John’s Biography

My name is John Twigg and I am honoured to be running for the Conservative Party of B.C. in the North Island constituency, an area I have often visited since my birth in 1949 and which I have lived in full-time for about 25 years. This is the third time I have sought to become the North Island’s Member of the Legislative Assembly.

I come from a family with deep roots in British Columbia. On my father’s side my great grandfather was a typographer in Victoria in the times of Amor de Cosmos (mid-1800s), while my grandfather became an outdoors writer and my father became the purchasing agent for the municipality of West Vancouver while I was growing up. (He became president of the Purchasing Management Association of Canada.) On my mother’s side there was a Lieutenant-Governor, a Mayor of Vancouver and other dignitaries including the founder of the B.C. Lions football club. My mother’s father served in the Canadian military and was captured while trying to defend Hong Kong. Her mother had a lengthy career in the foreign service of Great Britain, including several years in their consulate in Seattle.

When I graduated from West Vancouver Secondary I was awarded the top prize for combining academics, athletics and citizenship, after which I earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science from the University of B.C. While at UBC I also became active in The Ubyssey student newspaper which led to a job as a reporter for The Vancouver Sun, where I worked for several years and rose to be a full-time copy editor.

While at The Sun I was approached by the B.C. New Democratic Party in 1972 and so became Press Secretary to party leader Dave Barrett and so played a key role in winning the provincial election that year, after which I became Press Secretary to the Premier, the first Press Secretary in B.C. history. My job with the Premier became a major opportunity for me to learn a great deal about the province, especially about its politics and economy but also about its society, regions and subcultures.

My close work with Barrett enabled me to visit virtually every community in the province, which taught me about the the workings of many institutions (e.g. the founding of ICBC) including the importance of local government. I also travelled with the Premier to many federal-provincial conferences (e.g. the pivotal Western Economic Opportunites Conference in Calgary) and to visit the key bond-rating agencies in Toronto, New York and Europe as well as go on an eye-opening trade mission to Hong Kong and Japan, the latter where at my behest Barrett spoke out for the Greenpeace movement against the killing of whales.

As Press Secretary I also helped to develop the B.C. government’s first information service, a new free call-in service, a news conference theatre that is still in use, the first Hansard (transcripts) service in the Legislature and many other constructive innovations such as the tour-guides service in the Legislature Building. I also was influential in preserving the Nitinat Triangle in the West Coast Trail National Park, for which I had written the first guide book that was published by the Sierra Club, and I participated in numerous other progressive innovations.

After Barrett was defeated in an ill-advised snap election in 1975 I moved to Regina with my then-new family and became a freelance business journalist, then a bureau staffer for Canadian Press and finbally an award-winning Financial Editor for the Regina Leader-Post where I learned a great deal about the importance of businesses and industries in the economy. I also did some work in radio and TV.

Soon after re-marrying I decided to return to Victoria in 1985 for its milder climate. I joined the B.C. Legislative Press Gallery as an independent freelancer writing for Equity magazine and numerous other media outlets and business publications while I also produced several subscriber-based newsletters during the end of the Bill Bennett era, the beginning and ending of the Vander Zalm era and then the Mike Harcourt and Glen Clark NDP eras – all of which I had direct influence in. I also did some government-relations and communications consulting for some major businesses and industry groups.

Following the death of my father I moved to the family homestead in the Oyster Bay area south of Campbell River to help care for my dear grandmother Ruby Twigg, who lived to be 102, and after she died I remarried to Laura and we moved into the City of Campbell River, where I have been active in local media (e.g. doing a cable TV show and shows on the local Spirit-FM Chrisitian radio station). I also have been active in the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association, the Campbellton Community Garden and numerous other local activities.

My goal in seeking office is to help implement new policies that will enable as many British Columbians as possible to survive the coming crisis in world affairs. These include such things as stronger social security and policing services, local and provincial self-suffiency in food and other essential items, environmental protection, communications, and sensible approaches to many other important issues.

I can be reached by email to john@johntwigg.com .