LOCAL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT HISTORY

Biographies and Stories  
  Biographies and Stories


Rita Johnston (1986 - 1989)

Rita JohnstonRita Johnston took over the Municipal Affairs portfolio in 1986 and became the 12th minister (1986-1989). In her three years as minister, the government enacted significant legislative and funding changes. The Province passed legislation which allowed for the creation of the Municipal Insurance Association; local elections schedules were consolidated into three year cycles; provincial approval processes were streamlined; and sections of the Municipal Act pertaining to regional districts were extensively updated.

Johnston began her political career as a city councillor in Surrey. In 1983 she was elected as the city’s Social Credit MLA. She was re-elected in 1986 in the riding of Surrey-Newton. Following her re-election, she served as the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Minister of State for the Kootenay Region, Minister of Transportation and Highways, and Deputy Premier. In 1991 she became the 29th Premier of British Columbia and Canada’s first female premier.
 

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Sources

 
Bancroft, Wendy, et al. Union of British Columbia Municipalities: The First Century. Vancouver, B.C.: Granville Island Publishing, 2006.
 
"Johnston, Rita Margaret (Leichert)".  Encyclopaedia of British Columbia. Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour Publishing Ltd, 2000.
 
Library and Archives Canada. “Rita Margaret Johnston”. Library and Archives Canada Website. 23 June 2008  <http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/women/002026-835-e.html>