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B.C. ELECTION 2017: Kelowna-Mission candidate Steve Thomson was once a rugby-playing farmer

B.C. Liberal candidate Steve Thomson hopes to secure his third term as the Member of the Legislature for Kelowna-Mission.
May 01, 2017 - 11:30 AM

KELOWNA – Rugby coaches put their workhorses on the second row.

It’s a position that requires a lot of grit, strength and it helps if you're big and tall.

Steve Thomson, running for re-election in Kelowna-Mission in the upcoming provincial election, says years spent on a rugby second row prepared him well for a life in politics.

“What rugby taught me, playing sports all those years, is the value of teamwork, commitment and hard work. I learned that, both growing up on the farm and with a sporting career as well. I’m certainly not afraid of hard work at all.”

During Thomson’s long career in rugby, he played for the University of Victoria first division and represented Canada in 1983.

The B.C. Liberal candidate in Kelowna-Mission Steve Thomson had a long career playing rugby and even represented Canada in 1983.
The B.C. Liberal candidate in Kelowna-Mission Steve Thomson had a long career playing rugby and even represented Canada in 1983.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

Thomson’s family settled on a farm on Gordon Drive in 1896. It is still in the family, growing hay and raising cattle. Born and raised in Kelowna. With farming in his blood, he left Kelowna in 1970 to study resource management and geography.

He stayed in Victoria 15 years working for the B.C. agriculture industry and was the executive director of B.C. Agriculture Council for 11 years.

He entered politics in 2009 when he was elected to represent Kelowna-Mission as a MLA.

“It’s fair to say I never intended to enter politics but I always had an interest,” he says from his stool at a favourite coffee shop on Pandosy Street. “I’ve always had that interest in how government works. Working for farmers and business owners… I thought I could make a meaningful contribution by seeking to represent the area politically. It’s challenging, it’s rewarding, it’s all consuming but you get great rewards.”

Thomson was elected Minister of Agriculture in 2009 and Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources two years later. He was re-elected MLA for Kelowna-Mission in 2013 and plans to do the same again next month. He served in the B.C. Liberal government cabinet as the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources.

Steve Thomson served in the B.C. Liberal government cabinet as the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources.
Steve Thomson served in the B.C. Liberal government cabinet as the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources.

Thomson says he agrees with his party on all the issues.

“One (of the key priorities in the next term) is to support the Liberal platform of building economic growth, job creation, a balanced budget approach, fiscal discipline and continue to have sustainable resource development.”

At 65-years-old, Thomson credits his work ethic and family for giving him the strength to keep fighting for the people in the city where he grew up.

“We have deep roots in this riding. This a wonderful part of the province and to be able to continue to support the growth in this community is a privilege.”

Thomson and his wife Brenda have been married more than 25 years and have three children and five grandchildren.

“You can’t do this job if you dont have your family supporting you.”


To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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