The News sent a questionnaire to all candidates in the three local ridings. Candidates were given strict word limits and instructed not to go over, lest their answers be cut off.
Name: Ron Gray
Current occupation: retired
Notable past achievements/titles/jobs:
• public information for two post-secondary education institutions (Fraser Valley College, precursor of UFV; and Trinity Western University)
• Helped establish a new federal government information agency, Information Canada, in 1970
• 13 years as National Leader of the Christian Heritage Party of Canada
Where do you live? Abbotsford, close to SevenOaks
If you have run for office before, what have you learned? If you have not, why are you running now? I have run 13 times before, and learned the importance of gaining the understanding of the media.
Tell us about yourself. I.E.: Where were you born, where did you go to school/college etc., what jobs did you have over the years?
Born in Vancouver; attended schools there, at Britannia (on Howe Sound), and Queen Elizabeth HS in Surrey; successfully challenged the Sophomore year at Cleveland State University(all scores in the 90th percentile except American History, 75%); took several courses at FVC and TWU
Why would you make a good representative for your constituents in the legislature? [150 words] I began my career as a newspaperman (Vancouver Sun, Chilliwack Progress, Fiji Times, Richmond Review) which has given me a good understanding of public concerns and communications; I’ve also worked in the federal government, attached to the diplomatic corps in the Trade Commissioner Service; and I’ve had extensive experience developing policies as National Leader of the federal CHP. As a practicing Christian for the past 39 years, I’ve also learned the importance of compassion, and of a sense of responsibility to God for how I treat people.
What are the three most important issues facing Abbotsford and how would you address them?:
1. The drug crisis and homelessness (intertwined)
We need to reverse the NDP’s policy of “deinstitutionalization” and once again enable the provincial government to take responsibility for caring for those who cannot care for themselves.
2. public education must be freed from the partisan grip of the BCTF; under their control, education has given way to indoctrination.
CHP-BC advocates a voucher system to allow parents to choose where their children are educated, thus bringing competition into the education market, as schools compete for voucher support by their record of excellence.
3. The provincial budget’s so-called “balance” was achieved by kicking part of the tax burden down the road—to be paid by our children and grandchildren—and by off-loading onto municipalities. The tax burden has become excessive, because governments take on responsibilities beyond their constitutional mandate.
Tell us a surprising or unique story about yourself:
I’m one of a very few Canadians who have a letter from a federal government agency asserting that I am NOT a hate-monger!
In 1999, I was accused of a ‘hate crime’ by a homosexual activist in Edmonton. He was offended by some commentaries I had written, which were entirely factual, and contained nothing personal about anyone.
It took a little over two years, and more than $51,000; but in the end I received a letter from the federal Human Rights Commission stating that the complaints against me were “without merit”.
Abbotsford is split into three ridings, all of which have changed a little since the last election. Click here for a map of the Abbotsford-Mission riding. Click here for a map of Abbotsford South. Click here for a map of Abbotsford West.