The University of Saskatchewan is currently showcasing a speaker series in line with Canada 150 celebrations — featuring former Prime Ministers Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin and Kim Campbell.
The series is intended to create conversations about the Canadian political past and present and offers students a chance to bounce ideas off the prestigious guests.
According to the event outline, Campbell, a guest on Oct. 4, speaks to women’s roles and involvement in the Canadian political sphere.
Campbell served as Prime Minister from June to November 1993. Following party convention, Campbell was chosen to replace Brian Mulroney as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. Her time as Canada’s figurehead was short-lived and arguably unremarkable — at the completion of her term, the Progressive Conservatives were dealt a devastating electoral loss.
The contention here — and I don’t think I’m reaching to say it — is that Kim Campbell isn’t a women’s hero.
Sure, she was our first and only female-identified prime minister, and sure she tweets a lot about Donald Trump, but she’s not the be-all and end-all of women in politics, and she’s certainly not the only voice on the matter.
In fact, it’s quite interesting that, while Chrétien and Martin speak about heavyweight topics like Canada’s future and foreign policy, Campbell has been asked to speak about women in politics. Surely, she’s known for something more in her political career than just her gender. It kind of feels like one of those “hold on, let’s ask any living woman what she thinks, so it’s fair” kind of consolations, doesn’t it?
What do you think? Drop a line at thesheaf.com, or tweet with the hashtag #sheafhottakes, and let’s talk.
Emily Migchels / Opinions Editor