David Kilgour

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This article is about the Canadian politician. For the New Zealand musician, see David Kilgour (musician).
The Honourable
David Kilgour
PC, DD, JD, BA
David Kilgour.jpg
Hon. David Kilgour in 2008
Member of Parliament
for Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
In office
2003–2006
Preceded by New Riding
Succeeded by Mike Lake
Member of Parliament
for Edmonton Southeast
In office
1988–2003
Preceded by New Riding
Succeeded by Riding Abolished
Member of Parliament
for Edmonton—Strathcona
In office
1979–1988
Preceded by Douglas Roche
Succeeded by Scott Thorkelson
Personal details
Born ( 1941-02-18) February 18, 1941 (age 73)
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Political party Independent
(2005–2006)
Other political
affiliations
Progressive Conservative
(1979–1990)
Liberal Party of Canada
(1990–2005)
Residence Ottawa, Ontario
Alma mater University of Manitoba
University of Toronto Faculty of Law
Profession Lawyer, Politician, Author
Religion Presbyterian Church

David Kilgour, PC (born February 18, 1941 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) is a former Canadian politician.

Kilgour graduated from the University of Manitoba in economics in 1962 and the University of Toronto law school in 1966. From crown attorney in northern Alberta to Canadian Cabinet minister, Kilgour ended his 27-year tenure in the Canadian House of Commons as an Independent MP. Upon retirement, he was one of the longest current serving members of parliament and one of the very few who had been elected under both the Progressive Conservative and Liberal banners.

Member of parliament[edit]

Kilgour was originally elected as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1979. However, his first attempt at election, in the 1968 federal election in the riding of Vancouver Centre as a Progressive Conservative was unsuccessful. He ran again as a Tory in the 1979 election in Edmonton, and was a member of parliament for about 27 years. In October 1990, he, along with Pat Nowlan of Nova Scotia and Alex Kindy of Calgary, were expelled from the Tory national caucus in protest over their vote against the Goods and Services Tax. He sat as an independent for several months before joining the Liberals.

In the Liberal government, he served as the Deputy Speaker (1993–1997) and Chairman of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons, Secretary of State Latin America and Africa (1997–2002), and Secretary of State, Asia-Pacific (2002–2003). In the Conservative governments of Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney he served as Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council, the Minister for CIDA, the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, and the Minister of Transport.[1]

As Secretary for state, Kilgour was continuously vocal on many human rights violations around the world. In 2001 while visiting Zimbabwee, Kilgour was vocally critical of Mugabe's farm-invasions policy and pushed for increasing international pressure.[2] In December 2004, he was among the Ukrainian election monitor delegation of the federal run-off elections.

In April 2005, he received media attention when he speculated about quitting the Liberal Party because of his disgust with the sponsorship scandal, saying that the issue made Canada look like "a northern banana republic". On April 12, 2005, he announced that he was crossing the floor to sit as an independent MP. He also cited the Canada's lack of action on the crisis in Darfur, Sudan, as reasons for quitting. He asserted that he has no plans to move back to the Conservatives, and stated that he had no plans to run for re-election.

From 1979 to 1988, he represented the riding of Edmonton—Strathcona, but with shifting constituency lines moved to the Edmonton Southeast in 1988, and then again to Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont in 2004 which he represented until he retired from politics at the 2006 election.

Because of the unusual structure of the 38th House of Commons, in May 2005, David Kilgour's lone vote had the power to bring down or support the government. He used this influence to urge the Martin government to send peacekeepers to Darfur. He is an endorser of the Genocide Intervention Network. Then-Prime Minister Paul Martin agreed to send humanitarian support but in the end, no peacekeepers were sent.[3]

Democracy activism[edit]

While being a lifelong practicing Christian, Kilgour has worked on issues inter-faith dialog, personal freedoms, and democratic government throughout his career. In Parliament, he was active in prayer-groups while at venues and publications across the country he has spoken specifically on religious themes and politics. Commonly, his topics have been on global religious and political persecutions.[4] Currently, he serves as: a fellow of the Queen's University Centre for the Study of Democracy; a director of the Washington-based Council for a Community of Democracies (CCD), and co-chair of the Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran and has recently hosted an Iran pro-democracy rally attended by approximately 90,000 in France in 2009.[5]

His personal religious beliefs did land him in the news in 2003 when he abstained from the same-sex marriage bill and was reprimanded by then Prime Minister Chrétien.[6]

Involvement with Falun Gong[edit]

In July 2006 with co-participant David Matas he released report entitled Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China.[7] The report alleged that the Chinese authorities were executing a "large but unknown number of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience" and removing their internal organs including corneas, hearts, kidneys and livers for sale to foreign nationals in need of healthy organs for transplant. The report received a mixed reception in the Western World, and was dismissed by China and Russia.

In 2009, Kilgour and Matas published an updated version of the report as a book, titled Bloody Harvest, The killing of Falun Gong for their organs.[8]

Matas and Kilgour won the 2009 Human Rights Award from the German based International Society for Human Rights for their work with the Chinese organ harvesting project. According to the press, they were separately nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for their work on Chinese organ harvesting by Canadian MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj and Balfour Hakak, chairman of the Hebrew Writers Association in Israel.[9]

Recognition[edit]

Throughout his parliamentary career he has been awarded a wide range of awards including: the Kaputiman Award from the Council of Edmonton Filipino Associations; the Special Award from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (Alberta Provincial Council); an Outstanding Service Award from the Edmonton Sikh community; the Religious Liberty Award from the International Religious Liberty Association in Washington, D.C., Liberty Magazine and the Seventh-day Adventist Church; and as Chairman of the Parliamentary Group for Soviet Jewry, he was recognized by B'nai Brith Canada for his effort and commitment to bringing the plight of the Soviet Jewry to the attention of Canadians.[10]

In May 2006, he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity (D.D.(Hon)) degree from Knox College, University of Toronto. Kilgour, a Presbyterian, was recognized for his commitment to human rights in Canada and abroad and particularly his challenge to the international community to respond to the plight of Darfur, as well as in Burma, and Zimbabwe.

Relations[edit]

He is the brother of Geills Turner, who is married to former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner. Kilgour and his sister are the great nephew and niece of John McCrae, the soldier and poet who wrote In Flanders Fields, and also the great nephew and niece of John Wentworth Russell, who painted the portrait of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, which hangs in the House of Commons.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "KILGOUR, The Hon. David, P.C., B.A., J.D. (LL.B.)". Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ Meldrum, Andrew (October 28, 2001). "Guardian 'Mugabe hounds anti-racist'". The Guardian (London). 
  3. ^ "CBC Kilgour or Darfour". July 12, 2005. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Talks on Religion". 
  5. ^ "How Canada can help in Iran". July 2, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Kilgour on 'Traditional Marriage'". November 26, 2003. 
  7. ^ Kilgour, David; David Matas (January 31, 2007). "BLOODY HARVEST Revised Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China" (in 22 languages - English, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, French, German, ...). p. 243. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  8. ^ David Kilgour; David Matas (2009). "Bloody Harvest, The killing of Falun Gong for their organs". seraphimeditions.com. 
  9. ^ "The Montreal Gazette, Winnipeg lawyer, former MP nominated for Peace Prize". February 20, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Biography". 

External links[edit]

26th Ministry – Cabinet of Jean Chrétien
Sub-Cabinet Posts (2)
Predecessor Title Successor
Rey Pagtakhan Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific)
(2002–2003)
Christine Stewart Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa)
(1997–2002)
Denis Paradis