Below, you'll find a quick chronological guide to the life and accomplishments of Kim Campbell. For more in depth information, consider purchase of her memoir, Time and Chance, which can be obtained here.
Date and Place of Birth
March 10, 1947 - Port Alberni, BC.
Important Childhood Events
Host for 9-week CBC "Junior TV Club" series, 1957.
Moderated panel discussions.
This experience allowed her to become comfortable with television and performing in front of a television audience.
Attended St. Anne's Academy, Roman Catholic Boarding School, Victoria, 1959.
Prime Minister Campbell credits her mother with instilling in her a love of language, poetry and music. She also says that, while her mother did not herself use the word or wear the label, she did in fact raise Kim and Alix to be feminists.
Prince of Wales Secondary School, Vancouver, 1960-1964.
First Female Student Council President, 1963-64 - this experience awakened her interest in politics and she began to "think in vague terms of fulfilling [her] desire to 'change the world'" (p. 17, Time and Chance).
Delivered the valedictorian speech.
Received a prize for English.
Won the Merit Award as best all-around student.
University of British Columbia
Began studies, fall 1964.
Elected first female Frosh President, 1964.
Elected Second Vice President of Alma Mater Society, 1967.
Attended a conference held by the Canadian Union of Students in London, Ontario; this experience made her realize how little she knew about the rest of Canada and inspired her to study and read more on the country.
Graduated from UBC, BA Honours, Political Science (International Politics), 1969.
One year of graduate work, 1969 - 1970 in order to qualify for Canada Council Doctoral Fellowship at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in England.
London School of Economics
Three years graduate work, Soviet Studies, 1970 -1973.
Studied under Leonard Shapiro.
Studied Russian for three years.
Three month travel grant for study trip to USSR, 1972.
"[T]he physical beauty and cultural richness of the USSR had been in vivid contrast to the waste and inefficiency that made life for its citizens so bleak. I consider myself enormously fortunate to have had the opportunity to see up close the alternative to democracy" (p. 37, Time and Chance).
In the course of Kim Campbell's studies at LSE, she was introduced to the ideas of Michael Oakeshott, who held the chair of Political Science at LSE.
"As a philosophical Conservative, I have a great distaste for dealing with human problems in the abstract. I am often reminded of the statement of Edmund Burke, perhaps one of the great founders of philosophical conservatism, in his commentary on the French Revolution written in 1790 that, 'the French revolutionaries see men as abstractions and in seeing them as abstractions they forget [sic.] that they are human.' It has been one of the guiding principles of my life to try to never lose sight of the human dimension of an issue" (p. 5962 Commons Debates Nov 21, 1989).
This concept is key to her later work on the politics of inclusion and in her political career.
Left London for Vancouver one year after marriage to Nathan Divinsky (1972) and later decided to abandon PhD thesis and study law.
University of British Columbia
Began studies in Law, 1980.
Received LLB, 1983.
Occupations before Politics
Lecturer at UBC, Political Science, 1975 - 1978.
Told a student that she might like to get involved in politics but had never been involved in a party. His advice: "If you want to run for politics, don't get involved in a party. Become a star" (p. 26, Time and Chance).
Lecturer at Vancouver Community College, Political Science and History, 1978 - 1981.
Litigator, Ladner Downs, Vancouver, 1983 - 1985.
BC Correspondent, Morningside Radio Show, 1985.
Executive Director, Office of the Premier of British Columbia (Bill Bennett), 1985 - 1986.
"Working in the premier's office, I learned a great deal about how a government is managed" (p. 56, Time and Chance).
"To my mind, [Premier Bennett] struck a good balance between the populist politics that were his political legacy and a high-minded view of the country and what was needed to keep it together" (p. 59, Time and Chance).
Vancouver School Board Trustee, 1980 - 1984, Civic Non-Partisan Association (NPA).
Vancouver School Board Chair, 1983.
Vancouver School Board Vice-Chair, 1984.
Prime Minister Campbell did not identify with any particular party during her involvement in municipal politics.
One issue that was important for her on the school board was the introduction of the International Baccalaureate program to Vancouver schools.
"School board politics are an excellent way to get your feet wet in public life. Aside from exposing me to an enormous range of issues, [...] they honed my political instincts and reflexes. [...] I found that I was able to deal with controversy. It is not so much that I grew a thick skin, but rather that I developed a sense of perspective" (p. 44, Time and Chance).
"Perhaps the most significant aspect of my political beginnings is that I started my career as an elected person in a context where party was relatively unimportant. [...] [B]ecause I didn't come up through a party organization, my primary point of reference has always been the voter, not the party" (p. 47, Time and Chance).
Provincial Election Campaign, BC Social Credit Party, 1983
After being approached by recruiters, Prime Minister Campbell ran a self-described "kamikaze" campaign for the Social Credit party in the riding of Vancouver Centre (considered to be an NDP safe seat). She was defeated, but valued the educational experience.
Leadership Campaign, BC Social Credit Party, 1986
Ran against 11 other candidates.
Defeated by Bill Vander Zalm, July 1986; Prime Minister Campbell was knocked out of the running on the first ballot, despite receiving a standing ovation for her convention speech.
"I spoke the line that would be remembered long after. 'It is fashionable,' I said, 'to speak of political leaders in terms of their charisma. But charisma without substance is a dangerous thing. It creates expectations that cannot be satisfied. Then come bitterness and disillusionment that destroy not only the leader but the party.' Rumour has it that at these lines, Lillian Vander Zalm turned to her husband and said 'She won't be in your cabinet'" (p. 65, Time and Chance).
Ran not "just to raise my profile but as part of a commitment to try to make change at the provincial level" (p. 68, Time and Chance).
Elected, MLA Vancouver-Point Grey riding, BC Social Credit Party, October 22, 1986
Social Credit Party returned to government with a majority.
"People often speculate about why any sane person would want to hold public office in light of the low pay, long hours, and lack of appreciation. The truth is, the work can be absolutely fascinating. It provides an unparalleled opportunity to learn about your community and its issues. [...] You meet so many men and women who are leading heroic lives, either as members of organizations performing public service or as individuals who need advice and help or who simply want to influence government policy" (p. 73, Time and Chance).
Successfully convinced Health Minister to change wording of new provisions of the Health Act that were causing concern in the gay community.
Chaired a task force on heritage conservation. The task force came to be known as Project Pride; the work done by the task force was the basis of a new Heritage Act later passed by the NDP government.
Chaired the review of the Builders' Lien Act; conducted public hearings that informed the amendments for the Builders' Lien Act. "The process of reviewing the Builders' Lien Act was a good example of the kind of work backbenchers do in all legislatures that doesn't make headlines but contributes to good policy-making" (p. 76, Time and Chance).
Spoke out publicly against Premier Vander Zalm's decision to cut provincial funding for abortions. See brief "Regarding Abortion".
Approached by Federal Progressive Conservative riding association in 1988 to run in Vancouver Quadra riding in what would be the 'Free Trade' election; Prime Minister Campbell turned it down. Subsequently approached to run in Vancouver Centre riding; again she declined, but reconsidered several days after the election had been called.
Election called October 1, 1988.
Nominated for PC Party, Vancouver Centre, October 18, 1988 (unopposed).
Resigned seat in BC Legislature, October 22, 1988.
"I was tired of always being a critic after the fact instead of a constructive part of the decision-making processes [...] However, my motivation in leaving to run federally was not based on [...] negative factors. Rather, here was a chance to work for something for a change. I believed the Free Trade Agreement could be a great boon for BC and that it depended upon a Conservative victory. It was risky; if I lost, I would be out of politics completely. But at least I would have gone down fighting for something I thought was important" (p. 88, Time and Chance).
Elected Member of Parliament, PC Party, Vancouver Centre, November 21, 1988.
Prime Minister Campbell's riding had been written off by Ottawa campaign headquarters.
Defeated NDP candidate by only 269 votes.
Mulroney led the PCs to another majority government. "One of Mulroney's greatest achievements was to make Conservatives think like a governing party and stop killing their leaders" (p. 99, Time and Chance).
Prime Minister Campbell's first speech in Parliament was the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne; the single subject was free trade. She addressed the House in both English and French.
Career Path Prior to Leadership Win
Minister of State for Indian Affairs and Northern Development, January 30, 1989 - February 22, 1990
"I discussed [...] my goal as a minister. It was to earn a reputation for being sound. I realized that the key to having an impact on decisions was to be respected. This could only come from doing my homework and working hard. I wasn't interested in doing things to get my name in the paper" (p. 109, Time and Chance).
Minister Campbell was to take the lead on British Columbia issues and to focus on issues such as housing and policing.
At the time she took office, 18 of the land claims that were under negotiation were in British Columbia. Her goal was to move the process forward.
Minister Campbell spent much time promoting the Meech Lake Accord--a precursor to the Canada Act--during her time as Minister of State.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Priorities and Planning, and Political Minister for BC, February 23, 1990 - January 3, 1993
First Female Justice Minister and Attorney General in Canada.
"The move to Justice dramatically affected the way I was viewed by my colleagues. My promotion was a clear "laying on of hands" by the prime minister and therefore an indication that I was someone to watch. It also meant there were two senior women in Cabinet" (p. 139, Time and Chance).
"To my surprise, it took me very little time to figure out what I wanted to do as justice minister. My appointment was a major turning point for me: the period of apprenticeship was over, and I was now in charge of my own department. [...] It was as if all that I had learned, thought, and felt until then was crystallizing into a sense of what needed to be done and how (p. 135, Time and Chance).
Prime Minister Campbell stated in a speech in 2001 that "[t]he Department of Justice is the at the centre of the very important process of the creation of ideas in the Government of Canada" (p. 11, Twenty-First Century Ethics: The Challenge)
She has often expressed her pleasure in serving as Minister of Justice:
"There was a certain magical feeling about being minister of justice, which I never entirely lost. Justice is a special portfolio because, with rare exceptions, the minister is a lawyer and so shares a professional connection with most of the people who work in the department. That sense of collegiality is unique to Justice" (p. 137, Time and Chance).
"Being Justice Minister is lawyer heaven" (p. 9, Twenty-First Century Ethics: The Challenge).
"My years as minister of justice were among the happiest and most rewarding of my entire life, and I felt a real sense of accomplishment" (p. 247, Time and Chance).
Minister Campbell articulated early in her tenure as Minister of Justice her three priorities in the portfolio:
Protection of society;
Fairness in the relationship between citizens the government; and
Inclusive justice: "I want the justice system to serve all Canadians. [...] I want each Canadian to see himself or herself reflected in it. I don't want people like women or aboriginal people to be pressing their noses against the glass, separated from the system by invisible but very real barriers (p. 136, Time and Chance).
Met her hero Chief Justice Dickson, who she had admired greatly since reading in law school a dissenting opinion he had written in a ruling on Cherneskey v. Armadale.
Appointed Queen's Counsel by the government of British Columbia, 1990.
Picked up her QC robes on the day she was meant to be photographed by Barbara Woodley; they decided to take a photo of Minister Campbell, bare-shouldered, holding the robes in front of herself. The photo became controversial in 1992 when it was published in Ottawa. Click here to see a video clip of this controversy.
Modeled a "Politics of Inclusion", bringing different groups together to discuss the issues, and working towards compromise.
Convened first ever National Symposium on "Women, Law and the Administration of Justice" Vancouver
Co-chaired with the Minister of Justice of the Yukon Territory a national symposium on Aboriginal Justice, Whitehorse, 1992.
Major and comprehensive amendments to gun control legislation (stricter requirements for ownership, storage of firearms), 1992.
Oversaw Bill C-43, abortion legislation.
Oversaw Bill C-49, rape shield legislation (aka 'No Means No' law), 1992.
Referred David Milgaard's Section 690 (Miscarriage of Justice) application to the Supreme Court of Canada (see the "David Milgaard" brief for more information) and quashed his conviction based on the court's opinion.
Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs, Cabinet Operations Committee, January 4, 1993 - June 24, 1993
First female Minister of National Defence.
First female Minister of Veterans Affairs.
Then-Minister Campbell was surprised to be handed her new portfolios: "As I left 24 Sussex Drive I was in a state of shock. [...] What didn't hit me until later in the day was that the PM had just given me a workload that up to then had been performed by three ministers" (pp. 242-243, Time and Chance).
In March 1993, Minister Campbell attended a NATO meeting for defence ministers that included ministers from former Warsaw Pact countries.
The torture and killing of several Somali nationals at the hands of Canadian troops stationed in Somalia as peacekeepers was an issue that came to light in the spring of 1993. As Defence Minister and a leadership candidate, Minister Campbell was faced with accusations that she had attempted to cover the issue up. In attempting to deal with the incidents, Minister Campbell also faced recalcitrance from the Canadian military establishment. She was accused in the press of attempting a cover-up. An investigative article published in 1995 showed that, according to government documents obtained via access to information requests, Minister Campbell's original assertions had been accurate and that she had clearly not been trying to "cover up" the incidents.
Then-Minister Campbell had been thinking about running for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party in 1992. By early 1993, "The expressions of support I was receiving quietly form colleagues and party members helped me to decide that I would like to be a candidate if the PM resigned" (p. 235, Time and Chance).
Mulroney announced his resignation to caucus on February 24, 1993, well into the 5th year of his term, leaving very little time for his successor to prepare for a fall election. Mulroney reassured the caucus he would leave the party in a good position for the election, but then-Minister Campbell began to suspect his actions were more about preserving his own image than out of any concern for the fate of his successor and the PCs. "I was torn between my growing sense that this was a job I would really like to do, if I had the opportunity, and the strong feeling that the date when the PM could resign and give a new leader the time to refashion the party and the government had passed" (p. 239, Time and Chance). When Mulroney stepped down as leader, the party was at 18% support in the polls.
Then-Minister Campbell realized that if she wanted to win an election, she would have to convince the electorate that she was different from Mulroney and represented change. "As the plans for the leadership campaign unfolded, I began to feel that we were trying to run a campaign without acknowledging why it was happening in the first place. Mulroney was resigning because he couldn't win another election. [...] The only chance I would have to win an election if I became leader would be if I were perceived to represent change" (p. 260, Time and Chance).
Then-Minister Campbell considered resigning from her portfolios in order to avoid potential conflicts with her leadership bid. However, Mulroney warned that any Ministers who made such a move would be acting disloyally, and so Minister Campbell retained her Ministerial workload throughout her leadership campaign, a move she later regretted. "I made many mistakes in the campaigns and other events of 1993, but I think the greatest one may have been not to call the PM's bluff and resign from cabinet" (p. 260, Time and Chance).
Despite warnings from some colleagues that she would be a 'sacrificial lamb', then-Minister Campbell announced on March 25, 1993 that she would run for the leadership.
Mulroney backed her main competitor, fellow Cabinet Minister Jean Charest, who had announced his candidacy on March 16, 1993.
Campbell won the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party on the second ballot at the party convention, June 13, 1993. This was the first time party leadership had been decided in fewer than four ballots since 1956.
Leadership Phase / Governance Phase
Period after winning party leadership and prior to serving as government leader = 12 days.
19th Prime Minister of Canada, June 25, 1993 - November 3, 1993.
Minister Responsible for Federal-Provincial Relations, June 25, 1993 - November 3, 1993.
By assuming leadership of the governing party, Campbell almost immediately stepped into the job of Prime Minister. The PC party's term of office was almost up, so Campbell had very little time in her position as leader of the party before she was forced to call an election.
Despite regular references to her "rookie status," ten out of the eighteen men who had preceded Campbell as prime minister had had less cabinet experience than she did.
Campbell reduced cabinet considerably from Mulroney's thirty-five to twenty-three by consolidating ministries by creating three new ministries: Health, Canadian Heritage, and Public Security.
A Winnipeg Free Press editorial on the restructuring of cabinet argued: "Prime Minister Kim Campbell's new cabinet is lean but not necessarily mean. It may, in fact, turn out to be remarkably generous. By reducing the size of her ministry by 10 members, the new prime minister, in her first moments in office, did a kindness to taxpayers. With 23 members, Ms. Campbell's cabinet is the smallest in 30 years. [...] Over the long haul, a smaller cabinet should mean more coherent and more efficient government. The new combined departments that the prime minister has proposed ought to give the ministers in charge a broader perspective" (26 June 1993).
Prime Minister Campbell invited all of the provincial premiers to a meeting to discuss issues in the provinces in June 1993. All but one, Bob Rae of Ontario, accepted. Premier Wells of Newfoundland ended up not attending because of a flight delay. The meeting went well. She was the first prime minister to conduct such a consulation before attending the G7.
Prime Minister Campbell attended the G-7 Summit in Tokyo in July 1993.
A report on the Thompson Wire Service argued that "Japan gets to play host to these G-7 photo ops only once every seven years. They are one of the few times you can guarantee that a Canadian leader will show up in the Asia Pacific region. [...] Ms. Campbell is probably better suited than any of her 18 predecessors to deal with Asian issues, because she is a British Columbian. [...] British Columbians, more than any other Canadians, are aware of the enormous economic potential in Asia. Four of Canada's six largest export markets are in the Asia Pacific region, thanks largely to British Columbians" (6 July 1993).
Prime Minister Campbell met one-on-one with President Bill Clinton to discuss Canada-US Relations; it was the first time she met him.
"Perhaps nothing did more to convince the Canadian Press that I could be a serious player in the international stage than the success of my participation at the G-7 and, in particular, my meeting with President Clinton" (p. 335, Time and Chance).
Prime Minister Campbell particularly brought to the collective table the issues of unemployment and finding a new framework for international intervention.
A Financial Times report on the meeting argued: "If Prime Minister Kim Campbell performs as well in the next election campaign as she has in Tokyo, her first summit may not be her last. Not only did Canada win several points at the three-day G-7 summit, but its new prime minister won praise from her counterparts. ''I must say I have been very impressed with the contributions that she has made to this summit and with the conversations that we have had all along,'' U.S. President Bill Clinton said Friday. It was largely Campbell's initiative that made reform of international institutions a significant point in the summit's political declaration. The G-7 leaders expressed support for United Nations' efforts to improve its own efficiency and its capacity for preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping and post-conflict peace-building" (10 July 1993).
While on the governance stage, Prime Minister Campbell was meeting with success, her party politics were proving more difficult. "The summer of 1993 was a summer of contradictions. While my political stock rose dramatically, strengthening my hand in a number of areas, in others I was unable to do what I wanted to do. The power of the party leader derives fundamentally from the belief of others that he or she can gain or keep political power for the party. [...] In the course of the summer, I would attain the highest approval rating for a prime minister in thirty years. This increased by ability to get cooperation from people who now assumed that I might be prime minister for some time. All of this, however, was of little use to me in winning the battle over how I would spend my time [...]" (p. 338, Time and Chance).
Prime Minister Campbell received the highest approval rating for a prime minister in 30 years.
In August, 1993, Prime Minister Campbell visited the Canadian port town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Below is a video record of that visit. (SPECIAL THANKS to the South Shore Video Group for creating and preserving it.)
On September 8, 1993, Prime Minister Campbell called the election.
Unemployment and the economy were the major issues in the campaign.
One of the points of the campaign was to illustrate how Prime Minister Campbell was fundamentally different from Prime Minister Mulroney. "The only reason I was leading the party at all was that Mulroney had become the most negatively regarded prime minister in Canadian history, and the only message that gave us a chance of winning was that, under Kim Campbell, the Conservatives had something fresh to offer. Notwithstanding all that, I had bent over backwards to avoid saying anything negative about Brian Mulroney" (p. 390, Time and Chance).
Prime Minister Campbell inherited much of the Progressive Conservative election machine and its entrenched political organizers. This became a source of irritation and, eventually, conflict between the leader and the organizers.
Many of her principal supporters were frozen out of the campaign organization.
PC party won only 2 seats (Elsie Wayne in NB and Jean Charest in QC), losing official party status, despite receiving almost as many votes as the Bloc and Reform.
Prime Minister Campbell lost her own seat (Vancouver Centre).
PC support was at 18%, the same as when Mulroney stepped down.
Campbell handled the overwhelming defeat with, in Paul Martin's words, "grace [and] good humour"--Kim Campbell's Official Portrait Unveiled in Ottawa, 1 Dec, 2004.
A variety of factors have been identified as contributing to her defeat:
Canadians were angry with Mulroney and the PC for the GST, free trade, high unemployment, and the constitutional wrangling that had taken place during his time in office.
Prime Minister Campbell had very little time between winning the leadership of the party and having to contest the federal election, and so was at a disadvantage compared to her counterparts in the opposition. She did not have time to assemble a new campaign team, and so used Mulroney's. There were several areas of disconnect between Prime Minister Campbell and her advisors. Consequently, the campaign machinery did not run as smoothly as it might have.
Some have pointed to Prime Minister Campbell's frank honesty with the electorate ('doing politics differently'), particularly in the first 10 days of the campaign, as hurting her popularity (e.g. Prime Minister Campbell stated that a major improvement in unemployment levels was not likely in the near future; Chretien promised jobs). Because she did not play the game, and was not, as Alan Gregg put it, "earmarked by artifice and bullshit", she was deemed unqualified.
Infighting, negative--and gendered--press coverage, and the exhausting schedule wore Prime Minister Campbell down. Several senior MPs turned on her in an attempt to save their ridings.
The new Bloc Quebecois party was supported by many in Quebec who were disillusioned by the constitutional fiascos. The new Reform party also split the right, garnering many of the previously-PC votes.
The final nail in the coffin was the controversial television ad featuring a close up of Chretien's face; Prime Minister Campbell had not seen the ad before it went to air, but suffered in the polls as a result of it. She was criticized by party advisors for requesting that the ad be pulled.
Chretien took over PM-ship on November 3, 1993.
Under pressure from the party, Prime Minister Campbell resigned as the party leader on December 13, 1993.
Although she did live at the Harrington Lake residence, Prime Minister Campbell did not ever live at 24 Sussex Drive. She planned to move in only if she won the election.
Chretien provided Prime Minister Campbell with an office and small staff for a year, in order to allow her to deal with continuing correspondence following the election, and organize her papers. His gracious actions were in stark contrast to the treatment Prime Minister Campbell received from the higher-ups in her own party.
Prime Minister Campbell took a fellowship at the Institute of Politics at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1994. She taught a seminar on comparative Canadian/American political processes. Following that, she was a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.
Canadian Consul General in Los Angeles
On September 16, 1996, Prime Minister Chretien appointed Prime Minister Campbell to a four-year term as Canadian Consul General in Los Angeles.
She became the first former Canadian PM to be given a diplomatic post after leaving office.
In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Prime Minister Campbell stated "I'm not sure I'm stronger now, but I know more about how strong I am, which is extremely useful. I think it is a point with a lot of people that I didn't turn into a quivering jelly" (28 September 1996).
In a National Post article published on 28 September 1999, Prime Minister Campbell was praised by a Canadian and an American for the way she was filling her role:
Norman Lomow, Canada's consul and senior trade commissioner in San Francisco, said that "having a Canadian celebrity like Ms. Campbell to push the message is the best weapon the government has to cut through the cacophony of U.S. society".
Ms. Campbell has made an impact in her ambassadorial role with many of the locals. "She's made a wonderful impression on all of us in California. She advocates very well," Sheila Kuehl, a state assemblywoman, said in a recent interview.
In a Toronto Star article on protests in Hollywood over foreign production, Consul General Campbell's role was discussed: "After three years in L.A., a city where moviegoers sit until the credits end to read the names of friends and relatives, Campbell has become a Hollywood economist. She spends much of her time defending the interests of Hollywood North and, these days, correcting misconceptions about the industry."
See US-Canada Relations brief.
Prime Minister Campbell was invited to teach at the newly founded Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at the Kennedy School and so she returned to Harvard following the completion of her term in Los Angeles. Ms. Campbell remains an Honorary Fellow at CPL, where she has taught courses on Gender & Power and Democratic Transition and Consolidation.
Club of Madrid
The Right Honourable Kim Campbell served as Secretary General of the Club of Madrid from 2004 to 2006. She is a founding member of Club of Madrid and has served as Acting President in 2002 and Vice President from 2003 to 2004. She currently sits on the Club of Madrid's Board of Directors.
The Club of Madrid is an independent organization dedicated to strengthening democracy around the world by drawing on the unique experience and resources of its Members - 70 democratic former heads of state and government. Only after being invited by the country itself and sometimes in partnership with other organizations and governments that share its democracy-promotion goals, the Club of Madrid provides peer to peer counsel, strategic support and technical advice to leaders and institutions working towards democratic transition and consolidation.
Prime Minister Campbell described the work of the Club of Madrid: "We work with the governments of transitional democracies because there is no textbook that tells you how to be a president or prime minister" (interview with Linda Mastalir Oct 10, 2006).
In describing the unique value of the membership of the Club of Madrid, Ms. Campbell said "When former leaders engage, there are a variety of different ways they can be effective. We can use our personal name to advance an agenda. We have independence -- it is possible to take risks more than when we were in public office. We are one tile in the mosaic for supporting democratic transition." (Saga Foundation's World Leaders Summit, June 23-25, 2005.)
The Club of Madrid also uses its convening power to bring together the best thinkers from around the world on issues relating to democracy.
The Club of Madrid organized a conference in 2005 on Democracy, Terrorism and Security. In an interview in the build-up to the conference, Prime Minister Campbell stated that "One of the things democracies have to think about is the relationship between democracy and terrorism. It is clearly not the case that you never have terrorism in democracies. Nor is it necessarily the case that democracy is the best way to fight terrorism [...]. But I would argue that democracy is the very best context for human development, for the capacity to live freely and explore one's human potential. The fundamental premise is the value of democracy in and of itself and the goal is to find ways to secure ourselves without throwing out that very value."
The International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security was convened in March 2005, in commemoration of the terrorist attacks on the city of Madrid the year before. More than 1,200 people participated in that gathering, amongst them 200 experts, 17 Heads of State and Government, the Secretary General of the United Nations and many other leaders from international organizations and delegations from more than 70 countries. As a result of the Summit, the Members of the Club of Madrid created the Madrid Agenda, a plan of action to confront terrorism within a framework of democratic values. Click here for more information on the summit, or to download publications.
The Right Honourable Kim Campbell has served as the Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders.
The Council of Women World Leaders is a network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers. The Council currently has 36 Members.
The Council's mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development. A ministerial initiative that engages sitting and former women ministers and cabinet members is an integral and essential part of the Council's structure. The Council and Ministerial Initiative create a global architecture for giving a collective voice to women at the highest levels of government. Their mission is to promote good governance and enhance the experience of democracy globally by increasing the number, effectiveness, and visibility of women world leaders.
In a 1999 interview with National Public Radio, Prime Minister Campbell described the CWWL's mission: "I think you can make progress and then, you know, have a regression, and that's why the battle is never over. And I work [...] on the Council of Women World Leaders, and one of our goals is to make the reality of women as leaders a normal, natural, very visible thing, because in the United States, you're in this kind of transitional period where the idea of women as presidential candidates isn't ordinary, isn't normal; therefore, you run the risk of having a woman in the position where if she runs and loses, it will be seen as proof that a woman is not electable as president".
International Women's Forum (IWF)
Former Prime Minister Campbell was introduced as incoming president in 2003 in Toronto.
An article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that "Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell told a dining room full of influential women at the Duquesne Club yesterday about the power of "old-girl" networking at the international level, as a new Regional Women's Initiative was announced to promote women leaders locally in politics, business and the nonprofit sector. [...] Campbell's main message yesterday was gender-neutral as she discussed the importance of not letting leadership skills go to waste after falling from power. Not just anyone can master the complex art of decision-making, taking into account reams of technical information while balancing the interests of external and internal constituents and employing short-term tactics to achieve long-term goals" (19 April 2005). Click here to see clip of this event.
Order of Canada
Former Prime Minister Kim Campbell was awarded the rank of Companion in the Order of Canada by Governor General Michaelle Jean at Rideau Hall in Ottawa September 3, 2010.
The award recognizes outstanding achievement and service in various fields of human endeavour and is Canada's highest honor for lifetime achievement.
Campbell, the country's first female prime minister, was recognized for "her distinguished contributions to Canadian politics and her active involvement in the leadership in the promotion of global democracy, international co-operation and women in politics."
Order of British Columbia
Former Prime Minister Kim Campbell was invested into the Order of the Order of British Columbia by B.C. Premier Christy Clark on September 6, 2012.
Lieutenant Governor Steven Point said fo the award, "As our Province's highest honour, the Order of British Columbia is our way of acknowledging the outstanding achievements of our citizens. The recipients are an inspiration to all British Columbians."
Campbell, Ms. Campbell felt so honored to be recognized by her home province, and very much enjoyed the ceremoy in the capital city of Victoria, where she was surrounded by family, friends and longtime supporters.
LLD Law Society of Upper Canada, 1991
LLD Brock University, Canada, 1998
DPS Northeastern University, Boston, 1999
LLD University of British Columbia, 2000
LLD Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA, 2004 ⇒
LLD Chatham College, Pittsburgh, PA, 2005
LHD (Humane Letters) Arizona State University, 2005