|Birth Day:||March 10, 1947|
|Birth Place:||Port Alberni, Canada|
Canadian politician, lawyer, university professor, diplomat, and writer who became Canada's first female Prime Minister in the summer 1993 after the unexpected retirement of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. She was known for her frank honesty and many believe that is what lost her the election in the fall of 1993.
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She was a host and reporter on CBC's Junior Television Club.
Campbell was the first Canadian prime minister not to have resided at 24 Sussex Drive since that address became the official home of the Prime Minister of Canada in 1951. Mulroney remained at 24 Sussex while renovations on his new home in Montreal were being completed. Campbell instead took up residence at Harrington Lake, the PM's summer and weekend retreat, located in rural Quebec, north of Ottawa, and she did not move into 24 Sussex after Mulroney left. Like Charles Tupper and John Turner, Campbell never faced a Parliament during her brief tenure, as her term was filled by the summer break and the election campaign.
Campbell and her family moved to Vancouver, where she attended Prince of Wales Secondary School and was a top student. She became the school's first female student president, and graduated in 1964.
She earned an honours bachelor's degree in political science from the University of British Columbia, graduating in 1969. She was active in the student government and served as the school's first female president of the freshman class. She then completed a year of graduate study at that school, to qualify for doctoral-level studies. Campbell entered the London School of Economics in 1970 to study towards her doctorate in Soviet Government, and spent three months touring the Soviet Union, from April to June 1972. She had spent several years studying the Russian language, and claimed she was nearly fluent, although when asked to say a few words of welcome by a reporter to Boris Yeltsin during his visit to Canada in 1993, she could not and could only say "Hello Mr. Yeltsin". Campbell ultimately left her doctoral studies, returning to live in Vancouver after marrying Nathan Divinsky, her longtime partner, in 1972. She earned, in 1983, an LL.B. from the University of British Columbia. She was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1984, and practised law in Vancouver until 1986.
Upon assumption of the Justice portfolio, Campbell was handed the petition for a new trial in the case of David Milgaard, a man who had been wrongfully convicted for murder in 1970 and spent decades trying to clear his name before being exonerated in 1993. In her autobiography Time and Chance, Campbell wrote that she came under "considerable pressure" from the public and was "bombarded with questions from the media and [from Opposition MPs] in Question Period" about the case before she was even officially assigned to Milgaard's petition to direct a new trial in the case. She said that her decision was delayed by Milgaard's legal team's repeated addition of new submissions to the appeal, which she was not allowed to review until all such submissions were complete. In mid-January 1991, she informed Milgaard's legal team that there was insufficient evidence to grant the petition. When later Mulroney was confronted by Milgaard's mother, he had "saluted her courage and determination and ... show[n] his concern for her son's health", which "blindsided" and "floored" Campbell and was interpreted by media and some MPs as evidence that the Prime Minister had taken sides in the case. Campbell says she "told the press [that] Mulroney was much too good a lawyer to intervene improperly" and "never breathed a word" to her about it; nor did anyone in his office attempt to influence her decision. Despite this, she wrote, Milgaard's mother "is convinced he did, and the media accepted this view," which made it difficult for her to convince others that she and her officials were motivated solely by "a desire to make the right decision."
During her marriage to Divinsky, Campbell lectured part-time in political science at the University of British Columbia and at Vancouver Community College. While still attending law school, she entered politics as a trustee on the Vancouver School Board, becoming, in 1983, the chair of that board and serving in 1984 as its vice-chair. She once claimed to have told the board to "back off" although others alleged that she said "fuck off". In total, she was a trustee there from 1980 to 1984. Campbell and Divinsky were divorced in 1983, and Campbell married Howard Eddy in 1986, a marriage that lasted until shortly before she became prime minister. Campbell is the second prime minister of Canada to have been divorced, after Pierre Trudeau.
Campbell was the unsuccessful British Columbia Social Credit Party (Socred) candidate in Vancouver Centre for a seat in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in 1983, receiving 12,740 votes (19.3% in a double member riding). Campbell ran unsuccessfully for the leadership of the BC Social Credit Party in the summer of 1986 (placing last with 14 votes from delegates), but was elected in October 1986 to the British Columbia Legislative Assembly as a Socred member for Vancouver-Point Grey, getting 19,716 votes (23.2%, also in a double member riding). Consigned to the backbenches, she became disenchanted with Premier Bill Vander Zalm's leadership and broke with him and Social Credit over the issue of abortion, which Vander Zalm was opposed to. Campbell decided to leave provincial politics and enter federal politics.
Campbell was elected in the 1988 federal election as the member of parliament (MP) from Vancouver Centre. She won the party nomination after the incumbent, Pat Carney, declined to stand for re-nomination. In 1989 she was appointed to the cabinet as Minister of State (Indian Affairs and Northern Development), a junior role to the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs. From 1990 to 1993 she held the post of Minister of Justice and Attorney General where she oversaw notable amendments to the Criminal Code in the areas of firearms control and sexual assault. In 1990, following the Supreme Court's decision invalidating the country's abortion law, Campbell was responsible for introducing Bill C-43 to govern abortions in Canada. Although it passed the House of Commons, it failed to pass the Senate, and as of 2017 there is no national law governing abortions.
She briefly dated Gregory Lekhtman, the inventor of Exerlopers, during her term as prime minister, but the relationship was relatively private and she did not involve him in the 1993 election campaign. She is currently married to Hershey Felder, an actor, playwright, composer, and concert pianist.
In 1993, Campbell was transferred to the posts of Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs. Notable events during her tenure included dealing with the controversial issue of replacing shipborne helicopters for the navy and for search and rescue units. The actions by Canadian Airborne Regiment in the military scandal known as the Somalia Affair also first emerged while Campbell was minister. When the Liberal Party of Canada took power, the incident became the subject of a lengthy public inquiry, continuing to focus attention on Campbell and the PCs.
Mulroney entered 1993 facing a statutory federal election. By then, his popularity had markedly declined, and polls suggested that the Tories would be heavily defeated if he led them into that year's election. In February 1993, Mulroney announced his retirement from politics, to take effect June 25, 1993. Campbell entered the party leadership race to succeed Mulroney. Campbell had served in four cabinet portfolios prior to running for the party leadership, including three years as Minister of Justice, and garnered support of more than half the PC caucus when she declared for the leadership.
After becoming party leader and Prime Minister, Campbell set about reorganizing the cabinet. She cut it from 35 ministers to 23 ministers; she consolidated ministries by creating three new ministries: Health, Canadian Heritage, and Public Security. Campbell extensively campaigned during the summer, touring the nation and attending barbecues and other events. In August 1993, a Gallup Canada poll showed Campbell as having a 51 percent approval rating, which placed her as Canada's most popular prime minister in 30 years. By the end of the summer, her personal popularity had increased greatly, far surpassing that of Liberal Party leader Jean Chrétien. Support for the Progressive Conservative Party had also increased to within a few points of the Liberals, while the Reform Party had been reduced to single digits.
On December 13, 1993, Campbell resigned as party leader; Jean Charest succeeded her.
Despite her dramatic loss in the election, the Canadian women's magazine Chatelaine named Campbell as its Woman of the Year for 1993. She published an autobiography, Time and Chance, ( ISBN 0-770-42738-3) in 1996. The book became a Canadian bestseller, and is in its third edition from the University of Alberta Bookstore Press ( ISBN 000010132X).
It was briefly rumoured that she was to be sent to Moscow as the ambassador to Russia. However, in 1996, Campbell was appointed consul general to Los Angeles by the Chrétien government, a post in which she remained until 2000. While she was there, she collaborated with her husband, composer, playwright and actor Hershey Felder, on the production of a musical, Noah's Ark.
Campbell was ranked No. 20 out of the first 20 Prime Ministers of Canada (through Jean Chrétien) by a survey of 26 Canadian historians used by J. L. Granatstein and Norman Hillmer in their 1997 book Prime Ministers: Ranking Canada's Leaders. A follow-up article co-authored by Hillmer in 2011 for Maclean's magazine broadened the number of historians surveyed; in this new survey of over 100 Canadian historians, Campbell again finished last, this time coming at No. 22 out of Canada's first 22 Prime Ministers (through Stephen Harper). A 2016 follow-up poll by the same team, now expanded to cover the first 23 Prime Ministers (through Justin Trudeau), again ranked Campbell last, 23rd out of 23.
From 1999 to 2003, she chaired the Council of Women World Leaders, a network of women who hold or have held the office of president or prime minister. She was succeeded by former Irish President Mary Robinson. From 2003 until 2005, she served as President of the International Women's Forum, a global organization of women of prominent achievement, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. From 2001 to 2004, she was with the Center for Public Leadership, and lectured at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has served as a director of several publicly traded companies in high technology and biotechnology, and currently sits on the board of Athenex, a biopharmaceutical company that had its initial public offering on June 14, 2017 and trades under the ticker symbol "ATNX".
In 2004, she was included in the list of 50 most important political leaders in history in the Almanac of World History compiled by the National Geographic Society. She was cited for her status as the only woman head of government of a North American country (defined variously), but controversy ensued among academics in Canada over the merit of this honour, since her brief term in office was marked by very few, if any, major political accomplishments.
On November 30, 2004, Campbell's official portrait for the parliamentary Prime Minister's gallery was unveiled. The painting was created by Victoria, British Columbia artist David Goatley. Campbell said she was "deeply honoured" to be the only woman to have her picture in the Prime Ministers' corridor, stating: "I really look forward to the day when there are many other female faces." The painting shows a pensive Campbell sitting on a chair with richly coloured Haida capes and robes in the background, symbolizing her time as a cabinet minister and as an academic.
During the 2006 election campaign, Campbell endorsed the candidacy of Tony Fogarassy, the Conservative candidate in Campbell's former riding of Vancouver Centre; Fogarassy would go on to lose the election, placing a distant third. At this time, Campbell also clarified to reporters that she was a supporter of the new Conservative Party (formed in 2003 as a result of a merger of the Canadian Alliance with the party which Campbell had formerly led, the Progressive Conservatives); however, she later clarified in 2019 that she had, in fact, never joined the Conservative Party as an official member.
Campbell chaired the steering committee of the World Movement for Democracy from 2008 to 2015. She served on the board of the International Crisis Group, an NGO that aims to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts. She served on the board of the Forum of Federations, the EastWest Institute, and is a founding trustee of The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence at King's College London. She was a founding member of the Club de Madrid, an independent organization whose main purpose is to strengthen democracy in the world. Its membership is by invitation only, and consists of former Heads of State and Government. At different times Campbell has served as its Interim President, Vice President and from 2004 2006 its Secretary General. Campbell was the founding Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Ukrainian Foundation for Effective Governance, an NGO formed in September 2007 with the aid of businessman Rinat Akhmetov.
While testifying in April 2009 at the Mulroney–Schreiber Airbus inquiry, Campbell said she still follows Canadian politics "intermittently".
In April 2014, Campbell was appointed the founding principal of the new Peter Lougheed Leadership College at the University of Alberta.
On August 2, 2016, it was announced by Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Campbell had agreed to chair a seven-person committee to prepare a shortlist of candidates to succeed Thomas Cromwell on the Supreme Court of Canada. In mid-October 2016, the committee announced that it would recommend the appointment of Malcolm Rowe to the court, and he was sworn in on October 31 as the first Supreme Court justice to hail from Newfoundland and Labrador.
In August 2019, Campbell faced controversy when she said that she hopes that Hurricane Dorian would make a direct hit to U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The President's son Eric, responded to Campbell, by saying that his family was "rooting for the safety" of those impacted by the hurricane. Campbell soon deleted the tweet and apologized for the remarks.
Campbell revealed in Macleans in 2019 that she could not survive in the Conservative party. She said: “It’s too intolerant; it’s too right-wing.” She later argued after the 2019 federal election that Conservative leader Andrew Scheer was untrustworthy, stating that he “He’s hard to trust, and that’s really it".
Currently, Kim Campbell is 75 years, 10 months and 26 days old. Kim Campbell will celebrate 76th birthday on a Friday 10th of March 2023.
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