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Telescope: Pat Carney

The Story


One of the few "lady business writers" in the country, Pat Carney tries to give her readers a vicarious thrill by taking them places they'll never go themselves. From remote logging camps to mining in the high Arctic, Carney puts a western point of view on the business pages. Talking work, family and politics in this Telescope close-up, Carney explains how she went to Ottawa a couple of years ago "as a committed nationalist and I came back a raving regionalist."

Medium: Television
Program: Telescope
Broadcast Date: Nov. 3, 1970
Guest(s): Pat Carney, St. Pierre Paul
Host: Ken Cavanagh
Duration: 22:50

Did You know?


• Born in Shanghai, China in 1935, Pat Carney settled in Canada with her family in 1939. A journalist by trade, she travelled the country writing for several publications, including the Vancouver Province and Vancouver Sun. She earned a BA in economics and political science at the University of British Columbia and started her own consulting business, Gemini North, in 1970. She spent a number of years in Yellowknife conducting socio-economic studies on the Mackenzie pipeline project and other initiatives in the North.

• Pat Carney returned to Vancouver in 1974, took an MA in planning at the University of British Columbia, and ran for federal Parliament for the Progressive Conservatives in 1979. Although she lost on her first try, she was elected in 1980 and named minister for energy, mines and resources. Re-elected in 1984, she became minister of international trade in 1986, playing a substantial role in the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement talks. In 1988, Carney was also named president of the Treasury Board. She was the first woman to hold any of these posts.

• Pat Carney retired from federal politics in 1988, but it was only a brief departure. Appointed to the Senate in 1990 by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, she was the first Progressive Conservative Senator from British Columbia since 1931. She became a Conservative senator when the Progressive Conservatives merged with the Canadian Alliance in 2004. In 2007, she announced that she would retire in 2008, two years before the end of her term in the Senate.

• Her memoir, Trade Secrets, published in 2000 became a national bestseller. She lives with her husband Paul White on Saturna Island in British Columbia.


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