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Former PM Campbell calls out Conservative Party’s direction

Amid discussions about the battle for the soul of the Conservative Party, former Prime Minister Kim Campbell says without leadership on policies such as climate change, the party’s identity will remain in question.

“I’m sorry, if you’re not worried about climate change, and you’re not worried about resurgent authoritarianism, and you’re not a champion of the rights of women to make the contributions they need to make in society, I’m not interested,” she said in an interview on CTV’s Question Period airing Sunday.

“Canada has got to be part of the solution to climate change and the fact that there could be any party that drags its feet is just so depressing.”

Campbell was elected to the House of Commons in 1988 and soon after took on several high profile cabinet positions including justice minister and attorney general. She succeeded Brian Mulroney as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1993 and went on to become the first female prime minister of Canada.


Reflecting on her time at the helm of the party and the current state of the leadership race, Campbell argued candidates “ought to show leadership” on contentious issues.

“They got to deal with it. [The party] ought not stick its head in the sand. It ought to show leadership. We talked about abortion, we talked about gun control, I dealt with a lot of issues that nobody in their right mind would choose to deal with but they had to be dealt with,” she said.

“That’s your job…to try and create the best public policy you can.”

As justice minister, Campbell introduced legislation to tighten the process to obtain a firearm following the massacre that occurred at École Polytechnique in Montreal. She also oversaw the introduction of a bill that would make abortion illegal unless performed by or under the supervision of a doctor who saw abortion as necessary for the health of a woman. The bill died in the Senate.

The former leader also weighed in on Pierre Poilievre’s attacks on the Bank of Canada, and specifically comments that Governor Tiff Macklem should be fired for failing to manage soaring inflation.

“Yeah, he should have predicted you know, the disruptions of the COVID supply chains and the war in Ukraine, right? Yeah. Get rid of the dude, he’s not consulting his tarot cards. Grow up,” she said.

And on the independence of the Canada’s central bank, she said “when people are appointed to hold independent positions you need to suck it up and respect that unless there is clear evidence that what they are doing is either incompetent or done in bad faith or dangerous.”



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