People's Party of Canada
Rick Stewart is a former forester, environmental consultant, and veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces. Rick has lived and worked in the Kootenays since 1972 and resides in Nelson, British Columbia.
In 1974, after a summer working on a fire suppression crew at Bush Harbour north of Golden, Rick joined the Canadian Armed Forces and attended basic training in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, followed by specialized training at Camp Borden, Ontario.
In 1976, Rick was posted to Montreal as part of the security contingent for the Olympics, and honourably discharged from the military in 1977. He returned to the Kootenays to work as a logger and supervise summer fire-suppression crews for the Forest Service while earning a diploma in Forest Technology diploma in 1981 at Selkirk College. During that time he enjoyed hang gliding off various mountain peaks near Kaslo and Mica Creek, scuba diving, skiing, hunting and fishing.
In 1982, Rick enrolled in the University of Alberta Forestry program and was sponsored by the Finnish wood procurement firm Puulaaki Oy, for 4 months summer employment in Finland. During that summer Rick travelled behind the“Iron Curtain”to western Russia and saw first-hand how people were forced to live under communism. Rick recalls, “It was an eye-opening experience in a dystopian country with good people who lacked freedom and hope.”
During his studies, Rick spent a year as an exchange student at Clemson University in South Carolina and worked as an assistant in the Forest Pathology Lab. As a member of the Clemson Forestry Club he won the orienteering event at a major forestry competition in Louisiana to help Clemson take top spot among 12 universities. In 1986 he earned his Bachelor of Forest Science from the University of Alberta.
In 1987 Rick went to work with the Ministry of Forests in Williams Lake and became the Regional Forest Health Officer in Nelson in 1990. He mapped insect and disease outbreaks with district staff and his federal counterparts responsible for the National Parks and helped district offices plan future timber harvesting and implement their Forest Health programs.
In 1996, he became an Audit Team Manager with the Forest Practices Board and worked in all areas of the province to plan, supervise and report on audits of company and government forestry practices.
In 2000, Rick left government and incorporated his own company to provide environmental consulting services in the Oil and Gas fields of western Canada. Clients included Devon Canada, MEG Energy, EnCana Oil and Gas, and Southern Pacific Energy Corp for oil sands exploration (OSE) projects and steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) drilling programs. Rick held a First Line Supervisors Blowout Prevention ticket at one time, but his primary activities were the planning and supervision of drilling waste storage, safety briefings, water licensing, soil and drilling fluid analysis, drilling rig and facility inspections, incident investigation, construction of waste storage facilities, spill response, site rehabilitation, waste manifesting and transportation. At various times Rick worked with Other clients throughout western Canada included Nexen Resources, Exon Mobil, EOG Resources Canada, Total Oil and Gas, Husky Oil, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, and New Alta.
Rick retired in 2014 to enjoy his home of 29 years on Kootenay Lake. He always enjoyed river tripping by canoe and wilderness exploration and travelled many rivers included major sections of the Columbia, Elk, Kootenay, Little Missouri, Flathead, Red Deer, Rio Grande, Suwannee, Milk, Kettle, Similkameen, Yellowstone and Zambezi River in Africa.
After returning from a 6 month tour of Australia in a camper van, Rick became concerned with what he calls the utter insanity of the Liberal’s large deficits and additional taxation while pursuing a program of dubious social engineering.“I refuse to roll over while foreign interests and Liberal’s engage in the “shakedown” of Canada and its culture. They are driving away investment and placing a huge yoke of debt on our children. This is unacceptable and I won’t be lectured about Canadian values by the media and Liberal left”.
Rick originally worked with the Conservative party and was a nominee for candidate but resigned from the party after Andrew Scheer abandoned Conservative principles.“I was a political orphan for 4 months with nowhere to go until Maxime Bernier started the People’s Party of Canada. I share his common sense vision for Canada and want to be the next Member of Parliament to represent the people in the riding of Kootenay-Columbia. I have lived and worked throughout the riding for nearly 50 years and know the area and people well. I believe in a strong and principled government that puts Canadians first and works for the people, not the other way around.”