Geills Turner

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Geills McCrae Kilgour Turner (first name pronounced "Jill";[1] born December 23, 1937) is the wife of John Napier Turner, a former Prime Minister of Canada. They have four children, one daughter and three sons.

Turner was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is the great-niece of John McCrae, author of the poem In Flanders Fields, and the sister of long time Alberta Member of Parliament David Kilgour. She went to Harvard Business School and was employed at IBM. Author Gordon Donaldson called her an "upper-crust pretty [girl]".[1]

Her contribution to John Turner's political life included being a "campaign worker" for him in the Canadian federal election of 1962, and she "brought computers into Turner's campaign."[1]

Besides this, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation states that "She was not keen to subsume her personality to further her husband’s goals, and for the most part stayed out of the spotlight." She also did not like the way she was portrayed in the press and therefore tried to stay away from it.[2] In his book Birds of a Feather: The Press and the Politicians, Allan Fotheringham claimed that Turner tried to exact her revenge on the press during the 1988 election campaign by secretly taking photographs of journalists partying on a campaign bus, with an eye toward publishing them in a magazine. The photographs were never subsequently published, however, and Fotheringham states that John Turner himself most likely killed the idea.[3]

In 2001, Turner made news when she crashed her minivan and was charged for careless driving. She claimed that she had momentarily stopped driving responsibly to save her dog.[4]

In March 2008 Turner brought an action in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice against the City of Guelph, claiming ownership of several of John McCrae's wartime medals which were donated to the McCrae House in 1997 and 2005. She was seeking to have personal possession of the medals. The action was settled in 2012 with an agreement for the medals to remain with the museum.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b c Gordon Donaldson, The Prime Ministers of Canada, (Toronto: Doubleday Canada Limited, 1997), p. 306.
  2. ^, "Leaders: Geills Turner," URL accessed 22 December 2006.
  3. ^ Allan Fotheringham, Birds of a Feather: The Press and the Politicians, (Toronto: Key Porter Books, 1989), p. 216–217. ISBN 1550131664.
  4. ^ "Former PM's wife chooses dog over car", Alaska Highway News. Fort St. John, B.C.: July 27, 2001. pg. A.2.
  5. ^ City reveals it faces 14 lawsuits. Guelph Tribune, March 15, 2011.
  6. ^ Poet John McCrae's medals to stay in Guelph, The Guelph Mercury, February 9, 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-14

See also[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Margaret Sinclair Trudeau
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Canada
Succeeded by
Mila Pivnički Mulroney