Monday, November 4, 2013
First Female Premier
Rita was educated in Vancouver and in 1951 married George Johnston. She spent many of her earlier years running a successful trailer park in Surrey, BC.
The woman entered politics by being a city councillor in Surrey and in 1983, Johnston was elected as an MLA for Surrey.
This wasn't her first time working with Bill. When she was a city councillor Vander Zalm was the mayor.
In 1990, Vander Zalm appointed her deputy premier and when Bill stepped down from office, Rita became Canada's first female premier.
Unfortunately, Johnston's long association with Vander Zalm hampered her chances at remaining premier. She was defeated by the New Democratic Party and Mike Harcourt took over governing the province. The Socreds lost more than half their popular vote from 1986 and Johnston lost her own seat.
On January 11, 1982, Rita Johnston resigned as leader of the Social Credit party and was replaced by Grace McCarthy. Johnston retired from politics and has kept a low profile. She returned to public life in 2009 as an advisor for the British Columbia Conservative party.
Wikipedia for the information on Rita Johnston. The above photos are from the tunnel leading to New Brighton Park.
I hope you find the beauty around you.
Karen Magill, Premier, history, Bill Vander Zalm, Rita Johnston Social Credit, Grace McCarthy, politics,Surrey,