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The Honourable Iona V. Campagnolo, P.C., O.C, O.B.C.

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The Honourable Iona V. Campagnolo, P.C., O.C, O.B.C.

Award Received

Honorary Degree

Convocation Ceremony

Spring 2010 Convocation

Born on Galiano Island, the Honourable Iona Campagnolo became the first woman Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia in 2001.  Her introduction to politics began in 1966 when she served on the school board in Prince Rupert and as chair for five years.  She also worked at Skeena Broadcasting Limited as the manager of sales and host of her own daily radio show.

In 1974, Ms. Campagnolo ran for and was elected to the House of Commons in the riding of Skeena.  Shortly thereafter, she was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and then served as a Minister in the Government of then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau as Canada's first Minister of State for Fitness and Amateur Sport.

In 1982, after re-entering the world of broadcasting and lecturing for a time and appearing on television and radio discussing politics and current issues, Ms. Campagnolo became the first female president of the Liberal Party of Canada.  In another first, she took on the role as Chancellor of the University of Northern British Columbia when it opened in 1994.

Throughout her career, Ms. Campagnolo has served on many boards for causes she feels passionately about including the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, CUSO and Project Angola.  She has also participated in election monitoring and human rights events in Africa.  In British Columbia, she was founding Chair of the Fraser Basin Council - a unique organization bringing together federal, provincial, local and First Nations administrations in joint decision-making regarding the management of the Fraser River.

Ms. Campagnolo has received a number of honorary degrees and awards including being designated as an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Member of the Order of British Columbia and Broadcast Citizen of the Year for British Columbia. She has received a Justice Institute Medal and is a Dame of the Order of St. John. Ms. Campagnolo has also been recognized by two First Nations, with honoured names from the T'Simpsean and the Haida Nations.

Currently Ms. Campagnolo works with a Collaborative Watershed Management initiative and serves in a number of honorary positions including as patron of the Centre for Child Honouring headed by children's advocate Raffi Cavoukian; the British Columbia Iris Society and the Bamfield Music Festival.  She is currently an honourary director of Vancouver's celebration of the Canadian Naval Centennial (1910-2010) as well as acting as a facilitator for the Simon Fraser University Salmon Summit.

Ms. Campagnolo holds honorary doctorates from Simon Fraser University, the University of Northern British Columbia, the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia, Brock University and Trent University.