Written by Naseem Nuraney, Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs

Fraser Health’s new board chair Jim Sinclair has a lot to offer as a champion for workers and citizens everywhere.

Recently retired after 15 years as the president of the BC Federation of Labour (BC Fed), he’s spent four years on Vancouver and Richmond Health boards and is looking forward to bringing that experience to Fraser Health.

He says he plans to meet as many people and visit as many sites as he can. His goal as the board chair is to ensure the highest quality of care is delivered and to listen to both citizens and the workforce, to ensure their opinions are respected.“

Most things that make our lives decent, we have to do together,” he says. “Protecting the environment, good health care, assessable public education, human rights – success on these issues can only be achieved collectively.”

The personal side of Jim Sinclair

What’s your proudest career moment to date? I have been lucky to be part of many changes that hopefully made people’s lives better. One was negotiating the pension plan for the fish-workers in B.C. These workers were the last unionized resource sector workers in the province who did not have a pension plan. Pensions are the foundation of retirement with dignity and respect.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Chopping wood and reading, mostly fiction and history books.

What’s your favourite travel destination? Almost anywhere in rural British Columbia.

Who’s the person you most admire? Lots of people have inspired and educated me. One was Doug Parker, my social studies teacher. He opened the door to show me the world could be a better place, he encouraged me to think on my own and not accept other people’s truths until I had developed my own. I also admire my mother – she was tough and opinionated and we had great conversations. Maude Barlow, Terry Fox and Tommy Douglas inspired me as well.

Favourite movies? Spartacus. The Birdman from Alcatraz.

If you had one power…grace, it is a wonderful thing to have.

What am I most passionate about? Fairness and equality. Especially public health care. It defines us as people. It is one of the most profound forms of our solidarity with each other. Good quality public health care for all citizens is the difference between living and dying for so many people.

What do you do to relax? Reading. Right now I’m reading “Five Smooth Stones” by Anna Fairbairn. It is a novel about the civil rights movement in the U.S. I’ve just written a book myself about the history of building trades unions in B.C., available soon.

How do you get your exercise? I go to the gym and I hike.

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