Kim Campbell, Canada’s 19th prime minister, was one of two girls born to George Campbell and Phyllis Cook in Port Alberni, B.C.
Ms. Campbell earned a BA in political science from the University of British Columbia and did graduate studies at the London School of Economics, studying Soviet government before returning to B.C. to pursue a law degree.
In 1986, Ms. Campbell was elected for the first time as the MLA for Vancouver–Point Grey under the Social Credit Party of Bill Vander Zalm. Two years later, Ms. Campbell had switched to federal politics and became the P.C. MP for Vancouver Centre.
Brian Mulroney awarded Ms. Campbell with the justice portfolio in 1990, where she was responsible for introducing Canada’s rape shield law. In June 1993, she defeated Jean Charest to become the new leader of the party and Prime Minister of Canada.
Ms. Campbell’s tenure as this country’s first female prime minister was short-lived, however, as by October of that year the mood of the country had sharply changed and Ms. Campbell led the party to its worst defeat in history, winning only two seats. Ms. Campbell left politics for good that night. She became successful as a lecturer at Harvard, Canada’s consul general in Los Angeles, the chair of the Council of Women World Leaders and several other organizations dedicated to improving governance in the world’s democracies.
Catherine Clark spoke to Ms. Campbell about her life Beyond Politics.
Born into political life in Ottawa, Catherine Clark is no stranger to being in the public eye. As founding host of CPAC’s popular weekly television show Beyond Politics, Catherine interviews Members of Parliament, Premiers and people of influence to reveal the personal, human side of public life. Catherine is also a sought-after public speaker and emcee, and writes the “Giving Back” column for Ottawa at Home Magazine, profiling people who are improving the lives of their fellow citizens.