Monday, November 4, 2013

First Female Premier

On April 22, 1935, John Liechert and Annie Chyzzy of Melville, Saskatchewan welcomed a daughter they named Rita Margaret into the world.

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.
In 1986, a new riding, Surrey-Newton, was created and Ms. Johnston was re-elected. A member of the Social Credit Party, she served as a cabinet minister under Premier Vander Zalm and represented various portfolios.

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.
In July of 1991, at a Social Credit party convention, Rita Johnston was formally elected as leader of the party. She beat out favoured front-runner, Grace McCarthy.  Rita had little time to implement any new programs or mend the divided party since an election was to be held in October.

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.
Thanks go to 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.

, , , , , , ,,


  1. Great blog. The pictures are cute.

    1. Thanks for reading Lee. I found those paintings interesting.

  2. Another one right out of the park, Karen. Brighton Park,that is, lol. You know, I love the juxtaposition of politics against this cartoon background of graffiti art that looks as though it is truly from a movie in someone's life. Maybe it is. Parallel universes and all of that, who knows ;) Aurora Morealist (couldn't get the thingy to work for me properly so included name here)

    1. Thanks for reading and your comments Aurora.