Peter Bjornson before you today with thanksgiving. Please grant him wisdom and
discernment in as he serves in legislature and his constituency. Lead and guide
him in all areas of his life. Use his experience and education to accomplish
your purposes in legislature. We pray for your protection upon Mr. Bjornson and
his family in all areas of their lives. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.
Peter Bjornson was elected in the June 2003 general election, re-elected in 2007, and again in 2011. He was appointed the Minister of Education, Citizenship and Youth by Premier Gary Doer in 2003 and re-appointed after the 2007 election. In November 2009, he became Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade under Premier Greg Selinger. Finally, on October 18, 2013, he was appointed Minister of Housing and Community Development.
A teacher by profession, Peter devoted 13 years of his life to his students before entering politics. Peter’s involvement at the scholastic level has included coaching volleyball and basketball, assisting with student council, and participating in the drug and alcohol policy, school improvement, and discipline committees. A teacher advocate and member of the Evergreen Teachers’ Association Executive, Peter served as president in 1996.
Peter has also served as a councilor for the Town of Gimli where he gained valuable experience in local governance. During his term from 1998 to 2002, Gimli saw many improvements made and initiatives undertaken such as upgrades to recreational facilities and other infrastructure projects, including the harbour park development and a new public works facility. During his term, Peter was a key player in the historic municipal merger between the Town and RM of Gimli. There was also a reduction in municipal taxes during his time on council. A young entrepreneur, Peter ran a successful small business for 15 years.
During his six years as Minister of Education, Peter substantially advanced Inclusive Education and Aboriginal Academic Achievement initiatives and initiated the Education for Sustainable Development grant program. He also increased funding for a number of important programs and put forth many innovations in curriculum and resource supports, including Safe Schools, Assessment for Learning, mandatory physical education and nutrition policies, amongst many others.
Peter was raised in a household where community service wasn’t unique or exceptional, but expected. He has served on the Gimli and District Restitution and Reconciliation Committee for Youth Justice and was president of the Kinsmen Club of Gimli. Peter was also co-chair for two Kinsmen projects that raised capital funds for a new health centre. Furthermore, Peter has represented the town of Gimli on the Gimli Recreation Society, the Icelandic Festival Committee, the Gimli Youth Advisory Board, the Western Canada Summer Games, the Gimli Fire Committee, the Gimli Harbour Committee and the Canada Day Committee. He also served as chairperson of the Parks and Recreation Committee.
Peter’s innovative teaching methods, curiosity, and desire for excellence have been recognized through numerous awards such as the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, the Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History (2000 & 2003) and the Prime Minister’s Award in 2001. Peter’s awareness of history and its impact on our province as well as events that may shape our future make him an excellent MLA to represent the constituency of Gimli.