Bob Simpson was re-elected as the MLA for Cariboo North on May 12, 2009.
He was first elected to the B.C. Legislature in 2005, and he began sitting as an Independent MLA in December of 2010.
Born in Scotland, Simpson’s family immigrated to Winnipeg, Man. 1967.
He moved to British Columbia in 1974 when he joined the Canadian Navy. He has two undergraduate degrees and a teaching certificate from the University of Victoria.
Simpson is married to Trish (née Havens) whose family has lived in Quesnel since 1964.
Bob and Trish moved to Quesnel in 1985 to teach, Bob at Quesnel Secondary School and Trish at Dragon Lake elementary.
Bob became science department head at QSS before leaving to start his own businesses.
While he was teaching, Bob wrote a weekly column on sustainability issues for the Cariboo Observer, developed a Grade 11 and Grade 12 forestry course, and designed an innovative self-directed study program for high-achieving students in Grade 11.
He also helped to set up what is now known as the Fraser Basin Council.
After teaching, Bob ran a successful consulting business in the areas of community, business, and human resource development. He also founded a training company that specialized in helping people to start their own businesses; many of those people are still successfully running their business today.
In the mid-1990s, Bob dabbled in retail in Quesnel. He opened Fundamentals, The Learning Support Store, a toy, games, puzzles and teaching supply store. Together with a business partner, he purchased a downtown Quesnel shoe store.
In 1996, Bob joined Weldwood of Canada and eventually became the company’s corporate manager for organizational effectiveness and leadership development.
His main responsibilities with Weldwood were to develop the company’s technical and supervisory training systems, ensure capital investments were maximized through appropriate training and team-based management systems, and assist the company to successfully implement company-wide change initiatives.
In 2004, Bob decided to enter politics due to his increasing concern that we were living unsustainably and his belief that the hyper-politicization of our representative system was undermining our ability to make meaningful decisions for the long term.
While in opposition, Bob became a high-profile critic for forestry and, following the 2009 election, aboriginal relations and reconciliation.
In 2010, Bob was ejected from the NDP caucus for writing two sentences in his weekly column about a speech that the NDP leader had given to the Union of BC Municipalities. He then made the decision to leave the political party system altogether and has been sitting as an independent ever since.
Bob is a vocal advocate for electoral and democratic reform and, along with B.C.’s other Independent MLAs, he has presented an agenda for reform that would go a long way toward revitalizing B.C.’s democratic system.
Bob is a former national triathlon champion in his age group and was named BC’s Male Triathlete of the Year in 2002. He is also an avid cyclist, runner, sailor and kayaker.