Young Politician Reaching Out ! One on One with Hector Bremner
By TheAfroNews : Bio “Growing up in the Canadian Prairies, Hector Bremner learned important lessons about the value of hard work and commitment to community. Today, he brings those values to New Westminster, where for the past 10 years, he and his wife Virginia with their two boys, Carlo and Gianluca, are proud to call home. Hector has found professional success in leadership roles with some of Canada’s largest companies, as well as being a respected small business owner. Always believing in giving back, Hector has been an active board member for Children’s Wish Society initiatives, the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Gold Medal Plates Vancouver and the BC Senior Services Society. However, home is where Hector’s heart is, and he has been most active in New Westminster by becoming the Vice-Chair for the Community and Social Issues Committee, Vice-President of the Hyack Festival Association and board member of the New Westminster Environmental Partners – just to name a few. His passion for his community and strong belief that good government is a cornerstone that families must count on, Hector is honoured to join Premier Christy Clark and Today’s BC Liberals this May keep British Columbia’s future bright for generations to come.”
1. How would you describe yourself ?
I am a husband, father, small business owner, volunteer, lover of history and art and I am deeply interested in making a valuable contribution to society with my life. Up until now, the primary way I’ve done this is through volunteerism. I’ve spent time working with organizations serving the homeless, seniors, children with life threatening illnesses and even Canadian Olympic Athletes. In New Westminster, where my wife and I have raised our two sons, who are now in high school, I have been very active in nearly facet of our community life. I re-developed a popular culinary program that promoted local businesses and put on countless family focused community events. All this said, I am just someone who feels strongly that you must make every moment in this world is a blessing, and you have to honour it by making a contribution wherever you can, no matter what it is.
2. When did you decide to enter politics ?
It’s a deep held belief of mine that you must be the change you wish to see in the world. I think the 21st Century is demanding that we revisit how we address the important issues in our society, we have to seek leaders who are not stuck in the past, but have a clear plan to be successful in the future. We must seek local representatives that are not just running to “get” the job, but “do” the job and I believe that I can offer the people of New Westminster, and British Columbia, not just another politician, but a legislator who will make a real difference.
3. As a young politician, how are you planning to engage yourself in the community?
Politicians usually represent their government to the people, rather than representing the people to the government. I would work to change this by spending my time on the ground, working with citizens to develop a clear strategy to ensure our voices are being heard and that our interests are respected in government policy. I would never be one of those politicians you only see at election time, I would be doing the work every day that needs to be done and getting real results for the people who, I feel, is honoured to speak behalf of.
4. Given the landscape of our rich diversity how will your leadership connect with the growing Afrik Community in New Westminster?
New Westminster is very proud of its Afrik community as they have brought many young families to our City, new businesses and large churches which all contribute positively toward making New Westminster a better place to live. As part of my commitment to run the most respectful, open and inclusive campaign for MLA in New Westminster, I have already begun to meet with folks from the Afrik community in order to learn about what issues are important to them, their perspectives, as well as, expectations of me as someone who would be representing them in Victoria. What I have learned so far is that the Afrik’s take the opportunity to offer their children a better life here in BC very seriously and they are ready to make their voice heard in this election to ensure that opportunity is there for them. Afrik’s are hard working, educated people who want their degrees recognized and opportunities opened up to advance their education further so they can make their fullest contribution to society. They hope to see their children take part in BC’s energy boom and want to know that the government will not let opportunities pass us by, as the Afrik’s know as well as anyone that good jobs mean a bright future. I have committed to continue my outreach in seeking out opportunities to meet with every citizen I can in the hopes to earn their trust and work with me to achieve our mutual goals. In the weeks ahead, I will be hosting an event with leaders from our various cultural communities, including Afrik’s, with the BC Minister of Multiculturalism, where folks will be able to come and share ideas on how we can make BC better – so watch for that, I hope everyone can join us.
5. Who is your role model(s) in politics and how do they inspire you?
I have been mostly inspired by those leaders who have not turned away from making tough decisions, the right decisions, no matter what the consequences were. During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln faced more enemies than just slave-owning states, there were many in the North who opposed his position on emancipation and it would have been easy to capitulate to them, but he did not, and he persevered. Ultimately, his life was taken for standing up for his beliefs, as was another hero of mine, US President John F. Kennedy, who called on his people and his government to do bold things and no longer accept the status quo, that they could build the shining city on the hill for all to see if they were willing to work for it. Of course, African’s have many great leaders to admire, like Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela, and even though today’s British Columbian does not face something as evil as slavery or apartheid, we must never take for granted what others have sacrificed for us to get where we are today. Democracy is less a political system, as it is a responsibility – we owe it more than it owes us, the best leaders call us to act for the greater good.
6. What sets you apart from all the other candidates?
I am definitely the only candidate running for MLA in New Westminster that has a track record of truly working for the whole of our community. My call to run for office stems from my volunteerism and belief that the future of our community depends on a voice that speaks for all of us, not just some of us. I am not running just to have my name in the papers or promote some special interest agenda. The citizens of New Westminster saw me working hard for them before this election, they will see me working for them afterwards and can trust that, like them, I am more concerned about what happens at our kitchen tables, rather than just the boardroom tables.