B.C.’s first female lieutenant-governor, Iona Campagnolo, dies at 91

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed former B.C. lieutenant-governor Iona Campagnolo has died at the age of 91.

Campagnolo was appointed as the province’s 27th lieutenant-governor in 2001.

She was the first woman to hold the role and remained in the position until Sept. 30, 2007.

Trudeau says she championed many causes while serving as lieutenant-governor, including climate action, gender equality and reconciliation.

He says Campagnolo also served as minister of state for fitness and amateur sport under his father, prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and was the first woman to serve as president of the Liberal Party of Canada.

He issued his condolences to her family and to B.C. residents in a statement, saying Canada had lost a role model for women in politics. 

“Canada has lost a trailblazer,” Trudeau said.

“Her relentless dedication, optimism and commitment to equality will leave a lasting mark on Canada.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 5, 2024.

The Canadian Press