P.M.#19 – I’ve delayed this posting almost as long as she was Prime Minister

After much delay, I’m finally bringing you the latest installment of my Prime Ministerial series. In fairness, I was on vacation for both three Sundays ago (Sun Peaks) and two Sundays ago (San Fran) and this past Sunday (i.e., yesterday) was hockey playoffs. It’s summertime, so one must expect some delays and disruptions. But now, on to P.M. #19.

The Right Honourable Kim Campbell was our, as of yet, one and only female Prime Minister. She wasn’t elected as the P.M., but took over when the aforementioned rat left the aforementioned sinking ship that was the Progressive Conservative government of 1993.

Five former P.M.s: Right Hon. Pierre Elliott Trudeau,
Right Honourable John N. Turner, Right Honourable Kim Campbell, Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, and Right Honourable Joe Clark.
Name Avril Phaedra Douglas “Kim” Campbell
Born: March 10, 1947 (1947-03-10) in Port Alberni, British Columbia
Died: not
Party: Progressive Conservative
Held Office: June 25, 1993 – November 4, 1993
Best known for:
  • being the first female Prime Minister of Canada
  • being the second female Head of State in the G8 (after Margaret Thatcher of England)
  • in the Mulroney government, she was the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (1989-1990), then Minister of Justice (Canada’s first female in this role) and Attorney-General (1990-1993), then appointed the Minister of National Defence (again, Canada’s first female in this role) in 1993.
  • She became the Prime Minister in June 1993 after Mulroney announced his retirement from politics, beating out Jean Charest for the party leadership. The election in fall 1993 was disastrous for the Progressive Conservatives, with the party winning only 2 seats3; Campbell lost her seat to Liberal Hedy Fry. There was probably not a single person who could have taken over the reigns after Mulroney and managed to win an election mere months later, but there was also a big ruckus caused by the Tories running attack ads against Liberal leader Jean Chretien, including an ad that appeared to make fun of his Bell’s Palsy.
Some Things I Didn’t Know About This P.M.
  • Canada’s first baby boomer P.M.
  • her name isn’t actually Kim, it’s Avril. She gave herself the nickname “Kim.”
  • She started a doctorate degree at the London School of Economics, studying Soviet Government, but didn’t finish it. Instead, she went to the University of British Columbia Law School and obtained her L.L.B.
  • She currently lives in Paris, France, with her common law husband
  • She was unsuccessful running for a seat in the provincial legislature with the BC Social Credit Party1 (the “Socreds”) in ’83, then unsuccessfully ran for the leadership of the Socreds in ’86, then won the Vancouver Point-Grey riding2

If you are just dying to read more about The Right Honourable Kim Campbell, check these out:

Image credits: Image of the 5 PMs is from the Library and Archives Canada, no restrictions on use. I was unable to find any other photos of Campbell that were free to use.

1Don’t let the word “social” in their name fool you – the Socreds were conservatives.
2That’s the riding where *I* live!
3I remember this joke going around after that election: What did the waiter say when Campbell entered the restaurant? “Kim Campbell, party of 2?”

Comments |4|

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  • Her best quote?

    “At least I didn’t sell my car!” Uttered after the atrocious loss on election night 1993.

    That night, Jen, Justin, Julian Yates and I were at the “victory” party of the PC candidate who got the third highest vote total in Canada – and still lost. Garth Turner, baby. Back when I was crazy. And 16.


  • I just got back from vacation, so yeah… this is a little late…

    There was also the controversy over the photograph taken of her when she was Justice Minister, where she was holding a judge’s robe in front of her while not appearing to be wearing anything else.


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