Rita Johnston

Rita Margaret Johnston ( born April 22, 1935 in Melville, Saskatchewan as Rita Leichert ) is a Canadian politician. She was from 2 April to November 5, 1991 Premier of the Province of British Columbia and Chair of the British Columbia Social Credit Party. In addition, she was the first woman to head a Canadian provincial government.


Johnston operation with her husband, a trailer park in the city of Surrey. She was also active in the municipal Chamber of Commerce and the Association of house owners. In 1969 she was elected to the City Council of Surrey. After Vander Zalm Mayor Bill had gone to the provincial politics, she was a candidate in 1975 for his successor and defeated by less than 100 votes.

In May 1983, the election was followed by the members of the electoral district of Surrey in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Johnston was from 1986, Minister in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Vander Zalm, being mainly the areas dedicated to communities and transport. Vander Zalm in 1990 appointed her to the Deputy Prime Minister.

During this time, numerous scandals rocked the British Columbia Social Credit Party. Vander Zalms eccentricities and his right-wing populist course exaggerated moderate Socreds to the British Columbia Liberal Party. Because of a conflict of interest Vander Zalm was forced to resign on April 2, 1991, Johnston took over the government. Three months later, she was officially elected as the new Chairman, but she could not stop the disintegration of their party. In the elections on 17 October 1991, the share of the vote of the Socreds halved. Johnston lost her own seat and led the official business until 5 November on.

In January 1992, Johnston was also the party chairmanship and drew largely from the public gaze. As a result, the Social Credit Party was sinking, who had four decades dominated the provincial policy, within a few years in the utter meaninglessness.