Mary Polak joined Maple Leaf Strategies following a successful career in elected politics having served in several key Ministerial portfolios. Mary provides strategic advice to clients from a variety of industries.
Prior to joining Maple Leaf Strategies, Mary was an elected Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of British Columbia from 2005 until 2020. In her fifteen years in provincial elected politics, she held several key positions. She served as Minister of Environment, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Minister of Children and Family Development, Minister Responsible for Child Care, Minister of Healthy Living and Sport, and Minister of Health. In each of those portfolios, Mary was recognized as a competent Minister who solved problems and worked well with stakeholders and the civil service.
She also served on several Cabinet Committees including Treasury Board, The LNG Working Group, The Climate Change Working Group, and The Environment & Land Use Committee.
In opposition politics from 2017 to 2020, Mary served as the Opposition House Leader, a position which required her to work co-operatively with the government and other opposition party to manage the operations of the Legislature. She also served as a key spokesperson for the opposition.
Prior to her time as a Member of the Legislative Assembly, Mary served as a Trustee and former Chair of the Surrey School Board.
A lifelong resident of British Columbia, Mary worked in the public opinion research industry prior to becoming active in elected politics. Her skills in understanding public opinion and her time as an elected official give Mary a unique approach to dealing with needs of clients. She understands how to bring the public along and to find practical solutions to public policy challenges.
Mary lives in Langley BC with her daughter and a few feline freeloaders. She continues to be an active volunteer in her community. When not restricted by COVID-19, she plays chess weekly with her 91-year-old father. Once in while, she wins.