first assignment as an RCMP officer was to the Terrace detachment in 1980. Over his 20 year RCMP career he was subsequently assigned to the detachments in New Aiyansh, Golden, Penticton and Sparwood. He quit the police force in 2000 while in Sparwood and bought an entertainment business called Sparwood Bowl and Billiards Inc. with his wife.

In the 2002 BC municipal elections Wilks first stood for election. He was elected to a 3 year term as a Sparwood municipal councillor. In the 2005 municipal elections he put his name forward in the mayoral election and successfully defeated the incumbent.[1] No one challenged Wilks during the 2008 municipal elections so he was acclaimed to a new 3 year term as mayor.[2] Along with being mayor, he was appointed by the Sparwood council to the Board of Directors at the Regional District of East Kootenay. Wilks and Sparwood gained national attention in late-December 2008 when an avalanche killed eight men on snowmobiles; Wilks established public trust accounts for the families of the victims and helped organize a memorial service which the Prime-Minister attended.[3][4] At the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, Wilks advocated expanding the Meth Watch program to include a registration system to track people to purchase components used in making methamphetamine.[5] At the Regional District, Wilks advocated for the provincial government to give the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort municipal status, removing the responsibility for public consultation and zoning from the Regional District and placing it with the province or a locally elected or appointed council. His March 2006 resolution was defeated, with Wilks being the only director to vote in favour.[6] Wilks re-introduced the motion in August 2009 and it was approved by the Board, though the province did not take any action.[7] In December 2009, the Regional Board elected Wilks to be the chair of the Regional District.[8]

Federal politics

In February 2010, Jim Abbott, the local member of parliament for the past 17 years, announced he would not seek re-election. Wilks endorsed Bill Bennett to replace Abbott[9] but Bennett declined.[10] The 50 year old Wilks subsequently announced his intent to seek the Conservative Party nomination for the next election.[11] He stepped down from the Chair position at the Regional District to better focus on his campaign but remained a director.[12] In the March 2011 Conservative Party nomination election, Wilks faced three other candidates: a 29 year old town councillor from Creston, a lawyer from Cranbrook, and an engineer also from Cranbrook. Wilks campaign unknowingly employed a con artist who stole an undisclosed sum of money before disappearing.[13] Despite the theft, Wilks won the nomination. During the campaign for the federal election, Wilks faced former Invermere mayor Mark Shmigelsky for NDP, and Kimberley residents Betty Aitchison, Bill Green, and Brent Bush. Wilks was seen as the front-runner but his campaign was criticized for avoiding all-candidate forums and debates,[14] skipping the forums in Revelstoke,[15] Kimberley,[16] and Invermere.[17] During the campaign, Wilks noted that he would seek to direct federal funds to improving the Trans-Canada Highway, "proper" punishment for criminals, and "proper" funding for the military, noting that his son was currently serving in the military as a combat engineer in Afghanistan.[18][19] Wilks won the Kootenay—Columbia riding with 56% of the vote.

As the 41st Parliament began, Wilks was not selected to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet. He was appointed to the 'Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development' and the 'Standing Joint Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations'. In the House of Commons, Wilks used his time on the floor on June 15, 2011, to describe why he sees the New Democratic Party as a "radical hard left" political party.[20] Following the high profile kidnapping of a three-year-old boy from his hometown of Sparwood, Wilks introduced a private members bill (C-299) which would create a five year minimum sentence for people convicted of kidnapping someone 16 years old.[21][22]

Electoral history

Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
     Conservative David Wilks 23,910 55.88 -3.71
     New Democrat Mark Shmigelsky 14,199 33.18 +10.54
     Green William Green 2,547 5.95 -4.06
     Liberal Betty Aitchison 1,496 3.50 -4.25
     Independent Brent Bush 636 1.49 -
Total valid votes/Expense limit 42,788 100.00 -
Total rejected ballots 142 0.33 0.0
Turnout 42,930 63.45 +3.69
Eligible voters 67,663

References

  1. ^ "A tale of two votes". The Lake Windermere Valley Echo (Invermere, British Columbia): p. 10. November 23, 2005. 
  2. ^ Warner, Gerry (October 15, 2008). "New faces abound in upcoming regional elections". Daily Townsman (Cranbrook, British Columbia): p. 5. 
  3. ^ Van Rassel, Jason; Lori Culbert; Chad Skelton (December 31, 2008). "B.C. town grieves sons, best friends; Avalanche. Eighth missing man recovered from snow". The Gazette (Montreal): p. 8. 
  4. ^ Walton, Dawn; Justine Hunter (January 3, 2009). "A cold new year in the valley of tears". The Globe and Mail: p. 6. 
  5. ^ "Communities call for more action on meth". The Chilliwack Progress: p. 3. October 27, 2006. 
  6. ^ Coxford, Matt (March 6, 2006). "RDEK keeping Jumbo decision local: Future of proposed resort in hands of regional district after directors reject motion". Daily Townsman (Cranbrook, British Columbia): p. 1. 
  7. ^ Pynn, Larry (August 8, 2009). "Ski resort transfer creates stir; Province accused of interference". Calgary Herald: p. 7. 
  8. ^ Warner, Gerry (December 7, 2009). "Wilks elected chair of RDEK". Daily Townsman (Cranbrook, British Columbia): p. 1. 
  9. ^ Warner, Gerry (February 26, 2010). "Who will run?; Potential candidates come forward". Daily Bulletin (Kimberley, British Columbia): p. 1. 
  10. ^ Warner, Gerry (April 6, 2010). "With Bennett out of the running, who will succeed local MP Jim Abbott?". Daily Townsman (Cranbrook, British Columbia): p. 3. 
  11. ^ Warner, Gerry (April 9, 2010). "Wilks first to declare for Tories". Daily Townsman (Cranbrook, British Columbia): p. 1. 
  12. ^ Warner, Gerry (May 11, 2010). "Wilks steps down as RDEK chairman". Daily Townsman (Cranbrook, British Columbia): p. 1. 
  13. ^ Warner, Gerry (August 26, 2010). "Chartier splits, Wilks left with debt". Daily Townsman (Cranbrook, British Columbia): p. 1. 
  14. ^ Warner, Gerry (April 28, 2011). "If the riding's 'in play,' someone's not playing". Daily Bulletin (Kimberley, British Columbia): p. 6. 
  15. ^ Cooper, Alex (April 13, 2011). "All-candidates forum lacks spark with front-runner absent". Revelstoke Times Review (Revelstoke, British Columbia): p. 1. 
  16. ^ Grant, Carolyn (April 20, 2011). "Candidates forum in Kimberley". Daily Bulletin (Kimberley, British Columbia): p. 1. 
  17. ^ Crane, Darryl (April 26, 2011). "Kootenay-Columbia hopefuls meet in Invermere". The Lake Windermere Valley Echo (Invermere, British Columbia): p. 1. 
  18. ^ "Meet the candidates - David Wilks, Conservative". The Kootenay Advertiser (Cranbrook, British Columbia): p. 8. April 27, 2011. 
  19. ^ Sander-Green, Nadine (April 11, 2011). "The Candidates Talk: Top five issues in our riding". The Golden Star (Golden, British Columbia): p. 3. 
  20. ^ David Wilks (June 15, 2011). 41st Partliament, 1st Session - Hansard Number 009: Statements by Members (Speech). http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=1&DocId=5091548. Retrieved October 1, 2011. 
  21. ^ Grant, Annalee (September 30, 2011). "No fooling around for stranger abductors". Daily Townsman (Cranbrook, British Columbia). http://www.dailytownsman.com/article/20110930/CRANBROOK0101/309309992/-1/cranbrook01/no-fooling-around-for-stranger-abductors. 
  22. ^ Matas, Robert (September 20, 2011). "Hopley considered high risk, documents show". The Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/hopley-considered-high-risk-documents-show/article2173931/. Retrieved October 1, 2011. 

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