We pause to pray today for Ben Stewart, MLA for Kelowna West in the beautiful Okanagan valley. You have blessed him, Heavenly Father, with a history of significant community service and political involvement, including service as a Minister in various portfolios in the past. Allow him, Lord, to use his training, experience and passion to serve effectively within our provincial legislature during the current term of office. May he be given the grace to serve with integrity not only the citizens of his local riding, but also utilize his background in agriculture to contribute to the fair governance of everyone in our province, even from the vantage point of the current opposition party in our legislature.
Bless Ben and his wife, and their three children and five grandchildren, as they continue to adjust to the rhythm and demands of him serving in political office, including frequent travel to Victoria. Keep him safe, bless him, and equip him to be a blessing to those he has been called to serve.
Ben Stewart was elected MLA for Westside-Kelowna in 2009 and 2013. He was re-elected in a by-election in 2018 in the riding of Kelowna-West. Ben is currently the Official Opposition Co-Critic for Citizen Services and Trade.
Mr. Stewart previously served as Minister of Citizens’ Services, Minister of Community and Rural Development, Minister of Agriculture, and as Government Whip. He served on the Special Committees on Cosmetic Pesticides and Timber Supply, and as the Ministerial representative on Treasury Board, the Priorities and Planning, and the Legislative Review Committees.
He also has extensive experience serving the community as a board member for numerous organizations such as the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation and Okanagan College. He was also as a founding director of a venture capital fund for local business development in British Columbia.
In 1989, he founded and built Quail’s Gate into one of Canada’s leading estate wineries. Later, under his leadership as chair of VQA Canada, that organization successfully resolved a number of significant issues such as International trademark protection and international mutual recognition agreements. He is recognized as a global leader in small lot premium wine production and a pioneer in Pinot Noir clonal research and wine-making.