George Abbott (politician)

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George Abbott
TEAM George Abbott.jpg
Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly
for Shuswap
In office
May 28, 1996 – May 14, 2013
Preceded by Shannon O'Neill
Succeeded by Greg Kyllo
Minister of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services of British Columbia
In office
June 5, 2001 – January 26, 2004
Premier Gordon Campbell
Preceded by Jenny Kwan (Community Development, Cooperatives and Volunteers), David Zirnhelt (Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation)
Succeeded by Murray Coell
Minister of Sustainable Resource Management of British Columbia
In office
January 26, 2004 – June 16, 2005
Premier Gordon Campbell
Preceded by Stan Hagen
Minister of Health of British Columbia
In office
June 16, 2005 – June 10, 2009
Premier Gordon Campbell
Preceded by Shirley Bond
Succeeded by Kevin Falcon
Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation of British Columbia
In office
June 10, 2008 – October 25, 2010
Premier Gordon Campbell
Preceded by Michael de Jong
Succeeded by Barry Penner
Minister of Education of British Columbia
In office
October 25, 2010 – November 25, 2010
Premier Gordon Campbell
Preceded by Margaret MacDiarmid
Succeeded by Margaret MacDiarmid
Minister of Education
In office
March 14, 2011 – September 5, 2012
Preceded by Margaret MacDiarmid
Succeeded by Don McRae
Personal details
Born 1952
Political party BC Liberal
Occupation political scientist

George Abbott (born 1952[1][2]) is a former politician and cabinet minister for the Canadian province of British Columbia. Abbott was a BC Liberal Party Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia representing the riding of Shuswap beginning in 1996.


George Abbott served as Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and government deputy house leader from June 10, 2009 until October 25, 2010. He also served as Minister of Health from June 16, 2005 until 2009, Minister of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services and Minister of Sustainable Resource Management. Abbott was appointed Minister of Education on October 25, 2010 until his resignation on November 25, 2010. Abbott was appointed Minister of Education on March 14, 2011 by the new Premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark.

While serving in the Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's services Abbott worked with UBCM to pass the Community Charter. He was later awarded a lifetime membership in UBCM for his work on the file.[3] During his term in the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management, Abbott worked with industry, environmental, and First Nations groups to complete the Great Bear Rainforest agreement which included a move to ecosystem-based management. As a result of his work on this file, Abbott was the only BC Liberal Candidate endorsed by the Conservation Voters of BC in 2005.[4]

As Minister of Health, Abbott partnered with the BC Medical Association to introduce Electronic Health Records to BC.[5] Abbott enshrined the five principles of the Canada Health Act, plus a sixth – the principle of sustainability – in provincial law.[6] Abbott also pushed for innovation in the health system and introduced the $100-million Health Innovation Fund, which funded pilot projects to reduce wait times in emergency rooms and for elective surgeries.[7] As Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Abbott worked with First Nations leaders to designate the Salish Sea [8] and Haida Gwaii and signed a final agreement with the Yale First Nation.[9]

Campaign for Liberal leadership

On November 25, 2010, George Abbott announced he was running for the leadership of the BC Liberal Party to replace Gordon Campbell when he steps down.[10] During the campaign he stated he "would as premier move the referendum on the controversial tax to no later than June 24, 2011 rather than the September 24 date currently in place" and increase the minimum wage.[11] He called for a review or the $6 million payment made for expenses incurred by convicted Liberal aides Robert Virk and David Basi in association with the BC Rail trial, however, he refused to call for a full public inquiry in the alleged scandal involving allegations of bribes to Liberal party insiders.[12] He placed third in the leadership election, which was won by Christy Clark.

In 2015, Premier Clark and her cabinet vetoed the appointment of Abbott to be Chief Treaty Commissioner of BC Treaty Commission due to her government aiming to reform the treaty process. Abbott had been working on transition with the departing commission chief and his removal was criticized by First Nations.[13] Abbott subsequently removed his membership for the Liberal party that he served as an MLA for 17 years and campaigned to be their leader.[14]

Personal life

Abbott received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and his Master of Arts in political science from the University of Victoria.

Abbott was the chair of the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District. He was also involved in amateur sports as a minor hockey coach. George and Lesley Abbott live in Sicamous and have three children.[15]

Election results (partial)

British Columbia general election, 2005: Shuswap
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
Liberal George Abbott 11,024 46.96 $89,183
New Democratic Calvin Ross White 8,281 35.27 $60,432
Conservative Beryl Ludwig 2,330 9.92 $5,715
Green Barbara Westerman 1,394 5.94 $1,788
Marijuana Chris Emery 356 1.52 $100
Bloc Paddy Roberts 50 0.21 $897
Patriot Andrew Nicholas Hokhold 42 0.18 $100
Total Valid Votes 23,477 100.00
Total Rejected Ballots 93 0.40
Turnout 23,570 64.34

See also


  1. ^ McCullough, J.J.: The Race For Premier: George Abbott, Metro Vancouver, January 9, 2011. URL last accessed 2012-10-29.
  2. ^ McMartin, W.: BC's Most Likely Next Premier? George Abbott, The Tyee, February 11, 2011. URL last accessed 2012-10-29.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Government Press Release
  9. ^ Government News Release
  10. ^ Austin, Ian (2010-11-25). "Abbott steps into leadership ring with support from several MLAs". The Province. Archived from the original on 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ Kines, Lindsay (2015-03-26). "Premier: George Abbott out because B.C. treaty process needs reform". Victoria Times-Colonist. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  14. ^ Macleod, Andrew (2015-06-30). "George Abbott Quits Liberals He Sought to Lead". The Tyee. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  15. ^ "George Abbott's Biography". Retrieved 2010-12-11. 

External links

  • Official Biography, Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
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