Premier Campbell with Queen Elizabeth
A major change of his administration is that he introduced fixed-term elections for BC, departing from the standard British parliamentary procedure, so that governments fall on schedule, and parties know when the election is, as in the USA. The next election slated for BC is in May 2005, exactly four years after the last one in May 2001.
Another major change is that his government removed an 8-year long tuition freeze that was placed on the B.C. universities by the NDP government. The tuition freeze had kept B.C. tuition rates at the lowest in Canada and forced B.C.'s universities to engage is massive cutbacks to its services and quality of education. In 2002 he also introduced the "double the opportunity" initiative, whose goal was to double enrollment in electrical and computer engineering, computer science, and medicine in the next four years.
From 1986 to 1993, Gordon Campbell served as the Mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia for three successful terms. He was also secondary school teacher, basketball and track coach in Yola, Nigeria, working under the auspices of CUSO. He and his family climbed Mount Kilimanjaro as a fundraiser for Alzheimer's, raising $130,000 CAD.
On Thursday January 9th, 2003, Campbell became the first premier in Canadian history to be arrested while in office when he was caught by police in Maui, Hawaii speeding while under the influence of alcohol. He later apologized to the people of Maui and British Columbia, and publicly swore off alcohol. Campbell came under attack for not resigning his position since he earlier established a rule that any cabinet minister under criminal investigation must resign.
Controversy and a media frenzy developed over the matter and public protests on the issue soon followed (complete with T-shirts bearing Campbell's mug shots). Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the opposition BC New Democratic Party under its leader Joy McPhail, and the Green Party of British Columbia under Adrianne Carr, all called on him to resign but supporters of Campbell contend that he is not, nor never has been a heavy drinker. Campbell's father was an alcoholic who committed suicide when Gordon was 13 years old.
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