Don McRae

Coffee with … Don McRae

You might just see your local MLA at a karaoke bar...

Scott Stanfield

Record staff


Before embarking on a career in politics, Comox Valley MLA Don McRae had been a teacher at Vanier Secondary, which he had attended as a student.

There are further connections with the Courtenay high school. McRae had attended day care at Vanier, where his father, Doug, had also worked as a teacher.

McRae spent 15 years teaching at his former high school, where he also coached rugby.

His first foray into the workforce was a summer job at Home Hardware in Comox. He was 15 at the time.

McRae later worked weekends at Central Builders in Courtenay.

“Which was a great job because your friends never came in to visit you, and your parents could enjoy your staff discount when they renovated.”

McRae married his high school sweetheart, Deanne. The couple has two daughters: six-year-old Chloe and 12-year-old Gracie.

Aside from teaching and politics, McRae enjoys running, especially on trails in the Comox Valley.

Another passion is karaoke.

Before entering provincial politics, McRae had served several years on Courtenay city council. He was first elected in 2002.

He was elected Comox Valley MLA in 2009, and spent close to four years serving in cabinet. McRae’s ministerial portfolio included the agriculture, education, and Social Development/Social Innovation ministries. He resigned from the latter about a year ago due to a family health concern.

If the opportunity presents itself, he might consider a return to cabinet, but for now he enjoys being close to home.

“I enjoyed the cabinet job because you are the decision arm in government. And you still have input as a private member. But when you hit your 90th hotel stay in a year, or you find yourself flying to Vancouver and farther three or four times a week sometimes, it takes a toll on an individual. Which is fine, you ask for the job. But also, you ask your family to do a lot in your absence.”

McRae calls himself an “accidental politician,” falling into it along the way.

“I’ve enjoyed it. A lot of work, but it definitely wasn’t some sort of master plan to move through various political areas. It just sort of happened one year. What’s that John Lennon quote? ‘Life’s what happens while making other plans.’”


Just Posted

Sarah Rebitt named the Vanier recipient of the Governor General’s Award

Sarah Rebitt was named the recipient of the 2018 Governor General’s Award… Continue reading

Stolen kayak tops Comox Valley RCMP report

Comox Valley RCMP report week of Sept. 18-2

Dead motorcyclist was member of Facebook group that raced on Mount Washington road

Some group members record their rides and post times to page

UPDATE: Motorcyclist dead following crash on Strathcona Parkway

A 29 year old man has died following a motorcycle crash on… Continue reading

Vancouver Island pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Sept. 25, 2018

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Sept. 25, 2018… Continue reading

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Island man calls 911 after being robbed of his drugs

Nineteen-year-old and 15-year-old suspects face multiple charges following robbery Monday in Nanaimo

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

Most Read