Speakers Honourable Gordon Campbell

Honourable Gordon Campbell

High Commissioner to the UK & Northern Ireland (2011-2016).

Gordon Campbell is currently Canada’s High Commissioner to The United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. As High Commissioner he led the revitalization of Canada House on Trafalgar Square. The project has been hailed for excellence in design and for its reflection of Canada today.It boasts Canadian furniture, material and art. One critic called it a new national Gallery  for Canada in the heart of London. The project has led to substantial operational savings and returned over C$ 300 million to Canadian taxpayers.

Campbell serves on the Commonwealth Board of Governors and as Canada’s special envoy the Ismaili Imamat.

Premier of British Columbia (2001-2011)

Prior to being High Commissioner, Gordon Campbell served as British Columbia’s 34th Premier. He was elected in three successive elections.

As Premier, he led the re-establishment of a strong, internationally-competitive economic foundation in British Columbia based on low taxes, reduced regulation, and major investments in education including the creation of seven new Universities.  Under his leadership B.C.’s AAA credit rating was restored and the province had the best provincial job creation record Canada.

Campbell’s government implemented an infrastructure investment program with record setting investments in health care, post-secondary education and transportation. Under his leadership B.C. became a beacon of P3 infrastructure development for hospitals, transit and highways and in 2008 he was recognized with the Canadian Council of Public Private Partnerships’ Champion Award for outstanding contribution to P3s in Canada in the public and/or private sector. The new infrastructure helped open Canada’s Pacific Gateway to the world with major investments in transit ( The Canada Line), Bridges ( The Port Mann Bridge, The WR Bennett Bridge, The South Fraser Perimeter Road, The Golden Ears Bridge and the Kicking Horse Canyon Bridge), and the Sea to Sky Highway all on time and on budget. He also played the leading role in opening Canada’s Northern Gateway with major improvements to rail and port infrastructure including the Port of Prince Rupert’s container facilities.

The Campbell government’s climate policy has been described as “the best climate policy in the world” in the New York Times. As Premier he took historic steps to build a New Relationship with First Nations in British Columbia and Canada.

He established the B.C. Achievement Awards which included: The BC Aboriginal Business Awards for Community leaders, one of Canada’s largest non-fiction prizes, the National BC Achievement Award for Creative Nonfiction, the British Columbia Creative Achievement Award for First Nations, the BC Community Achievement Awards, the Carter Wosk BC Creative Achievement Awards for Applied Art and Design.

Under his auspices British Columbia established the Leading Edge Endowment Fund which established 20 Leading Edge Research Chairs and 9 Regional Innovation Chairs at B.C.’s universities and colleges. His government also established the $50 million Natural Resources and Applied Science fund to encourage practical application and commercial development of new ideas through advanced engineering. 

Campbell was the driving force behind the modern B.C. Liberal Party which emerged in the 1990s as a major force in BC politics. He was elected Leader of the BC Liberal Party in September 1993. A position he held for more than 17 years. He was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of B.C. in 1994.

Mayor of Vancouver (1986-1993)

Gordon Campbell was the 40th Mayor of Vancouver. During that time local leaders selected him as the Chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, a regional government of 18 municipalities (1990-1993). As Mayor, he led a City Council that set the foundation of Vancouver’s world-renowned liveability including the redevelopment of False Creek’s North Shore, the Burrard Inlet waterfront, the Fraser Lands and Vancouver’s Yaletown residential neighbourhoods. His councils also launched Vancouver’s Urban Greenways program, a ground breaking Clouds of Change policy, Vancouver City Dialogues, The Hasting Institute, City Caucuses, and the Regional District’s Council of Councils. He was the inspiration and driving force of Greater Vancouver’s Creating Our Future program. The comprehensive, mixed use and integrative plans adopted by the Vancouver councils over which he presided defined what is often called the world’s most liveable city.

He led the regional transit initiative that provided for handicapped access, is a champion of literacy programs and the winner of the Peter Gzowski George Knudson Award. He led the establishment of literacy in the workplace programs and the creation of the new Vancouver Public Library as a place of learning and civic activity.

Campbell Councils established Canada’s first AIDS in the Workplace strategy and provided same sex couples with full civic pension benefits. While he was Mayor, Vancouver protected dozens of Heritage Buildings and that led to the establishment of the Wosk Centre for Dialogue. He established Canada’s first Children’s Advocate to help plan the city around children’s needs.

Campbell served on the executive of the Union of B.C. Municipalities and was its President 1992-3.

Gordon Campbell was born in Vancouver British Columbia and attended University Hill Elementary School and University Hill Secondary School. He attended Dartmouth College in Hanover New Hampshire where he majored in English and Urban Studies. He was awarded an Urban Affairs Fellowship in 1969. The fellowship allowed him to work in the City of Vancouver where his first job was colouring maps in a tenth floor office. He also worked in the Planning Department, The Social Planning department, Finance, Capital Plan and with the newly elected Vancouver Aldermen Art Phillips and Walter Hardwick.

Upon Graduating from University he worked as a teacher under the auspices of the Canadian University Services Overseas (C.U.S.O.) in Yola, Nigeria (1970-72) where he built a new library and coached State Championship Basketball and Track teams.

He worked as Executive Assistant to the Vancouver Mayor Art Phillips (1972-1976) where he worked on the creation of Granville Mall and the saving of the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver.

He was General Manager of Development, Marathon Realty (1976-1981). In 1981, Campbell founded his own company Citycore Development Corporation. Citycore was the developer of two Vancouver hotels. In 1978 he was one of the founding developers of the first phase of Whistler Village. In 1979 and 1980 he was one of the lead advocates for a Downtown Stadium for Vancouver. That decision helped shape Vancouver for the 21st Century.

Gordon Campbell is the author a children’s book:  “Tuaq: The Only One”

Campbell is has two sons and five grandchildren.


Canadian Olympic Order

The Makers of Modern Canada Award for Excellence from the Institute of Governance in recognition of his significant contribution in shaping and modernizing Canada in the 21st century

The Builder of the Decade by the B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association

Interfaith Man of the Year Award

Simon Fraser University Distinguished Alumni Award;

Corporate Knights Award of Distinction that "recognizes leaders in Canadian society who have had a catalytic impact on advancing a more positive relationship between business, government and sustainable development."

The Ahousaht First Nation bestowed him with the name Chamatook 

The Haida First Nation bestowed him with the name Nang Kaadlljuu 

Honourary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa from Thompson Rivers University

The Order of British Columbia as “an exemplary British Columbian and a visionary leader.”

Freedom of the City of London

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