Minister Nicholas Simons
Minister Simons was appointed to lead the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction on November 26, 2020.
He was first elected MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast in 2005. He has served as Opposition Critic for several portfolios, on the Select Standing Committee of Finance and in 2017 he was elected Chair of the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth.
Minister Simons spent over 15 years working in the areas of health, justice, social services and child welfare. He served as the director of health and social development for the Sechelt Nation from 1997 until his election in 2005. In his role as director with the Sechelt Nation, he oversaw public health, child welfare, alcohol and drugs, financial assistance, and justice programs.
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 researcher and consultant for the federal, Northwest Territories, British Columbia and First Nations governments in areas including law reform, child welfare, legal education and crime prevention.
He has also taught criminology, in which he has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Ottawa and a master’s from SFU and has taught child protection to social workers based in First Nations communities.
Minister Simons has also been active in the arts community as a cello teacher, performer, and session musician. He has played with local, national and international artists and ensembles and has two gold records. He is a former president of the Sunshine Coast Arts Council.