Abbotsford council candidates’ experience, and associations

The News is providing council candidate bio information in this edition.

  • Oct. 28, 2011 10:00 a.m.

As part of its ongoing election coverage, The News is providing council candidate bio information in this edition. Mayoralty and board of education trustee candidates will follow in upcoming editions.

Further candidate profiles and statements of issues and platforms will appear in a special election supplement to be published Nov. 10.


Les Barkman


Experience: Barkman has worked as a city employee for more than 30 years. He started his career in 1974, working with the District of Matsqui in the Parks and Recreation Department.  He then went to hold a position as supervisor of sanitation and roads, until retiring in 2008. Barkman is currently a councillor with the city.

Associations: Barkman has been a referee for local spring league basketball for the past 30 years and has a spot with the Abbotsford Sports Council. Barkman also is involved with the Northview Community Church.


Henry Braun

Experience: Served as the president and CEO of Abbotsford-based Pacific Northern Rail Contractors Corp. up until his retirement in 2003. Braun currently holds the position of president and co-owner of two investment companies and owns Murphy Ridge Farms and Upper Hat Creek Ranch.


In his 58 years residing in Abbotsford, Braun’s community service includes working as a commissioner for the Abbotsford Police Board, serving as a chair of the economic development committee, and as vice-chair for the Airport Authority. Braun has also served on the advisory board to the School of Business at Trinity Western University. Additionally, Braun has been a member of the board of directors for the Canada Place Corporation and on the board of directors for Organized Crime Agency of B.C. Braun is a member of Sevenoaks Alliance Church, where he and his wife work with various ministries including homelessness and addiction recovery.

James Breckenridge


Breckenridge articled with Coopers & Lybrand, and worked as an accounting manager for an Ontario-based firm after receiving his accreditation of chartered accountant.  His consulting company, JWB Associates, was in operation for 2001-2004.

Associations: Breckenridge served as a group facilitator for Communitas Abbotsford since 2007. He also has volunteered for the Special Olympics in Abbotsford and the emergency shelter for the Salvation Army since 2006.



Kevin Chapman


Co-owner of Valley Creative Curb, a concrete curbing design company. Chapman has also worked as an inbound technical support representative and data analyst for a call centre in Chilliwack.

Associations: Chapman is actively involved with his church, the Abbotsford Pentecostal Assembly, where he serves as a lighting technician. Chapman also worked on Abbotsford MP Ed Fast’s re-election campaign in 2008.


Dave Derkson


For over 30 years, Derkson served as a minister for the Pentecostal domination in Manitoba and in the Fraser Valley. After retiring, he and his wife taught English in South Korea. Derkson also managed a seniors retirement home, Shannon Oaks in Vancouver.

Associations: Derkson is currently on the Abbotsford Pentecostal Board.  He also worked as a volunteer for the federal penitentiaries for 10 years in Manitoba.


Vince Dimanno

Experience: Dimanno owns a web and software development company, Deep Blue Creative Inc. His company focuses on product development.

Associations: After founding the Abbotsford Ratepayers Association (ARA), Dimanno served four years as president. He is also a member with the Fraser Valley Multicultural Society Board and volunteers with numerous organizations, including the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, the Lions Club, and the Salvation Army.

William Aird Flavelle


Joining the Australian Army as a pilot at only 17 years old, Flavelle later worked as a bush pilot. Flavelle also held positions in sales and construction work in the Middle East and North Africa, positions in finance, consulting and trade work in East Asia. A resident of the Fraser Valley since 1989, Flavelle created MSA Computer Ltd. in Abbotsford.


Flavelle’s volunteer service includes: Chair and founding member of Abbotsford’s Sister City Committee; member and past president at the Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Matsqui; board member of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce; and deputy chair for the City of Abbotsford Environment Advisory Committee. Notable awards for Flavelle include the Abbotsford News 2010 “Top 100 Most Influential People,” voted by readers, and the Business Excellence Award from the Chamber of Commerce in 2000.


Simon Gibson



An instructor at the School of Business for the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, Gibson has also worked as a contract instructor in communications with the British Columbia Police Academy. Gibson is a consultant for numerous companies in areas of communications, management and leadership.


Gibson has been a member of the Abbotsford city council since the 1980s and has worked with the Fraser Valley Regional District board, the Abbotsford-Mission Water and Sewer Commission, the Abbotsford Transit Committee and more.


Moe Gidda


Gidda is a sawmill worker


The Steel Workers Union Labour Council


Moe Gill



Gill has been a member of the Abbotsford council since 1996 and sits on 11 committees: Agricultural Select Committee; Greater Vancouver Regional District Parks Board; Delta Heritage Airpark Management Committee; Matsqui Dyking, Drainage and Irrigation Committee; Abbotsford-Mission Joint Transit Committee; the AgriFair board; Glen Valley Dyking District Committee; Local Court of Revisions for Frontage Tax; and the Parcel Tax Review Panel.

Associations: Gill has also served on many organizations, including the Fraser Valley Cole Crop Growers Association, the Indo-Canadian Business Association and the Abbotsford-Matsqui Rotary.


Anne Graham


Graham left her city job 10 years ago, where she drove the Zamboni at all three arenas in Abbotsford. She also lists landscape gardener as being among her work history.


Over the years, Graham has been very involved with the minor lacrosse league and was the founding secretary for the ratepayers association.  Graham volunteers for the SPCA and the University of the Fraser Valley.


Dave Loewen



Loewen currently works as a councillor for the city and has been with the Mennonite Educational Institute (MEI) for the past 30 years, working as an instructor and principal for locations in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.


Over the years, he has served on numerous boards and committees, including: MCC BC Board member for 10 years; chair of the Canadian Mennonite University Council, Winnipeg; Director on the B.C. Federation of Independent Schools Associations Board; Director on the H2H (Haiti) Board; and Director on the Mennonite Historical Society of B.C. Board.


Bill MacGregor



MacGregor’s 33-year career in education consisted of working as a teacher, administrator and principal first in Vancouver and then Abbotsford. He also currently works as a motivational speaker in education, an executive coach and adviser for vice-principals and principals in B.C.’s educational system.


MacGregor’s community involvement includes being a chairman of the Matsqui/Abbotsford Impact Society, the chairman of the Abbotsford School District Impact Task Force, the founder/director/head coach of Abbotsford Air Force Jr. Football and the coach of a B.C. high school champion team.


Lynn Perrin


Perrin has her own company, FairAll Consulting. Her company conducts research for forestry management. In addition, Perrin has worked with the United Way of the Lower Mainland as a consultant and with Correctional Service regional headquarters in Abbotsford as a regional co-ordinator, fleet maintenance clerk and senior accounts payable clerk.


Since 2003, Perrin has been a director for the Abbotsford Arts Council, a volunteer with the Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-operative and has served on the Abbotsford Farm and Country Market input committee. She is also spokesperson for Water Watch Mission-Abbotsford.


Patricia Ross



Ross worked with the City of Abbotsford from 2000-2006 as public and media relations coordinator and chief lobbyist for their campaign opposing the proposal of Sumas Energy (SE2). Ross is currently on her sixth term on council and her appointments include: Chair of the Fraser Valley Regional District, chair of the FVRD Air Quality and Environment Committee, Abbotsford-Mission Water and Sewer Services Commission, Abbotsford Environmental Advisory Committee and the Restorative Justice Board.


Ross is a member of Leadership for Environment and Development International, a research and training program focused on promoting worldwide sustainability. Ross also serves as a motivational speaker on topics from environment to politics and is a published free-lance writer.


Mark Rushton

Experience: Rushton is a columnist with the Abbotsford News and for the past 18 years he has been a communications officer, media adviser and political assistant in provincial elections since 1994, to the BC Liberal Caucus in the late 1990s, and for the past 10 years or so to specific MLAs, currently with Michael de Jong and Surrey MLA Dave S. Hayer. Prior to that he spent 25 years in the newspaper industry.


Currently a member of the provincially mandated Advisory Committee on the transition of the former Area H (Sumas Mountain) into the City of Abbotsford; on the Advisory Committee relating to the Clayburn Creek Storm Water Management Plan. Former member of the boards of MSA Museum Society, Ducks Unlimited, Fair Board and Agrifair, MSA Youth Commission, Citizens Advisory Group at Matsqui Institution, 16 years Director of Abbotsford Airshow and many other non-profit societies.


Daljit Singh Sidhu

Experience: Sidhu is a director with Khalsa Credit Union as well as director and present service writer for Buland Auto Sales Ltd. From 1993 to 2001, he was self-employed.

Associations: Sidhu is part of the Buland Auto football club, Abbotsford youth club, comunity soccer club, wrestling club, cricket club, kabbadi club and several culture associations in Abbotsford.


(Jatinder) Jati Sidhu

Experience: Sidhu is a business man who also owns and operates farms and several building projects.

Associations: A member of the University of the Fraser Valley board of governors, Sidhu is also a member of the City of Character, Abbotsford Police Board, Asia Pacific Market Advisory Committee,  BC Multicultural Advisory Committee,  Fraser Valley Cole Co-op Association,  Abbotsford Agrifair Board, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and many more.


John Smith



Smith holds the position of assistant vice-president and manager for an Abbotsford bank.

Associations: Smith previously served nine terms as an elected school trustee to the Abbotsford school board from 1981-2005, including 12 years as a school board chair. Smith is also the past director of the Career Technical Centre and still currently serves as a commissioner on the Abbotsford Parks, Recreation and Culture Board. Smith currently sits on council for the city of Abbotsford and his appointments include: Legacy Project Steering Committee; Sign Bylaw Re-write Committee; Sumas Prairie Dyking, Drainage and Irrigation Committee and more.


Terry Stobbart


In the past, Stobbart has done clerical work as well as managed several offices.


Stobbart is currently the facilitator and program developer of Reading Rascals, a family literacy program, and is the PAC treasurer and president for the Association for Community Education. Stobbart has also volunteered her time with the Abbotsford BC Summer Games, the BC Senior Games, and the Abbotsford Spirit of BC.


Doris Woodman-McMillan


After spending 20 years in the finance industry, McMillan opened her own company, Numbers Unlimited. The company won the “Excellence in Business Award” from the Chamber of Commerce last year and McMillan was nominated for the “Myrtle Evertt Women of the Year Award” this year.


McMillan currently serves as a director of the Chamber of Commerce, where she was previously the treasurer. McMillan also sits on the Abbotsford Conservative EDA board,  and the Sister City Committee and is a member of the Abbotsford Rotary Club.

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