Born April 3rd 1958, I am a 56 year resident of the City of North Vancouver. My father, Frank Morris, worked for the City for over 35 years, first as a surveyor, then in the engineering department, finishing his career as the City’s Director of Development. He later served as a councillor, as well as sitting on a variety of Boards and Committee’s under various appointments made by then Mayor Jack Loucks.
City of North Vancouver business matters were daily fair at our dinner table for all the years I lived at home, and as a child, youth and young man, I participated in hundreds of debates regarding the merits of virtually every challenge confronting the City.
Choosing to make my way in the world on a different path than my father, I left school with a burning desire to become a professional racecar driver. I owned and operated several circuit racing cars for four years until an untimely motorcycle accident nearly rendered me cripple. I was laid up for several years, and my racing career was over.
I took up employment as a commercial truck driver running semi tractor trailers both locally and line haul throughout the province. I worked for many of Vancouver’s most established carriers, often working 2 and 3 shifts in a day, back when that was possible.
Through family connections I was able to start employment with Imperial Oil Ltd. (Esso), and began sailing as a deck-hand on their west coast oil tankers; Imperial Skeena and Imperial Tofino. I would sign-on for 60 days, and then be off for 30-60 days, depending on demand. While off, I continued to drive highway tractor.
When Imperial downsized, I moved to management taking on the role of marine dispatcher and bunker fuel sales representative. I rose quickly through the organization. In 1991, after Imperial bought Texaco, there were too many employees so Imperial introduced a voluntary downsizing program with cash incentives to those who wished to leave. I took the buy-out and thereafter have only worked for startup businesses I owned.
My initial enterprise was to act as an energy consultant for both public and private sector petroleum product consumers. My client base included the likes of BC Ferries, BC Building Corporation, and over 65 BC municipal governments, including the City of North Vancouver. One of my earliest projects was to band together a critical mass of BC municipal energy consumers into a single buying group, the purpose of which was to create a consumer sufficiently large enough to access vastly lower fuel prices. In that campaign I caused the formation of the BC Petroleum Products Buying Group (or “BCPPBG”). In the role of administrator I bought approximately 65,000,000 litres of diesel, gasoline and lubricants annually for 65 BC municipal and provincial government entities. Never in the 18 years I ran the group did we have a problem, and our members regularly laid claim to the lowest fuel prices in the province, certainly lower than BC Transit, who were never happy about this fact each time it became public.
Along the way I owned the Shell Aero-Centre operations at both Vancouver and Victoria International Airports, providing fuel, catering services, car rentals and other services to private and commercial jets and airlines, politicians, the RCMP, FedEx, Purolator, DND and many others to numerous to name. When president Clinton came to town for the Asia Pacific conference with AirForce 1, he came through our facilities, and used VanAero as his principle on-airport aircraft service provider.
I negotiated startup of the Discovery Coast Passage Ferry Service operated by BC Ferries, now scheduled to close by provincial decree in April of this year. This was a complex and political negotiation involving then BCFC president Frank Rhodes, deputy premier Dan Miller and premier Glen Clark. The negotiations took place around the same time as the Fast Cat ferry fiasco. The project included the construction of four new mid-coast ferry terminals, all eventually paid for by the BC Government. As Frank Rhodes said to me on more than one occasion over a beer, “you don’t think those boats actually cost 460 million do you. Your terminals are buried in there somewhere”
I went on to start a road-transport company, a tug and barge company, a bulk petroleum product reseller transporter company, a bulk fuel station construction and project management company, a leasing company, and a host of other businesses.
The initial enterprise, All Things Energy, franchised its petroleum product buying group concept into Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, eventually coming to represent over 600 municipal governments in total, controlling the placement of hundreds of millions of litres of petroleum product demand annually.
In June 2010, I suffered a skeletal injury to my spine in a motor vehicle accident, which has forced a lifestyle change upon me, and early retirement. These events have left me more time to take on numerous other causes, allowing me to stay active and use my many business skills acquired first as a manager with Imperial, and later as the president and owner of various businesses employing as many as 285 people in total at any one time.
Along the way I met and married my partner Jerri-Jane, and together we have a son Dylan (22) and a daughter Hayley (17). Dylan started working at the age of 14, and I am proud to say he has a terrific work ethic. He is currently employed working 2 week on, and 1 week off in the Oil-Sands area of Northern Alberta, commuting to work from North Vancouver. Hayley will be starting her final year at Sutherland this fall.
Both my family and my wife’s family call North Vancouver home. We are indeed very lucky to make the claim that most of us, including our extended families, have been able to stay or return to North Vancouver, to raise our kids and to live out our days.
But the reality of being able to remain a North Vancouver resident and homeowner is in jeopardy for many of our younger family members, including my own kids, and the ever increasing number of grand children in our midst. For this and various related reasons I have taken a renewed and active interest in the management and direction of the City of North Vancouver’s municipal affairs. We are in urgent need of change, and I am committed to be a part of that change. And so I will be a candidate in the City’s next municipal election. The details of my election platform are located within this website.