|Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Thunder Bay—Superior North
|Preceded by||Joe Comuzzi|
|Succeeded by||Patty Hajdu|
August 6, 1946 |
|New Democratic (2004-12)
|Residence||Thunder Bay, Ontario|
Bruce Tolhurst Hyer (born August 6, 1946) is a Canadian politician, the deputy leader of the Green Party of Canada and the former Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North. Hyer was elected in the 2008 federal election, and re-elected with a wider margin in the 2011 federal election; on both occasions while standing for the New Democratic Party.
Hyer was born in Hartford, Connecticut, United States in 1946. He graduated in 1964 from Hall High School, and was a Republican at the time. In Willimantic, Connecticut he worked as a police officer, using his knowledge of Spanish to conduct outreach to the Hispanic community. After graduating from Central Connecticut State University, Hyer helped to create the Connecticut State Department of Environmental Protection, where as a Senior Environmental Analyst, he worked on water and air pollution, land use planning, and was in charge of pesticide registration. He played a key role in banning DDT and many other of the “dirty dozen” chlorinated pesticides, and ended the spraying of non-selective chemical insecticides in unmanaged forests. At age 29, he moved to Canada to live in the wilderness 40 km (25 miles) west of Armstrong Station, Ontario. Hyer lived for two years mostly off the land in the Canadian wilderness; first in a tipi and later in a log cabin he constructed himself. In 1978 he moved to Thunder Bay, where he started a retail outdoor and camera store called WildWaters Wilderness Shop. He married Margaret Wanlin in 1993. Their son Michael was born in 1995.
Hyer has had a number of vocations and avocations, including consultant, wilderness guide, log building and whitewater canoeing instructor, biologist, teacher (high school, college, university), bush pilot, and land use planner.
From the beginning of his days in Canada, Hyer acted as a biologist and entrepreneur in the Thunder Bay area, operating an ecotourist company with offices in Thunder Bay and Armstrong. As one of the early tourist operators in the area, Hyer also headed the North of Superior Tourism Board for many years. He received a Master of Science degree in Forestry from Lakehead University in 1997 for his scientific work on the effects of human disturbance on woodland caribou. This work was partially supported by Buchanan Forest Products Limited. Throughout this period, Hyer worked as a consultant in biodiversity, wildlife biology, and ecotourism, including travelling to Japan in 2004 to work with the government of Akita Prefecture on the protection and ecotourism planning for of one of Japan's last undammed rivers, the Omonogawa.
Hyer began his professional political career in 2003. In the 2004 election, Hyer almost doubled the vote share received by the NDP and advanced their standing to second place. In the following election in 2006, Hyer came even closer, falling short of the Liberal incumbent Joe Comuzzi by only 408 votes. In 2008, Hyer was elected to the 40th Canadian Parliament with a 9% lead over the Liberals.
After taking his seat in October, 2008, Hyer started work on climate change legislation. On February 10, 2009, Hyer tabled Bill C-311 the Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-311) as his first private member's bill in the House of Commons. The bill was passed by the House of Commons in a minority Conservative government at 3rd Reading on May 5, 2010 with 149 votes for and 136 votes against. It was defeated on November 16, 2010 by a vote of 43 to 32 in the Conservative-controlled Senate; to date, this remains the only bill in Canada's parliamentary history to be passed in the House of Commons, only to be defeated in the Senate. Other bills Hyer has introduced include Bill C-312 the Made in Canada Act, the Cell Phone Freedom Act (Bill C-560) and a number of motions including the Northwest Ontario Passenger Rail Motion, which mandates the return of Via Rail service to the north shore of Lake Superior and to Thunder Bay. Hyer served as the NDP's small business and tourism critic from 2008 to 2011.
In the 2011 election, Hyer was re-elected with 49.8% of the vote, 7,000 votes more than his nearest opponent. Following his re-election, the issue of the long gun registry was tabled in the House of Commons. As he had promised voters over four elections, Hyer voted in favour of ending the registration of hunting rifles and shotguns, given that all legal firearm owners were already licensed and registered themselves under the Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL). This move was viewed unfavourably within the NDP, even though firearm registration was not mentioned in party policies or platforms. As a result of his decision, Hyer was stripped of his critic roles, barred from international travel on House business and was no longer given the opportunity to speak in the House. On April 23, 2012 Hyer announced he would sit as an independent, which he remained for a year and a half.
On December 13, 2013, Hyer announced that he would join the Green Party of Canada, doubling the number of members the party has in the House of Commons by joining the leader of the party, Elizabeth May. Hyer gave as reasoning for his decision that: the Green Party has the best leader and platform; and that they are the only party in Parliament that is truly democratic, allowing Green MPs to put their constituents and conscience before party control. One year later, on December 13, 2014, Hyer was acclaimed as the Green Party candidate for the Thunder Bay—Superior North riding in the 2015 election. On October 19, 2015, he lost the election to Liberal Party candidate Patty Hajdu, getting only 13.8% of the votes.
|Canadian federal election, 2015|
|New Democratic||Andrew Foulds||10,339||23.2||-26.95||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||44,786||100.0||$247,384.84|
|Total rejected ballots||178||–||–|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|Canadian federal election, 2011|
|New Democratic||Bruce Hyer||18,303||49.8%||+12.8||–|
|Marijuana||Denis Andrew Carrière||266||0.7%||-0.2%||–|
|Total valid votes||36,723||100.0%|
|Canadian federal election, 2008|
|New Democratic||Bruce Hyer||13,174||37.0|
|Marijuana||Denis A. Carrière||327||0.9|
|Total valid votes||35,603|
|Canadian federal election, 2006|
|New Democratic||Bruce Hyer||13,575||34.9%|
|Marijuana||Denis A. Carrière||487||1.3%|
|Total valid votes||38,861|
|Canadian federal election, 2004|
|New Democratic||Bruce Hyer||10,230|
|Marijuana||Denis A. Carrière||645|
- Parliamentary Biographies
- Berkowitz, Michael. "50th Reunion: Back to School". Huffington Post. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- "Beyond Politics - Catherine Clark interviews Bruce Hyer"
- WildWaters Nature Tours - A Small Boy's Log Cabin
- Hyer, Bruce (1998). "Experimental Log Hauling Through a Traditional Caribou Wintering Area". Rangifer (10): 256. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
- Climate Change Accountability Act http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Sites/LOP/LEGISINFO/index.asp?Language=E&query=6747&Session=23&List=toc
- Made in Canada Act http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Sites/LOP/LEGISINFO/index.asp?Language=E&query=5716&Session=22&List=toc
- Cell Phone Freedom Act http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Docid=4640240&file=4
- Northwest Ontario passenger Rail Motion http://www.ReviveSuperiorRail.ca/
- "Bruce Hyer quits NDP caucus to sit as an Independent". CBC News. April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
- "Thunder Bay MP Bruce Hyer joins Green Party, doubles caucus". CBC News. December 13, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
- Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Thunder Bay—Superior North, 30 September 2015
- Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates
- "Download latest results for all electoral districts (tab-delimited format)"