Winnipeg, Manitoba , Canada
|| June 17, 1972
|Contributor||The Oncoming Storm|
Apr 20, 2016 10:50am
|Info||Steven Fletcher made history in Canada on June 29, 2004, when he became the first quadriplegic to be elected to Canada's Parliament. He was appointed to be Canada's Health Critic in July 2004. |
An automobile collision with a moose in Northern Manitoba in 1996 left Fletcher paralyzed from the neck down. At the time he was 23 years old and employed as a mining engineer at the Bissett Gold Mine. His future was bright and his career advancement was on a fast track.
Fletcher's amazing determination to overcome adversity, to live a productive and meaningful life, and to make a positive difference in the world, have earned him the respect and admiration of many. His incredible accomplishments have made him a role model for the severely disabled.
Steven Fletcher was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1972, where his father was working on an Engineering project.
His leadership abilities and team-building skills are the product of a diverse background, education and unique life experiences.
Fletcher's community involvement began at Shaftsbury High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, when the student body elected him to be President of the Student Council. Since that time Fletcher has served the community in many capacities.
He has been an executive member of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba; a member of the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association of the University of Manitoba; a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the College of Registered Nurses; President of the Manitoba Recreational Canoeing Association; Honourary President of the Manitoba Naturalists Society, and member of the Board of Directors, Disabled Sail Manitoba.
He has been the Manitoba Provincial Kayak Champion, competing at the National level in the Canada Summer Games and has logged thousands of kilometres canoeing northern rivers. He has been an award- winning sailor in an International Regatta using the innovative sip-and- puff technology for disabled sailors. He is the founding member of Wilderness Access Manitoba, promoting Trail-Rider equipment for disabled outdoor enthusiasts; and is the Manitoba Ambassador for the Rick Hansen Man-In-Motion Foundation.
Following his accident, after a year in the hospital, Steven returned to university and attained his Masters of Business Administration, becoming the first quadriplegic in Canada to have achieved such a distinction. At the same time he received his Professional Manager Designation (P.Mgr.) and F.CIM (Chartered Manager Designation) (F.CIM) from the Canadian Institute of Management.
During this period (1999-2001) Fletcher was elected President of the Student Body at the University of Manitoba was re-elected for an unprecedented second term as president of the University of Manitoba Students' Union (UMSU) based on his proven track record. During his tenure, Steven was responsible for a five million dollar budget and brought the 23,000-member association out of debt and into a surplus position for the first time in a generation. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations
In November, 2001, Steven Fletcher was elected President of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba. He was re-elected in 2003 for a second term. He was the youngest person to hold the office, and the first with quadriplegia.
In December, 2002, Steven received the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 for "exemplary and outstanding contribution to the community and to Canada.
He is a member of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, Young Associates; Fort Whyte Nature Centre; Canadian Institute of Management; Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans Unit #286; the Charleswood Legion and the United Church of Canada. He is the Manitoba ambassador for the Rick Hansen Man-in-Motion Foundation. Steven is an acknowledged expert on Public Insurance, Post-Secondary Education and the Manitoba Health System. He is a popular public speaker and media commentator and is admired for his intellect, determination, compassion, and integrity.
Seeking to unite like-minded people behind a single candidate, Fletcher sought and achieved the nomination for the Canadian Alliance federal party on September 8, 2003 and actively supported the union of the Canadian Alliance Party and the Progressive Conservative party. After the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties formed the Conservative Party of Canada, Fletcher sought the nomination for the new entity and was elected as its candidate on March 4, 2004.
On June 28, 2004, Steven Fletcher beat out Liberal star candidate Winnipeg Mayor Glenn Murray to become the federal Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St. James. In doing so he made history as the first Quadriplegic to be elected to the House of Commons, and became a role model for others.
On July 22, 2004, Steven Fletcher was appointed by Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper to the role of Senior Health Critic, one of the most senior positions in the federal Opposition ranks. This appointment has been widely praised by Canadians citizens.