Kevin Falcon is the Official Opposition Leader for the BC Liberal Party, elected leader in February 2022, and then elected as MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena on April 30, 2022. He has extensive senior private and public sector experience, and has served as Minister of Finance, Health, Transportation, and in other prominent government roles.
In Kevin’s words …
I was born and raised on the North Shore. My parents bought our family home for $23,000 in 1963 in the West Bay neighbourhood of West Vancouver. My parents raised myself and my five brothers in our four-bedroom home — which made for tight quarters. Growing up, my family was like other large families that often endured tight financial times. My brothers and I were fortunate enough to receive free tuition at Vancouver College — a Catholic high school that offered support for low-income families like ours.
My brother, Greg, suffered a serious accident that ultimately took his life at age 25. The care and support my brother received helped me appreciate the need to protect publicly accessible health care for all British Columbians regardless of income.
Years later, when my dad fell ill with a degenerative disease, we spent more time in and around hospitals and medical staff. For many years, my dad was bedridden, and during this difficult time, I was reminded, once again, how fortunate I was for the care and expertise provided to my family by BC’s public health care system.
When my wife and I met, we bonded immediately over our shared love for the outdoors. In 2010, we welcomed our first daughter, Josephine, who’s now 11. In late 2012, I made the decision to step away from public service as we welcomed a second daughter, Rose, who’s now 8.
I love British Columbia and am returning to public life in order to ensure this province remains the best, safest place to live for the future of my daughters, your family, and British Columbians everywhere.
After graduating Vancouver College, I attended Simon Fraser University. A combination of student loans and working graveyard shifts at Seaspan Shipyards in North Vancouver financed my education. Through SFU, I became deeply involved in provincial, federal and even municipal politics in the community of Surrey.
In 2001, I put my name forward to run for the BC Liberal Party in the riding of Surrey-Cloverdale. I had the honour of being elected that year, and subsequently re-elected twice by my constituents. I held a number of portfolios, such as the Minister of State for Deregulation, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Minister of Health and finally Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance.
As the Minister of State for Deregulation, I used the lessons from watching my dad run a small business to inform the changes needed to help these businesses succeed. I’m proud to have reduced unnecessary red tape/regulation by over one-third in our first three years in government. My work there helped lay the foundation for years of unprecedented economic growth and small business formation.
While Minister of Transportation, BC’s aging and crumbling infrastructure needed to be revamped and rebuilt. That’s why I prioritized and delivered on projects such as the Port Mann Bridge, Kicking Horse Canyon, the Sea to Sky Highway, the South Fraser Perimeter Road, and the William Bennett Bridge, and built the Canada Line while laying the groundwork for the Evergreen Line.
As Minister of Health, I made sure that BC’s health care system was properly funded and new facilities were built throughout the province to meet the needs of future generations.
Despite opposition from the federal government at the time, I supported evidence-based, long-term opioid medication effectiveness trials to provide chronic heroin addicts an alternative to dangerous street level drugs. The initiative required lengthy court challenges with the federal government. Although it was politically controversial, it was the right thing to do.
I was proud to be part of a government that made BC a leader in climate change by being the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce a revenue-neutral carbon tax over a decade ago — a policy that was lauded by the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the New York Times, to name just a few.
In 2011, I came second in the race to become the leader of the BC Liberal Party. I was honoured to be appointed the Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier of British Columbia.
My priority was managing through the economic fallout from the global financial crisis and returning BC to a fiscally responsible path. I’m dedicated to once again committing to making BC’s economy a leader in Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
Life after Politics
After 12 years of public service, I made the decision to leave public service to care for my young family. I continued my work in community service with several non-profit organizations, including the Canuck Place Foundation, the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation, and the Streetohome Foundation, an organization that works to house the homelessness in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Through the Streetohome Foundation, I had many conversations with workers, people suffering from addictions and those struggling with mental illness. I’ve seen first-hand those impacted by homelessness and the difficulties that they face every single day. Their resilience and hope for the future inspires my desire to work for wholesale changes in government policies to create an opportunity for them to a life of purpose and happiness.
While on the Board of the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation, I was reminded daily of the hard work and sacrifices our essential health care workers made while caring for British Columbians. This pandemic has been especially hard for our front-line workers, and we need to provide them with the support they need to continue with their integral work. I’m proud to know that our patients are in the hands of some of the most dedicated health care workers in our province.
In 2013, I joined Anthem Capital and have overseen a portfolio of investments in everything from mining, technology, craft beer and housing development.
Ten years ago I left politics for my young girls. I’m returning to politics, not just for them, but for their entire generation.
The NDP was elected on a platform of making life more affordable for British Columbians. Over the last half-decade, they have failed to deliver on this promise.
With the trust of Vancouver-Quilchena residents, as elected MLA, I will go to Victoria to advocate for common-sense policies that will focus on growing a strong economy, reducing the tax burden faced by middle-class British Columbians, and providing support to the most vulnerable British Columbians who are struggling the most. British Columbians deserve leaders that understand not just how to talk about the big issues that we face, but also how to execute and get things done.
I will work hard every day to earn the support of Vancouver-Quilchena residents so that I can hold the NDP to account and make sure that we get big things done in British Columbia again.
The hard work starts now. Let’s go!