Thursday, June 23, 2011

Olympic Premier to Olympic Ambassador

The 34th Premier of British Columbia is set to become the next High Commissioner of Canada to the United Kingdom, according to a Canadian Press report.

Gordon Campbell, who was hounded from office by a tax revolt last fall, is expected to be appointed to the highly coveted job any day by the Prime Minister's Office.

Campbell was known for wearing red Olympic mittens and waving the British Columbia flag during the 2010 Winter Olympics. He'll be Mr. Canada during the London 2012 Olympics, hosting Team Canada at the Canadian embassy across from Trafalgar Square. He'll also be charged with ensuring Canadians in the U.K. are kept safe during those Games.

So, Londoners, who is Gordon Campbell? For one thing, he was loved by the business lobby (particularly those in construction) and loathed by common people (his popularity fell to just 9 percent). If you happen to see him near a luau (not that there are many in your area of the world) or the sale of a railway, approach with caution.

Here is a Gordon Campbell timeline.

1948: born Jan. 12 in Vancouver to Dr. Charles and Peg Campbell
1969: earned English degree on scholarship at Dartmouth College
1972-1976: executive assistant to Vancouver Mayor Art Phillips
1976-1984: real estate developer, SFU MBA student, campaigner for downtown stadium
1984: elected alderman in City of Vancouver
1986: elected 40th mayor of Vancouver
1988 and 1990: re-elected Mayor
1993: elected B.C. Liberal leader
2001: led Liberals to landslide win over NDP
2003: convicted of impaired driving in Hawaii; successful campaign for Vancouver 2010 Olympic bid; RCMP raid B.C. Legislature
2005 and 2009: Liberals re-elected
2009: announced Harmonized Sales Tax
2010: B.C. hosts Olympics; HST introduced; anti-HST petition forces Campbell to call referendum; BC Rail corruption trial begins and ends with surprise plea bargain by ex-ministerial aides Basi and Virk; Campbell resigns Nov. 3.

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