Jay was born in 1952 in Fort St. John, British Columbia, and grew up in a farming community near Taylor, B.C. Following high school, Jay worked in forestry and in the oil and gas industry before returning to agriculture in 1975. He and a brother worked on the family farm, taking it over from their parents in 1991. Eventually the farm was enlarged to 3000 acres under cultivation producing wheat, barley, canola, fescue and other grass seeds. Mr. Hill's interest in the family farm was sold in 1996 and he now resides in Fort St. John, BC. He has three children; Holly (25), Heather (23) and Heath (21).
Jay became a member of the Reform Party of Canada in 1988, and was the Reform candidate for Prince George - Peace River during the 1988 federal election. For the 1993 federal election, Jay was nominated over three other contenders as the Reform Party's candidate, again for the riding of Prince George - Peace River. He won the election with a comfortable margin of 13,500 votes, representing over 54% of the votes cast.
Mr. Hill's first critic role was to track down government waste and mismanagement on a special Reform investigative team. In 1995, he was appointed the Deputy Critic for Immigration, and was also given responsibility for addressing national issues originating in, or pertaining to, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and northern provincial ridings. In November 1995 he was made Critic for Regional Development Programs.
Mr. Hill assumed the dual roles of the Official Opposition Deputy Whip, and Chief Critic for Agriculture and Agri-foods until June 1998. Effective June 16, 1998, he was appointed the Official Opposition's Question Period Director and a Deputy Justice Critic in addition to Deputy Whip. He held these positions until February 1, 2000 when he assumed the role of the Official Opposition Whip. At that time duties also included sitting on the Board of Internal Economy, Procedures & House Affairs and the Party Strategy Group.
In July of 2000 Mr. Hill was appointed Chief Critic for Transportation by Mr. Day. Between September 18, 2001 and April 10, 2002 Mr. Hill served as Chief Whip and Solicitor General Critic for the Progressive Conservative – Democratic Representative Coalition in Parliament. In doing so he became the only known Canadian Member of Parliament in history to have been appointed Whip of two different parties. Originally appointed by newly elected leader, Stephen Harper to serve as a CA justice critic with colleagues Vic Toews, Chuck Cadman and Kevin Sorenson, he was also given the additional responsibility as the Child Custody Critic. On August 21, 2002 he was appointed to the Caucus Officer position of Official Opposition Question Period Director for the second time. On June 23, 2003, Stephen Harper asked Mr. Hill to serve as Senior National Defence Critic for the Official Opposition Canadian Alliance, a position he continues to hold today.
First elected to the House of Commons in 1993.
High School Graduate.
Married with 3 Adult Children.