"One foundational aspect of our faith is the importance of family. I was told by a senior member of Parliament that if I could leave that place with my integrity and my family intact, I would do well."
Rob Moore is the son of a PAOC pastor and church planter. He served as a member of Parliament for the Conservative Party of Canada from 2004 to 2015. After his defeat in the 2015 election, he was asked to fill the role of Atlantic Critic for the official Opposition. Last May, Rob was elected to the General Executive of the PAOC. Moore lives in Quispamsis, N.B., with his wife and three children.
Q1: Your father was a pastor and a church planter. When did your faith become your own, and not just something your parents did?
I accepted Christ into my heart at an early age. During the preteen and early teen years, when you think things through a little more, [that’s] when my faith became my own and directed the path I would take. We did move around when I was younger. My dad was from Saint John, N.B., so when he planted a new PAOC church in the Saint John area, that was where my family had its roots. I am very pleased to have had those experiences and to have settled in New Brunswick.
Q2: What is your role as Atlantic Critic for the official Opposition?
When you’re in government, you have ministerial positions. When you’re in opposition, you have critic positions. We don’t have [Conservative] representation in the House of Commons from the Atlantic region, so I am a voice on Atlantic issues. I provide advice to the Leader of the Opposition and inform the leader on issues in Atlantic Canada, and on the impact of government policies on Atlantic Canada. Having a good Opposition [in parliament] is important. It’s a foundation of our system to have debate on issues that are important. It’s a role I value and enjoy.
Q3: You were a lawyer and then chose politics. What led you to make those career choices?
I did my undergrad in business. The decision whether to jump out into the business world or to continue in law was something that I, and my parents, prayed about and gave a lot of thought to. I decided that I wanted to continue with law. How laws are made and their impact on people are what interested me.
I’m very grateful for my experience in law school. It has certainly helped me in the roles I’ve had, including being the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice, where you’re involved in making law. My job was to take government legislation and work with our justice committee to move that legislation forward. My background helped me to achieve that. I wasn’t really looking at that career when I decided to go to law school. When I look back, some of those steps that didn’t make sense at the time have come into play to get me to where I am.
Q4: What are some of the struggles you’ve faced as a Christian in politics, and what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned through that experience?
One foundational aspect of our faith is the importance of family. I was told by a senior member of Parliament that if I could leave that place with my integrity and my family intact, I would do well. I didn’t appreciate how important that advice was until later.
Being a member of Parliament—as anyone who has served in that role will tell you—is a pressure cooker. It’s the first time many MPs have been out on the road and away from family, and it can put a tremendous strain on relationships. There are many people who have left that place with a lot of pain. My faith helped me through those years and some of those challenges. Those experiences reinforced how important family is.
Q5: How can we pray more effectively for those in government, and what should we be praying for?
Wisdom. That’s important. Look at [what happened in] 2016; look at the world; look at what’s happening in Syria, where people are dying for their faith. In the big scheme of things, we are very blessed to live in this country. In our Charter of Rights, we recognize the supremacy of God. That’s what people can pray for. Politicians are faced with significant decisions.…There are a lot of challenges [with this job], and having the support of people and prayer is important. No matter who is in government, we should work together because there are things bigger than politics.
Q6: You’ve seen many changes over nearly 15 years in politics. Even positive change can be difficult. What’s your best advice for weathering change?
You have to accept that things are going to change, but you don’t accept the inevitability of where change will bring you.… You need to be grounded in what’s important. It’s easy to put the blinders on and lose sight of the bigger picture. Which opportunities are you being presented with when one chapter is closing and a new chapter is opening? What are some things you couldn’t do before, but now you can? … Stay grounded in who you are.
Q7: With a role of influence comes public scrutiny. What advice do you give others about integrity and accountability?
The one piece of advice I was given, and tried to follow, is that there are always opportunities to let something slide or do something that maybe no one’s going to find out about. Ask yourself, as you make those decisions—whether it’s business or family or politics—if this is something you’d want to see on the front page of your local paper. It might not be wrong or against the law, but is it something I want everyone to be reading about? It’s never perfect and no one is, but I’ve tried to abide by that. I’ve tried to conduct myself in a way my family would be proud of.
Lisa Hall-Wilson is an award-winning journalist. She writes exclusively for the Canadian faith-based community. You can find her on Facebook or on her blog at www.lisahallwilson.com.
Photo: courtesy Rob Moore
This article appeared in the March/April 2017 issue of testimony, the bimonthly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.