The Society To Encourage Political Understanding & Participation ‘STEPUP’ is a non-partisan, not-for-profit registered society committed to opposing political parties that divide and weaken our communities for partisan gain.
Founded by concerned BC citizens who, prior to, weren’t politically engaged, we care deeply about our communities and the prospects for our children and grandchildren to live and thrive within them. We don’t like what is happening in BC politics. It’s become hyper-ideological and propagated by manipulation to consolidate power. Assumptively, and as a collective “voter base”, hard-working British Columbians are being manipulated by our Government, often at the expense of their neighbours, now targeted along perceived social and economic lines. These divisions encourage conflict and pit citizen against citizen when the opposites are needed more than ever. BC deserves better from its elected officials.
Our supporters reflect ideas from all three main BC parties. And we are united, challenging any party that stubbornly entrenches into unfair, tone-deaf, and divisive policies. We support those who support vibrant neighbourhoods, responsible achievement, and thoughtful policy. We are building a diverse and highly engaged citizens’ movement that opposes unreliable politicians who weaken our communities.
These issues are nuanced and complex; they evoke strong convictions on all sides. We realize many BC taxpayers don't fully share our concerns and views. But if you believe that BC is for the people, not the politicians, we are your voice. It’s time to step up.
STEPUP is a registered, not-for-profit BC society. We have a Board of four Directors and dozens of active volunteers. When feasible, we work with great professionals and vendors for specific projects. We rely entirely on voluntary donations and every dollar collected goes to deliver on our Mission.
We are also a grassroots, volunteer organization. We love our province and are connected to our communities. We are stepping it up to support and protect the things we value. Oftentimes this means calling out wrong-headed or clumsy policy. Sometimes it involves stepping up to powerful politicians, who enjoy almost unlimited resources and well-established PR machines. We’re the little guy.
STEP UP is small but mighty (and growing!). We are fortunate to have four, very experienced directors on our Board, who have built extraordinary lives for themselves and their families. All are long-time residents of British Columbia. None have been actively involved in politics previously, beyond, in some cases, donating. STEP UP is a new, more engaging, effort for all involved. Please meet our Directors:
Jonathan lives with his lovely wife of 40 years, Mary Ann, in Vancouver. When not playing with his grandkids, Jonathan chairs MAG Silver, based in Vancouver. He also sits on the boards of other companies. From 1977-1994, Jonathan practiced law in BC and since he has worked in corporate executive director roles. Jonathan makes lifelong friends. He has a fighting spirit and is not afraid of standing up to bullies.
Almost everyone in Vancouver has eaten at Joe Fortes, The Cannery, or The Fish House in Stanley Park. Bud started and ran all of them, among many other ventures. Bud and his family are long-time Vancouver residents. Bud is a proud grandfather and is very active in philanthropy, volunteerism, and various charities. Apart from that, Bud loves spending time with family, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and good friends.
Brian, a graduate of UBC, practiced corporate and securities law in Vancouver for 16 years after which he left the practice of law to become an entrepreneur mainly in the mining and oil & gas industries. He has participated in the creation of numerous resource companies and currently sits on the boards of five public companies. He has been married for 35 years and has three grown children, two resident in Vancouver with one resident in Toronto. Brian believes strongly in the inclusive nature of Canadian democracy and is highly motivated to resist those that would promote divisiveness in society especially in his home province of British Columbia.
Lana is the heart and reliable driving force at STEP UP. She’s tireless and embodies our Mission of participatory advocacy. Lana worked as a senior investment advisor for fifteen years, wrote 2 books on financial literacy (one which became a National Best Seller) and is a guru at running charitable and corporate events. She serves on several charitable boards given her drive to make the world a better place. Lana lives with her family in Vancouver.