Kevin Falcon

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The Honourable
Kevin Falcon
MLA
Deputy Premier of British Columbia
In office
March 14, 2011 – September 5, 2012
Premier Christy Clark
Preceded by Colin Hansen
Succeeded by Rich Coleman
Minister of Finance of
British Columbia
In office
March 14, 2011 – September 5, 2012
Premier Christy Clark
Preceded by Colin Hansen
Succeeded by Mike de Jong
Member of the Legislative Assembly for Surrey-Cloverdale
In office
2001 – April 16, 2013
Preceded by Bonnie McKinnon
Succeeded by Stephanie Cadieux
Minister of Health Services of
British Columbia
In office
June 10, 2009 – November 30, 2010
Premier Gordon Campbell
Preceded by George Abbott
Succeeded by Colin Hansen
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure of British Columbia
In office
January 26, 2004 – June 10, 2009
Premier Gordon Campbell
Preceded by Judith Reid
Succeeded by Shirley Bond
Minister of State for Deregulation
of British Columbia
In office
June 5, 2001 – January 26, 2004
Premier Gordon Campbell
Succeeded by Rick Thorpe
Personal details
Born 1963
North Vancouver
Political party BC Liberal
Occupation Financial executive
Religion Catholic

Kevin Falcon (born 1963 [1]) is a Canadian financial executive and a former provincial politician who nearly became Premier of British Columbia. He was a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the district of Surrey-Cloverdale as a member of the BC Liberals from 2001 to 2013. He served as both the Deputy Premier, and the province's Minister of Finance.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Born in North Vancouver, Falcon worked in insurance after graduating from a private Catholic high school Vancouver College. Falcon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Simon Fraser University (SFU).[1] He lives in Surrey, British Columbia with his wife Jessica and daughters Josephine and Jacqueline.[3][4]

Politics[edit]

After being involved with the Social Credit (Socred) party in the 1980s, Falcon decided to study political science at SFU. He was a member of the Young Socreds on campus while future Premier Christy Clark was also at SFU.[1]

After graduation, he was part of a movement to revitalize the right-wing municipal part in Surrey that saw Doug McCallum upset Bob Bose, the NDP incumbent mayor, in 1996 and the election to council of future mayor Dianne Watts.[1]

Falcon then set up a communications consultancy (Access Group) in 1998. His major step into provincial politics was as a lead organizer of the "Total Recall" effort to recall a number of BC New Democratic Party MLA's in 1999.[5]

After replacing incumbent Bonnie McKinnon as the Liberal nominee, he was first elected in 2001 as a BC Liberal to represent the riding of Surrey-Cloverdale, and re-elected in the 2005, and 2009 elections.[6]

His first cabinet appointment was in the newly-created position of Minister of State for Deregulation which earned kudos from business and industry for cutting government 'red tape.' In January 2009, after police "raided" the legislature to investigate corruption in the sale of BC Rail, Judith Reid was replaced by Falcon as Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

As transport minister, Falcon changed the governance structure of TransLink to reduce the oversight by municipal representatives. He also introduced the Gateway Program, a $3 billion regional transportation strategy for Metro Vancouver that launched the construction of the new Port Mann Bridge.

In June 2009, Falcon was appointed as Minister of Health. He approved expansion of Surrey Memorial Hospital, pursued new models of shared-services and province-wide purchasing between health authorities, and launched a provincial agency to begin P4P (Pay For Performance funding models.

Eyewear issue[edit]

Once Falcon was promoted to Minister of Health, he proposed changes to the health regulations regarding sales of contact lenses and eyeglasses which removed the requirement of a physical inspection of a prescription allowing their sale over the internet, to be effective May 2010.[7][8]

Objections from professional health care associations included concerns that allowing opticians to perform sight tests would result in patients receiving less frequent comprehensive eye exams, and that allowing retailers to dispense eyeglasses and contact lenses without verifying a prescription may result in improperly fitted prescriptions or harmful health effects.[9][10][11] Political opponents argued that Falcon made these proposals after a $10,000 donation from Clearly Contacts to the BC Liberal Party, and after an email from Clearly Contacts was sent out to eligible voters urging them to join the BC Liberal Party and vote for Falcon as leader.[12]

Leadership campaign[edit]

On November 3, 2010, Premier Gordon Campbell announced that he would step down as Premier of British Columbia once his successor was chosen. On November 30, 2010, Falcon launched his campaign to be the leader of the BC Liberal Party, and subsequently the Premier of British Columbia.[13]

Falcon is regarded as one of the more conservative members of caucus and was able to secure a large number of supporters from the British Columbia business community.[14][15] He was also supported by 19 BC Liberal caucus members, one former caucus member and Liberal Party Senator Larry Campbell.[16][17]

On December 11, the Vancouver Sun reported that Falcon's social media traffic was the highest of declared candidates.[18] Throughout the campaign he refused to call for a full public inquiry into the sale of BC Rail and associated scandal, which involved allegations of bribes paid to Liberal insiders. However, he agreed to an investigation into why the government paid $6 million in legal fees for Liberal party aides Robert Virk and David Basi after they pleaded guilty to accepting bribes.[19]

On February 26, 2011, Falcon lost his bid to become the Liberal leader, and the province's Premier, to Christy Clark by a margin of 52%-48% in the third round of voting by party members.

In 2012, a number of Falcon supporters 'fled' to the BC Conservative party, including former BC Liberal nomination candidate Rick Peterson. Falcon remarked that "a number of my supporters that may have done that and I’m not entirely surprised".[20]

Christy Clark, the new Premier, included her main challenger in cabinet by appointing him to the key but also challenging position of Minister of Finance, whose portfolio included rescinding the controversial Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). In August 2012, Falcon stepped down from cabinet and announced he would not run in the 2013 election during the same period where George Abbott and a number of other Campbell MLAs were dropping out. [21]

After politics[edit]

Falcon returned to the real-estate investment industry as executive vice-president for Anthem Capital.[22] He was also named as an honorary director by the Surrey Board of Trade. [23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d McMartin, Will (10 Feb 2011). "For Kevin Falcon, Next Stop Premier?". The Tyee. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Christy Clark sworn in as B.C. premier". The Globe and Mail, March 14, 2011.
  3. ^ http://www.kevinfalcon.com/meet-kevin/
  4. ^ Hyslop, Lucy (7 Oct 2013). "Lunch with Kevin Falcon". BC Business. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  5. ^ http://www.rabble.ca/columnists/bc-recall-not-so-easy
  6. ^ "Official Biography: Kevin Falcon". Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. 
  7. ^ http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2010HSERV0015-000286.htm B.C. MODERNIZES REGULATIONS FOR SALE OF EYEWEAR
  8. ^ http://www.opto.ca/media/docs/en/optometry-in-media/CAO%20Backgrounder%20and%20Position%20Statement.pdf Amendments to Optometry and Optician Regulations
  9. ^ http://www.optometrists.bc.ca/upload/documents/Important_New_Regulations/CNIB_Letter_to_Minister_Falcon_080410.pdf
  10. ^ http://www.optometrists.bc.ca/upload/documents/Important_New_Regulations/BC_AOA_Comments_Regarding_Proposed_Changes_March_31_2010.pdf
  11. ^ http://www.optometrists.bc.ca/upload/documents/Important_New_Regulations/UW_optometry_BC_letter___FINAL.pdf
  12. ^ [1] News1130
  13. ^ Liberal Leadership Races CTV
  14. ^ http://www.globaltvbc.com/money/Business+community+support+gives+Falcon+wings/4149044/story.html
  15. ^ http://www.publiceyeonline.com/archives/005760.html
  16. ^ Cooper, Sam; Ian Austin (November 30, 2010). "Kevin Falcon announces bid for Liberal leadership". The Province. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  17. ^ Taber, Jane (2011-03-16). "Can Christy Clark get along with federal Tories?". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  18. ^ Shaw, Gillian (2010-12-11). "Kevin Falcon topping Liberal leadership social media traffic". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  19. ^ [2]
  20. ^ Falcon backers fleet to BC conservatives, Vancouver Sun blog, Feb 20, 2012
  21. ^ Stueck, Wendy (29 August 2012). "Resignation forces B.C cabinet overhaul". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  22. ^ Deltmann, Richard (26 August 2012). "Kevin Falcon hired by real estate developer". News1130. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  23. ^ "Former MLA Falcon given Surrey Board of Trade appointment". Peace Arch News. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 

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