Nicholas Simons, MLA
Powell River – Sunshine Coast
Nicholas Simons served as the Director of Health and Social Development for the Sechelt Nation from 1997 until just prior to his his election in 2005. He has spent over fifteen years working in the areas of Provincial and First Nations child protection, health, justice and education.
In his role with the Sechelt Nation he oversaw Public Health, Child Welfare, Alcohol and Drugs, Financial Assistance, and Justice Programs. He negotiated funding for innovative preventative health and social services which led to a dramatic reduction in adversarial Ministry child welfare intervention, and improvements in health outcomes in all age groups.
Prior to his employment with the Band, he worked as a child-protection social worker for the Ministry for Children and Families in Sechelt and North Vancouver. He has worked as a consultant for the Federal, Northwest Territories, and British Columbia and First Nations governments in areas including law reform, child welfare, legal education and crime prevention.
He has lectured in Criminology, in which he has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Ottawa (1986) and a Master’s degree from Simon Fraser University (1993). He taught child-protection social work under the First Nations Social Worker Training Program to those working in First Nations communities. He conducted the initial review of the death of a Port Alberni toddler that led to the Hughes Report and significant changes to the child welfare system in British Columbia.
Nicholas has been active in the arts community both as a cello teacher and performer. He has played and recorded with local, national and international artists and ensembles, and has two gold records with Rise Against. He is a former President of the Sunshine Coast Arts Council, and the founder and editor of the Lower Langdale Tattler, a limited-circulation satirical newspaper.
Nicholas is the past Chair of the Social Policy Committee of Caucus, and has served on the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services (2005-2006), Children and Youth (2006-2014), and is currently a member of the Select Standing Committed on Aboriginal Affairs.
Nicholas has served as the Opposition Critic for Tourism, Sport and the Arts (2005-2006), Human Rights, Immigration and Multiculturalism (2006-2007), Ministry for Children and Family Development (2007-2009), Community Living BC (2009-2013) and Agriculture (2013-2014) and currently holds the Small Business, Coastal Economic Development, and Arts & Culture portfolios in the Shadow Cabinet of John Horgan, Leader of the BC NDP.