Fort St. John, British Columbia , Canada
|| December 27, 1952
Aug 07, 2006 04:50pm
|Info||Jay was born in 1952 in Fort St. John, British Columbia, and grew up in a farming community near Taylor, B.C. He attended local schools, and graduated from North Peace Senior Secondary in 1970. |
Following high school, Jay worked in forestry and in the oil and gas industry before returning to agriculture in 1975. He and his brother, Jerry, worked on the family farm, taking it over from their parents in 1991.
Eventually the farm was enlarged to 3000 acres under cultivation producing wheat, barley, canola, fescue and other grass seeds. Mr. Hill's interest in the family farm was sold in 1996 and he now resides in Fort St. John, BC. He has three children; Holly (27), Heather (24) and Heath (22).
Jay became a member of the Reform Party of Canada in 1988, and was the Reform candidate for Prince George - Peace River during the 1988 federal election. He was the only Reformer to place third in B.C. For the 1993 federal election, Jay was nominated over three other contenders as the Reform Party's candidate, again for the riding of Prince George -- Peace River. He won the election with a comfortable margin of 13,500 votes which represented over 54% of the votes cast.
Mr. Hill is a Past President of the B.C. Grain Producers Association, and was previously a Director for Grain with the B.C. Federation of Agriculture, a Director for B.C. and the Territories with Soil Conservation Canada, and Chairman of the B.C. Provincial Seed Fair. Before his election he was also active in the local sports community coaching junior curlers and minor hockey.
The results of the June 3rd, 1997 election reconfirmed the majority support of constituents for Mr. Hill, when nearly 67% of constituents who turned out marked their ballot for Reform.
After the June 1997 election he assumed the dual roles of the Official Opposition Deputy Whip, and Chief Critic for Agriculture and Agri-foods until June 1998.
Effective June 16, 1998, he was appointed the Official Opposition's Question Period Director and a Deputy Justice Critic in addition to Deputy Whip. He held these positions until February 1, 2000 when he assumed the role of the Official Opposition Whip. At that time duties also included sitting on the Board of Internal Economy, Procedures & House Affairs and the Party Strategy Group.
Following the leadership change in July of 2000, when Stockwell Day took over the reins of the Canadian Alliance from Preston Manning, Mr. Hill was appointed Chief Critic for Transportation by Mr. Day.
On November 27th, 2000 Mr. Hill was elected for the third consecutive time garnering nearly 70% of the popular vote.
Mr. Hill served as Chief Transport Critic until May 15th, 2001 when he and seven colleagues were suspended from caucus for publicly expressing concerns over the leadership of the Canadian Alliance, which resulted in the creation of the Democratic Representative Caucus.
Between September 18, 2001 and April 10, 2002 Mr. Hill served as Chief Whip and Solicitor General Critic for the Progressive Conservative - Democratic Representative Coalition in Parliament. In doing so he became the only known Canadian Member of Parliament in history to have been appointed Whip of two different parties.
On April 10, 2002 Mr. Hill formally applied to return to the Canadian Alliance Caucus and Party and was officially welcomed back by both.
Originally appointed by newly elected leader, Stephen Harper, to serve as a CA justice critic with colleagues Vic Toews, Chuck Cadman and Kevin Sorenson, he was also given the additional responsibility as the Child Custody Critic.
On August 21, 2002 he was appointed to the Caucus Officer position of Official Opposition Question Period Director for the second time.
On June 23, 2003, Stephen Harper asked Mr. Hill to serve as Senior National Defence Critic for the Official Opposition, a position he held until July 23, 2004. He was successfully re-elected for his fourth term on June 28, 2004. Mr. Harper subsequentially asked him to take over as the Official Opposition Whip for the Conservative Party of Canada. On January 24, 2005, Mr. Harper promoted him to the position of Opposition House Leader, citing Mr. Hill's "solid understanding of the House of Commons, and a no-nonsense style that will be beneficial in his new capacity."
Mr. Hill was re-elected in the January 23, 2006 election which resulted in a Conservative minority government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Prime Minister Harper appointed Mr. Hill to the position of Chief Government Whip. In addition, Mr. Hill was sworn-in to the Privy Council to better enable him to perform his duties.