Kim Campbell was the first female Prime Minister of Canada, and a woman ofmany ‘firsts’. Her political career witnessedhuge successes including becoming thefirst female Justice Minister, the first female Minister of National Defence and the firstfemale Minister of Veterans affairs.
She is referred to a ‘Woman of Firsts’due to these ground-breaking national achievements, and is thought of as a courageous, bold and inspirational figure within the female political community.
4 facts about Kim Campbell
1. She was the 19th Prime Minister of Canada, while Margaret Thatcher has served as a Prime Minister in Britain.
2. Her mother abandoned her family when she was 12, and she was raised by her father alongside her sister, Alix.
3. She was the only Prime Minister to have been born in British Columbia.
4. She was a host and reporter on CBC's Junior Television Club.
« I have always believed governments must adapt to the needs of people, not theatre way around. »
« I would be prouder still to say I was Canada's 10th woman prime minister. »
« If you never encounter anything in your community that offends you, then you are not living in a free society. »
Kim was born in Port Alberni, British Columbia on March 10th, 1947 but shortly after birth moved to Vancouver. Although we now know her as Kim Campbell, her parents originally named her Avril Phaedra Douglas.
As a pre-teen, Kim featured on a famous children’s programme Junior Television Club, whereby she interviewed guests and read out news stories to the nation. Kim confesses that whilst she never had any idea that she wanted to become prime minister, she was interested in world peace.
In school, Kim became the first female study body president at Prince of WalesSecondary School In Vancouver, gaining press coverage in the Vancouver Sun newspaper. She was voted ‘best all-round student’ and gave the Valedictorian speech which shows that at school, Kim was a talented pupil and had heapsof potential as a political figure. This courageousness as a child would soonbecome a factor in her political success.
Although we know Kim Campbell as a politician, her career started in acompletely different direction. After graduating from University, she became ateacher and then a lawyer before she decided to become involved in politics.
However, her journey as a political figure was not at all easy. Kim faced manydefeats and brick-walls in her career, especially in gaining a leader role. It was only in October 1986 that her luck began to change, as she was elected to the Assembly as a Social Credit Party member for Vancouver-Point Grey.
Two years later, Kim decided to change political party and become involved as a Progressive Conservative. This movement allowed her to participate in many different parts of the political world, such as looking at internationalrelations, issues of justice and national defence. Kim was not isolated to one area, but triumphed in all the fields she participated in.
After Mulroney (the 18th Prime Minister) decided to retire in February 1993,many turned to Kim to replace him. Mulroney had placed a lot of trust andconfidence in her ability, and she was thoroughly supported by her colleagues. Although her tenure lasted only a few months (June-November 1993), this was enough time for her to create three important ministries: Health, Canadian Heritage, and Public Security.
Club of Madrid
Although Kim was not re-elected due to the Conservative Party’s loss, her career did not stop. She was appointed in 1996 as Consul General in LosAngeles until 2000. Then, between 2001 and 2004 she lectured at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. However, perhaps oneof the most important posts she has held is the secretary-general for the Club of Madrid (2004-2006) which aimed at improving and motivating democracy across the world.
She is also an advocate for Equal Voice within Canada, a group which aims to encourage females to participate in public life. She says that she widely encourages women to integrate themselves in political affairs, stating ‘it is a very exciting and rewarding thing to do.’
Kim still is remembered as an important political figure, appearing on showslike Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister, which shows she is still devoted to encouraging young people to venture into the exciting, thrilling world of politics.