1993 Progressive Conservative Leadership Convention

1993 Progressive Conservative Leadership Convention

June 13, 1993 – Ottawa Civic Centre

Chairs: Peter Lougheed (former Alberta premier) and Andrée Champagne (MP for Saint-Hyacinthe–Bagot, Que.)

1 2
Kim Campbell 1664 (48.0%) 1817 (52.7%)
Jean Charest 1369 (39.5%) 1639 (47.3%)
Jim Edwards 307 (8.9%)
Garth Turner 76 (2.2%)
Patrick Boyer 53 (1.5%)
Spoiled 0 0
TOTAL 3469 3447


Brian Mulroney’s February resignation meant his replacement would not just be the new prime minister, but also contest an election at some point in 1993.



Defence Minister Kim Campbell was the early frontrunner after starting to campaign in late March.

Environment Minister Jean Charest eventually entered the race and began to challenge Campbell’s pre-convention strength, attracting most undecided delegates through May and June.

Charest had support from Joe Clark and John Crosbie. Mulroney was believed to be a Campbell backer.

Many other their cabinet colleagues, such as Perrin Beatty and Michael Wilson, chose not to run.

Three MPs also ran: Patrick Boyer (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Ont.), Jim Edwards (Edmonton Southwest, Alta.), and Garth Turner (Halton—Peel, Ont.)

Fringe candidate John Long withdrew after failing to win any delegates before the convention.



Each riding association sent nine delegates — previous leadership conventions ranged from three to six per constituency.

Two-thirds of the delegates were male. Only 31 per cent had attended the 1983 convention, according to Courtney.

Mulroney received a 90-minute tribute. Roch Voisine and Al Waxman were among those on the bill.

As delegates arrived to register, Campbell denied reports of a secret deal on patronage appointments with Mulroney.

The speaking order was Turner, Charest, Edwards, Boyer, and Campbell.

Charest told delegates that: “Yes I’m young and vigorous – and so is Canada.” His team produced flyers with Gallup poll results suggesting Charest was a stronger opponent for the Liberals and Jean Chrétien.

Campbell’s speech called for a “different kind of leadership” and “winning the next election.” But, “we must first win the trust of Canadians if we are to implement any plan at all.” Campbell’s speech also criticized regional parties as lacking vision, calling Refrom a “repository for simplistic solutions.”

She wooed undecided delegates into the early hours of Sunday.



Voting began at 3:30p.m. Candidates needed to avoid last place and receive at least 50 votes to remain on the ballot.

Southam News reported that up to 15 per cent of the delegates remained uncommitted on voting day.

After the first ballot, Boyer supported Charest. Edwards made the key decision, moving to Campbell after concluding she could not be stopped. Turner was eliminated and freed his delegates.

Campbell received the additional boost to reach the 50-per-cent mark on the second ballot at 8:30p.m. The 46-year-old was set to become Canada’s first female prime minister – and first to represent British Columbia.

Campbell pledged “good government, with thoughtful policies, honestly presented, openly arrived at, and implemented with competence and with care for every cent of your tax dollar … the biggest challenge before us is to win the trust and confidence of Canadians, to renew in them a new sense of hope about our country.”


Kim Campaign campaign logo. (Library of Parliament)



  • Campbell’s campaign song was “New Sensation” by INXS. Charest used “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started” by Bryan Adams.
  • Reform Leader Preston Manning watched the vote from the media room.
  • Campbell campaign’s spent $3 million, compared to $2.3 million for Charest.
  • Organizers warned delegates that “cellular telphones and voice pagers are not secure … Assume at all times that your conversation is being monitored.” They were to also be aware of parabolic and boom microphones picking up private conversations from afar.