James William Gouk was born in Toronto, Ontario on April 15th, 1946, and moved to British Columbia as a child. He has resided in the Castlegar area since 1976, and has represented the scenic federal constituency of Kootenay-Boundary-Okanagan in the House of Commons since the October 1993 election. He was re-elected in the June, 1997 general election; and again on November 27, 2000.
Jim’s past political experience includes two terms as a Castlegar City Councillor. He was an active member of two Castlegar voters’ groups promoting more democratic and cost-effective local government: CURB (Citizens Unaccepting Rash Bureaucracy), and the Castlegar Non-Partisan Association (NPA). He was also a Director of the Crows Nest Highway 3 Association.
During the 35 th Parliament, Jim served as the Transport Critic for the Reform Party of Canada, travelling from coast to coast studying a wide variety of transportation issues of national and regional importance. With the formation of the 36 th Parliament in 1997, Jim was appointed Reform Critic for Public Works and Government Services, which included responsibility for the Canada Post Corporation and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. In November, 1999, he removed himself from his critic responsibilities to devote more time to his constituency. He acted in a “troubleshooter” role for the Party, taking on special assignments as the need occurred. This included developing recommendations for changes to the legislation governing the operation of Corrections Canada, assisting on the Nisga’a Treaty legislation, and special assignments dealing with airport emergency response services and VIA Rail.
Following his re-election to the 37 th Parliament, Jim was named chief Labour critic for the official opposition, a position he resigned on May 15, 2001. In April, 2002, he accepted a special project assignment to study the viability of and private sector interest in privatizing VIA Rail. On October 21, 2002, he was returned to the role of Official Opposition Labour Critic, in addition to his VIA study.
Elected to the House of Commons in 1993.
Jim and his wife Ann have two adult children – Warren and Wende.