Paul was born in Edmonton, AB in June of 1959 and soon moved to Calgary where he grew up in the neighbourhood of Haysboro. From a young age gymnastics, scouting and farming played a major role in shaping his life.
Paul’s Haddon Road Elementary principle, Mr. George, convinced his parents that this boy full of energy and bored with school needed to do gymnastics. Paul excelled and in a few years went on to compete in the provincials where he finished in the top 6 all-around.
Paul entered the scouting program at age 8 and loved all the challenge badges where he was always eager to try new things. The old Scout Promise, “On my honour, I promise to do my best, to love and serve God, my Queen, my country and my fellowman, and to live by the Scout Law” and the Scout Law, “A Scout is: Helpful and Trustworthy, Kind and cheerful, Considerate and clean, Wise in the wise of his resources” continues to be a guide in his life.
Farming has always been a part of Paul’s life. From the early spring seeding to the fall harvest, the family travelled south to the family’s mixed farm for the weekends where they raised cattle, sheep, chickens, kept a milk cow and riding horses.
Paul has always had a love for animals and continues to enjoy the odd horseback trip. In 1972, Paul’s father Nolan, retired from banking and the family moved to the farm.
Paul’s father instilled in him the importance to work hard and to do your best. His father always said, “If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing right.” He also stressed the importance of good character, to always deal fairly with your fellow man and to be self-reliant. Paul’s father stressed the importance of continuing education and had Paul take mechanics, construction, electrical, welding, animal husbandry, pen checking, drywalling, artificial insemination, embryo transplanting and irrigation courses to name a few.
Another guiding influence was his grandfather, the Honourable E. W. (Ted) Hinman who served as Alberta’s Provincial Treasurer (Finance Minister) for Ernest C. Manning. He would have Paul read political books such as Frederic Bastiat’s “Selected Essays on Political Economy” and “The Law” along with Elbert Bowden’s, “Economics: The Science of Common Sense.”
“From an early age, good governance and sound economics, not politics and political favours was taught to me by my father and grandfather,” says Hinman. “The lessons I learned through their words, example and the books they introduced me to ignited a thirst for knowledge, a solid understanding of economics and the importance of good governing, not good politics.”
Political Life Begins
At the ripe old age of 14, Paul’s grandfather had Paul drive them to the Alberta Social Credit Party’s annual AGM’s. Paul served as the youth representative on the provincial board and eventually became VP of Policy for the party.
Provincially, Paul was present for the founding meeting of the Alberta Alliance and served as vice-president of policy until he was elected as MLA in 2004.
Federally, Paul was involved early on with Preston Manning and the Reform Party and its evolution to today’s Conservative Party of Canada. Paul fondly remembers the enthusiasm and excitement of the 2005 Montréal Conservative Convention.
Hinman was elected to his first term as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) representing the constituency of Cardston-Taber-Warner in the 2004 provincial election on November 22, 2004.
His win was historic as he became the first person elected under a fourth party banner, the Alberta Alliance, in the Alberta Legislature.
In November 2005, Hinman became the leader of the Alberta Alliance. During that time, the political environment in Alberta was changing. On January 19, 2008 Hinman led the merger of the Alliance and the upstart Wildrose. A few weeks later, on February 2, 2008, Stelmach surprised the province with an early and strategic election call. Hinman received accolades during the campaign for his performance in the televised leaders debate. However, he failed to retain his seat.
A year later, in a move he felt would help the party, Hinman stepped down as leader of the Wildrose.
Life in politics wasn’t over for Hinman. In May 2009, Calgary-Glenmore MLA Ron Stevens announced his resignation to accept a position as a judge and Hinman, a current residence of the riding, was convinced by Danielle Smith to run in the ensuing by-election. Once again Hinman won a surprising victory. Throughout the years Paul served as MLA for Calgary-Glenmore, he had the pleasure of his office being next to Prime Minister, Stephen Harper’s office. The two would often attend the same functions together as they represented the same area – provincial and federal.
In the spring election of 2012, Paul lost his seat but was asked to be a personal advisor to the Leader of the Official Opposition, Danielle Smith, later that year.
In December 2014, Paul decided it was time to take a break from politics.
Life After Politics
During his break Paul enjoyed spending time with family, gardening, hiking, camping, travelling, reading, and continually learning new things. Paul was never far from politics as he also spent time working behind the scenes in trying to unite the right in Alberta.
Paul has always felt the need to serve and in March 2016, with the unexpected and sudden passing of MP, Jim Hillyer, Paul was encouraged by his wife, family and friends to seek the Conservative nomination for Medicine Hat – Cardston – Warner, continuing to live by the scout promise, to love and serve my country and my fellowman, Paul feels duty bound to put his name forward and seek the Conservative nomination.