Mike joined the Canadian Forces as a reservist in 1972 and received his commission as a naval officer in 1974. He continued his reservist career until retiring in 2012 in the rank of Commander, having served in numerous roles both at sea and ashore, including as Commanding Officer of HMCS Tecumseh. In civilian life, he was founder/President of Calgary-based MJ Ervin & Associates, an industry consultancy. He has served on several boards, including the Calgary Police Commission and is a long-time member of the Institute of Corporate Directors. Mike and his wife Karen live in Victoria.