Mr. Campbell inherited a provincial economy from the previous NDP government that was among the worst in the country. People were leaving the province in search of opportunity elsewhere. Mr. Campbell and the B.C. Liberals vowed to fix the economy and bring in a new era of hope and prosperity. In the seven years since being sworn into office, the government has brought in major reforms to help meet those objectives.
Bold tax cuts on the first day in office sent the clear signal that B.C. was open for business. As a result, B.C. now has among the lowest personal income tax rates in the country. Investment was encouraged by reducing business taxes and eliminating the tax on corporate capital, giving B.C. amongst the lowest corporate and small business taxes of the G7 nations. These actions, combined with a government-wide commitment to fiscal discipline, allowed the province to introduce the first balanced budget under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
Since the Campbell plan was put in place, B.C.’s economy has dramatically improved and is now one of the strongest in the country. B.C.’s job growth is leading the nation. Fiscal prudence and renewed economic vigour has allowed for record investments in important programs such as health care and education.
An ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent has made B.C. a leader in the fight against climate change. New programs have been introduced to help every British Columbian reduce their emissions and save money. Mr. Campbell also began the process of building a New Relationship with First Nations People and invested record amounts in closing the social and economic gaps between aboriginals and non aboriginals that have persisted for generations.
Gordon Campbell is married to his wife of over 38 years, Nancy. She is a principal in the Howe Sound School District. Nancy and Gordon have two grown sons, Geoffrey and Nicholas. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell are voracious readers, have coached soccer and baseball, and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with their sons to help raise over $130,000 for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.
Mr. Campbell taught under the auspices of CUSO in Yola, Nigeria in the early 1970s. While there he coached state championship teams in basketball and track-and-field and helped rebuild the school library. His personal commitment to literacy expanded while he was Mayor of Vancouver, when he spearheaded the creation of the new public library and was instrumental in bringing the Peter Gzowski golf tournament to Vancouver.
Mr. Campbell has a B.A. in English from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. He received his MBA from Simon Fraser University after attending the Executive MBA program at nights while he was still working.
Mr. Campbell has been awarded the Simon Fraser University “Distinguished Alumni” Award and the Inter-Faith Brotherhood “Man of the Year” Award. Mr. Campbell was also granted the rare honour of being given a First Nations name by the Ahousaht First Nation in recognition of his efforts to improve the lives of First Nations people. Campbell’s First Nations name is Chamatook, which means: “The one who is able to do the right thing and bring harmony.” Mr. Campbell is also the author of a children’s book, Tuaq: The Only One which was published in 1995. He was born in Vancouver.
Past Leadership Experience
Before he became Premier, Mr. Campbell was leader of the Opposition from 1993 to 2001. Prior to that, he served as Mayor of Vancouver for three terms, from 1986 to 1993, during which time he served as president of the Union of BC Municipalities. As Mayor, his council re-zoned the False Creek, Burrard Inlet and Fraser Lands areas, creating what many have recognized as North America’s most liveable downtown core. Mr. Campbell’s council also introduced the country’s first needle exchange program, launched the blue box recycling program, spearheaded the creation of Vancouver’s internationally-renowned public library and protected more heritage buildings and created more park space than ever before in the city’s history.
As Chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, Mr. Campbell guided the region’s Creating Our Future program. That led to the Liveable Region Strategy, which was adopted in the mid-1990s.
Gordon Campbell has been involved in public life since 1984. His innovations include: the city caucus structure in Vancouver; the first fixed provincial election dates in Canada; free votes in the Legislature; a fixed legislative calendar; and the first ever Provincial Congress, which brings together all MLAs, MPs, Senators, and 15 Mayors from every region of the province. Perhaps his government's boldest reform initiative was the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly, which was established to recommend how the Legislature should be elected.
Throughout his time in office, Mr. Campbell has shown himself to be a leader who delivers results. He is a reformer who believes in the power of ideas to strengthen our public institutions.
For more information on Premier Gordon Campbell:
Mayor of Vancouver
Leader of the Official Opposition
Premier First Term 2001 - 2005
Premier Second Term 2005 – Present