Brian has lived and breathed Manitoba since the day he was born in 1954. The eldest son of Bill and Anne Pallister, Brian grew up on a small, third-generation family farm just outside Portage la Prairie.
That upbringing, with loving parents and soon, a brother Jim and sister Peggy, shaped his outlook on being a person and what it meant to be a Manitoban.
Farming was difficult yet rewarding. Some years were better than others. Brian kept his roots there but soon began to explore both a wider Manitoba and a bigger world.
School was just down the road. A two-room school but with a big playground. Here, sports first became a passion for Brian. It was not long before he got noticed, and not just for his height!
Fastball, curling, and basketball all became Brian’s sports of choice. He loved the games, the teamwork, and the competition that went with each. It took him across Canada and literally to the other side of the world, in New Zealand, to play for Manitoba and Canada. Brian’s sports prowess was recognized repeatedly with trophies and awards, provincial and national championships. But one mattered most to him.
Along the way, Brian graduated high school at Portage Collegiate. He then put himself through Brandon University obtaining degrees in Arts and Education, while playing basketball for the Bobcats.
Brian’s first career was as a teacher. He taught social studies at William Morton Collegiate in Gladstone. Helping kids learn and reach their potential motivates him still.
While at university, Brian met Esther Johnson at a basketball game at U of W. They married in 1989. Two daughters followed, Quinn and Shawn.
A new career beckoned. Brian started a financial services company in 1980. It grew into Pallister Financial, located on the main street in Portage. Expanding over the years, Brian renovated a heritage building with local materials sourced from the Portage area.
Politics is public service for Brian. It is about giving back to the community.
From president of the local chamber of commerce helping grow Portage, Brian was first elected as the MLA for Portage la Prairie in 1992. Re-elected three years later, he served as Minister of Government Services.
His common sense reforms eliminated almost 3,000 pages of unnecessary regulation on business and communities.
In 2000, Brian began a time in federal politics. Elected as the Member of Parliament for Portage-Lisgar, he served eight years in the House of Commons including as chair of the influential Finance Committee.
Brian’s Finance Committee reports led to improvements in tax treatments for charitable donations and disability measures, and led to the development of a National Infrastructure Plan.
A four-year pause from political life came next allowing Brian to focus on family and business. He even improved his piano playing!
Hiking and biking are passions of Brian. This year he completed his personal goal of biking the Trans-Canada trail across Manitoba.
In 2012, Progressive Conservatives from around the province encouraged him to seek the party’s leadership. He did, winning by acclamation.
Now, as Leader of the Opposition and MLA for Fort Whyte in Winnipeg, Brian is bringing fresh energy and new ideas to Manitoba. He and the PC Team have brought new accountability to the Legislature on behalf of citizens fighting the PST increase and exposing wasteful spending and bad deals for taxpayers.
As premier, Brian has pledged to run a clean, open government. One based on Manitoba values he has strengthened throughout his life.