A biologist, forester and entrepreneur, Bruce Hyer has a long history of fighting for fiscal responsibility, democratic reform, and a healthy planet. Bruce was born American, but is Canadian by choice. Bruce helped to start the first Earth Day, and the USA’s first Department of Environmental Protection. As a Senior Environmental Analyst, he protected stream-belts, wetlands, and farmlands. Bruce led Connecticut toward being the first state to ban DDT. He moved to northwestern Ontario to create an ecotourism business in 1976.
In 1978, Hyer proposed a huge boreal ecological reserve. Today Wabakimi sustains threatened woodland caribou and boreal ecosystems in one of the world’s largest protected areas. In 1980, Hyer proposed protecting most of Lake Superior’s Canadian shoreline and islands, working toward that for decades. As his last act as MP in 2015, Hyer gained unanimous consent of Parliament to create the world’s largest freshwater Marine Conservation Area.
Jack Layton had asked Bruce to run for Parliament, and to fight for climate change legislation. Hyer became MP in 2008. In 2010, Hyer’s private member’s Bill C-311 became the only climate change legislation to ever pass in the House. Bruce was re-elected in 2011 with 49.8% of the vote.
After Layton’s death, the NDP repeatedly tried to force Hyer to put party before constituents – as do the Liberals and Conservatives! To better represent his voters, Hyer left the NDP to become Independent, explaining: “Mr. Speaker, I was honoured when the voters of Thunder Bay—Superior North chose me to be their voice in the House of Commons. I committed to them to be honest, open, and accessible… and to keep my campaign promises!”
Later, he proudly joined the Greens, saying “Greens have the best values, platform, and leader… and are the only party that does not ‘whip’ votes”.