Barry Jones

former MLA for Burnaby North

Barry’s career was primarily as a high school chemistry teacher, but he was also very active in his profession, his community, and in politics. His activism began early in his teaching career producing the film “Half School”. The film showed the effects of the provincial government’s cutbacks on education, which resulted the children attending school on half-day shifts and was shown on CBC television. Barry went on to become President of the Coquitlam Teacher’s Association, signing one of B.C.’s first Working and Learning Conditions Agreements with the School Board. Barry also served on the other side of the Board table, being elected five times to the Burnaby School Board and serving four terms as Board Chairperson. He was first elected in 1975, running on a 14 point platform which dealt mainly with open governance at the school board level, (open meetings welcoming the public, strict rules governing in-camera meetings, public question period, etc.) Barry was first elected as an MLA in Burnaby North in the 1986 general election and re-elected in October 1991. Barry served five years in the Official Opposition and was Opposition Spokesperson for Education and Freedom of Information. Every year in Opposition, Barry introduced his private member’s Bill on FOI, and worked to raise the profile of the issue throughout the province. After the 1991 general election, Barry served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney General, and was instrumental in the new government bringing in the widely-acclaimed Freedom of Information and Privacy Legislation. He served on the drafting committee for the Bill, and as well, led the consultation process, resulting in the Jones Report which saw the legislation extended to all public bodies in B.C. He also chaired the all-party committee which selected the first Commissioner of Information and Privacy from 222 applicants from all over the world. Barry is enjoying retired life by engaging in landscaping, renovating, travel, community service, fitness, playing basketball, tennis, and golf, and dancing Argentine Tango.