Jim Hart (politician)

James Alexander Hart (born October 30, 1955) is a former Canadian politician.

Early years

Hart was born in Edmonton, Alberta, was educated in Calgary and completed his military training at Canadian Forces Fleet School Halifax, CFB Borden and CFB Esquimalt. He completed his broadcasting training at the Columbia Academy of Radio and Television Arts in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1981. Hart has also studied at the Canadian Securities Institute, completing the Canadian Securities Course and the Ethics, Conduct and Practices Program. Prior to entering political life, Hart worked in the broadcasting industry as radio host, account executive and radio station manager.

Political career

In 1988, Hart was elected to municipal government and served two terms as a Trustee. In 1989, he joined a new national political movement, the Reform Party of Canada, which became the Canadian Alliance in 2000.

Hart was first elected 1993 to represent the riding of Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, British Columbia] , in the Canadian parliament. He was re-elected in 1997 in the new riding of Okanagan—Coquihalla.

In 1998, as a member of Canada’s official opposition, he was elected by his peers as the Vice Chairman of the House Standing Committee of Defense and Veterans’ Affairs. As well, Hart was appointed as Chief Opposition Critic for a number of senior portfolios including Defense, Veterans’ Affairs, and Justice. He also served as an executive member on the Canada/Japan and NATO Parliamentary Associations.

In March 1996 Hart accused Jean-Marc Jacob, Member of Parliament for Charlesbourg, of sedition for a 1995 communique sent by him (Jacob) to members of the Armed Forces in Quebec concerning the October 30 1995 separation referendum in that province. The Speaker ruled the matter "prima facia', "Mr. Hart moved a motion, which after debate was amended, and the House referred the matter to committee for study. See debates, March 12 1996, pp.557-67; March 13 1996, pp.648-74; March 14 1996, pp.680-703; March 18 1996,pp 854-9. On June 18 1996 the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs presented its Twenty-Ninth Report which found that although Mr. Jacobs actions were ill advised, there was no contempt of the House. See Journals June 18 1996, pp.565-6; June 20 1996, pp.592-3 (House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Robert Marleau and Camille Montpetit ISBN 2-89461-378-4)"

"The communique urged Canadian Armed Forces personnel, along with equipment and military hardware to immediately join the new Quebec Armed Forces the day after a "yes" vote in the referendum. The referendum failed to win a majority."

Inquiry

Hart resigned as a Member of Parliament in order so that newly elected Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day could enter the House of Commons through a by-election. After the by-election, Hart received a severance payment of $50,000 from the Canadian Alliance, which prompted a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) inquiry. The Canadian Alliance maintained that the payment was made to cover lost income between the time of his resignation and the date of the next election, and was not an inducement.

The RCMP inquiry concluded that an investigation was not necessary and that neither Hart nor the Canadian Alliance had committed a criminal offence, and no charges were ever laid in the matter.

Later career

Since leaving parliament, Hart has worked as a lobbyist, with clients including the British Columbia Naturopathic Association, and has continued to speak publicly about proposed changes to health care regulations in British Columbia.

In 2004 Hart moved to the Republic of Georgia and worked as an advisor to Speaker Nino Burjanadze.

In 2005, Hart received an honorary doctorate from Georgian Technical University for his work in parliament and promoting democracy in Georgia.

In July 2007 Jim Hart and his family went on a 9 month sabbatical to promote A New Thing, a Christian CD written by and performed by his spouse Melanie Hart. A New Thing has been a top selling independent Christian CD on the internet company CD Baby. Melanie Hart is the first North American singer/songwriter to record in the former soviet country of Georgia. The CD is being aired on Christian radio station worldwide including the USA, Canada, Sweden, Africa, Belarus,and Australia.

In May 2008 the Harts returned to Georgia. Jim accepted the position of Dean, School of Governance at Caucasus University [http://www.cu.edu.ge] . Melanie Hart is recording her second CD [http://www.melaniehart.org] in Georgia and plans to market the second world-wide.

Publications

*Hart, Jim. "Straight from Hart"•ISBN 1-896967-50-7

External links

* [http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/process/house/hfer/hfer.asp?Language=E&Search=Det&rid=936&Include= History of Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt riding]
* [http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/process/house/hfer/hfer.asp?Language=E&Search=Det&Include=Y&rid=1039 History of Okanagan Coquihalla riding]
* [http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/key/bio.asp?Language=E&query=135&s= Biographical information at Library of Parliamentar]


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