Mike Harcourt

Michael Franklin "Mike" Harcourt ( born January 6, 1943 in Edmonton ) is a Canadian lawyer, author and politician. He was November 5, 1991 to February 22, 1996 Prime Minister of the Province of British Columbia from 1987 to 1996 Chairman of the British Columbia New Democratic Party (NDP ). Previously, he had been from 1980 to 1986 mayor of the city of Vancouver.


Harcourt grew up in Vancouver and studied law at the University of British Columbia ( UBC). In the 1960s he was active in the protest movement against the Vietnam War. In 1969 he founded the first public legal clinic in Canada and was its director until 1971. He also advised the then Justice Minister John Turner in the nationwide introduction of such facilities. In 1973 Harcourt was a member of the City Council of Vancouver and was elected mayor in 1980. His term was marked by the planning and preparation for Expo 86; also created numerous infrastructure projects such as the SkyTrain and BC Place Stadium.

In the elections to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia Harcourt was elected in October 1986 to the members of the constituency Vancouver Centre. 1987 elected him the NDP party leader, which he was also leader of the opposition now. In October 1991, the NDP won a landslide victory, and on 5 November 1991 Harcourt went to the office of Prime Minister.

On February 22, 1996, he resigned as a result of "Bingo gate" scandal. An NDP member had let income of a charity bingos flow into party coffers. Although Harcourt was not implicated in the scandal, he assumed the political responsibility. He was succeeded by Glen Clark, who also resigned three years later because of a scandal. After the end of his political career Harcourt worked at UBC on research projects in the field of sustainable urban development.

In November 2002, he suffered a serious accident when he crashed in his cottage on Pender Iceland and thereby drew upon a spinal cord injury. He quickly recovered to the amazement of the doctors and wrote in 2006 a book about his healing process ( Plan B: One Man's Journey from Tragedy to Triumph). In 2007 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from UBC.