Sir James Douglas, governor of Vancouver Island (1851–63) and of British Columbia (1858–64), fur trader (born 15 August 1803 in Demerara [Guyana]; died 2 August 1877 in Victoria, BC). A resourceful, energetic and intelligent man, Douglas helped the Hudson’s Bay Company become a trading monopoly in the Pacific Northwest. As colonial governor, he initiated British rule west of the Rocky Mountains, and as the founder of settlement, trade and industry, he is remembered as “the Father of British Columbia.”
William Andrew Cecil Bennett, PC, OC, premier of British Columbia 1952-72, merchant, politician, (born 6 September 1900 in Hastings, NB; died 23 February 1979 in Kelowna, BC). Bennett led his province during a period of unparalleled economic expansion and is the longest serving premier in BC history.
David Barrett, OC, OBC, 26th premier of British Columbia 1972–75, member of parliament 1988–93, MLA 1960–83, social worker (born 2 October 1930 in Vancouver, BC; died 2 February 2018 in Victoria, BC). Barrett led the first New Democratic Party government in British Columbia, a short-lived but prolific administration that passed more than 400 bills in three years. The Barrett government created the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, the Agricultural Land Reserve and the province’s PharmaCare program. He was the first premier of Jewish heritage in Canada.
Faced with the tremendous economic and social problems of the GREAT DEPRESSION, Pattullo was innovative in extending the role of government. His frustration with the limitations of provincial power led to a battle with Ottawa that resulted in a reappraisal of Canadian federalism.
Christina Joan “Christy” Clark, 35th premier of British Columbia (2011–2017), radio broadcaster, political staffer (born 29 October 1965 in Burnaby, BC). Clark was a fiscal conservative with a populist flourish, often compared to legendary premier W.A.C. Bennett. She was the first female premier to be re-elected in Canadian history.
John Joseph Horgan, 36th premier of British Columbia, 2017–present; political aide (born 7 August 1959 in Victoria, BC). Horgan revitalized British Columbia's New Democratic Party after 16 years on the opposition benches. After the 2017 election, he engineered a power-sharing deal to topple a weakened Liberal regime and govern the province with the support of the Green Party.
Alexander Edmund Batson Davie, lawyer, politician, premier of British Columbia 1887-89 (b at Wells, Eng 24 Nov 1847; d at Victoria 1 Aug 1889). He immigrated to Vancouver Island in 1862 and was the first person to receive a complete legal education there, being called to the bar in 1873.
Wilhelmus Nicholaas Theodore Marie Vander Zalm, "Bill," premier of BC, horticulturalist, businessman (b at Noordwykerhout, Holland 29 May 1934). In 1947 he moved to the Fraser Valley with his family. After completing high school, he sold bulbs, and in 1956 bought a nursery business.
Byron Ingemar Johnson, "Boss," businessman, politician, premier of BC 1947-52 (b at Victoria 10 Dec 1890; d there 12 Jan 1964). After service in WWI, Johnson and his brothers formed a building supply company in Victoria. Elected as a Liberal in Victoria in 1933, he was defeated in 1937.
William Richards (Bill) Bennett, businessman, politician, premier of BC (born 14 April 1932 in Kelowna, BC; died 3 December 2015 in Kelowna). After leaving high school, Bill Bennett, whose father was W.A.C. BENNETT, devoted his efforts to a career in business and with his brother made a success of various real-estate and other speculative ventures.