Former Boundary-Similkameen MLA, Bill Barlee dies
Former Grand Forks native and B.C. MLA Bill Barlee recently died.
The news was released on his Facebook page.
Barlee, born Neville Langrell (Bill) Barlee in 1932, was elected to the B.C. Legislature in 1988 as a member of the NDP in the ridings of Boundary-Similkameen and Okanagan-Boundary for eight years.
He served as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 1991 until 1993 and then as Minister of Small Business, Tourism and Culture from 1993 until 1996.
He implemented the successful "Buy BC" program, to support BC farmers.
Barlee was also well known for his popular TV show on the history of Canada West which he co-hosted with Mike Roberts. This award winning television series Gold Trails and Ghost Towns, ran from 1986 to 1996 on five different networks nationwide.
The show is still seen in reruns.
His history magazine "Canada West" had faithful subscribers and his books included two best-sellers: "Gold Creeks and Ghost Towns" and the "Guide to Goldpanning".
Barlee, a high school teacher, writer, publisher, and placer miner, had carefully amassed an impressive collection of Old West artifacts.
Parts of the Barlee collection, valued at more than $1 million, have been placed on display in the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa as well as in museums around the country.
Vancouver Sun columnist Denny Boyd credited Bill Barlee as being one of the best Tourism Ministers B.C. has ever had.