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Constance (Connie) Fogal (born 1940) is the former leader of the Canadian Action Party. A lawyer and former teacher, Fogal lives in Vancouver, British Columbia where her late husband Harry Rankin was a long time progressive city councillor. She is an anti-globalization activist and was an opponent of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment and the North American Free Trade Agreement. She has also been active with the "Canadian Liberty Committee".
In the 1996 Vancouver municipal election she helped form left-right coalition named VOICE and ran as a candidate but the party failed to win a seat on city council.
In the 1997 election, running in Vancouver Centre as a CAP candidate, she received 528 votes, coming in seventh behind Liberal Hedy Fry. In the 2000 election, she ran in Vancouver Kingsway and received 1,200 votes, coming in fifth behind Liberal Sophia Leung. In the 2004 election, Fogal was a candidate in Vancouver Quadra, where she received 165 votes. On May 6, 2008, Fogal announced her intention to resign as party leader but due to the snap call of the 2008 federal election she remained leader until November when she was succeeded by Andrew J. Moulden.
Constance (Connie) Fogal, was born on August 7, 1940 in Lafleche, Saskatchewan. She grew up in Saskatchewan and was educated at University of Saskatchewan, University of Toronto, and University of British Columbia.
She taught in Saskatchewan, the Toronto public high school system and the University of BC Centre for Continuing Education. She was called to the Bar in British Columbia in 1980 and practised law as a sole practitioner in Vancouver, British Columbia, first in the areas of criminal law and family law, and then primarily in family law.
Fogal is the widow of Harry Rankin after 27 years together. She played a major behind the scenes supportive role to her husband’s progressive voice as a Vancouver city councillor and champion of the people. Similarly, Rankin was a constant source of revitalization and support to Fogal’s own political and legal efforts.
Fogal has two adult children from a previous marriage and two grandchildren. Fogal’s grandparents were pioneers in Saskatchewan. Their roots were in Ontario and Quebec. Her maternal grandfather was active in shaping the province of Saskatchewan under Tommy Douglas.
Except for two years following the death of her husband in February 2002, Fogal devoted all her adult life in political activism learning about and then opposing globalization. She has consistently called for the abrogation of the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and has opposed Canada’s participation in the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) and other such bilateral agreements to which Canada is already a party. She has criticized the labour, environmental, and non-governmental movements who supported these agreements.
- Director Vancouver Library Board 1983 to 1985;
- Director of Pearson Hospital and G.F.Strong Hospital 1988;
- Chairperson of St.Paul’s Healthy Hospital Project, 1991.
- Vancouver Parks Board Commissioner from 1984 to 1986;
- Director, Kitsilano and Vancouver Community Resource boards from 1975 to 1979.
- President of the Canadian Action Party/parti-action Canadienne, a federal electoral party, 1998 to 2004;
- Leader of the Canadian Action Party/parti action Canadienne, March 2004 to 2008.
She has practised law in Vancouver BC since 1980. She was a stay-at-home mother from 1971 to 1977. She has also been a teacher.
Political advocacy work
Fogal has fought against gambling expansion since 1994. Since 1998, Fogal-Rankin has spearheaded three lawsuits on behalf of Canadian citizens through the Defence of Canadian Liberty Committee to oppose what she sees as threats to Canadian constitutional sovereignty. The Nanoose Bay lawsuit attacked the expropriation of an environmentally sensitive waterway by the federal government to permit the U.S. to test their weapons. That lawsuit was stayed pending the pursuit by the province of their lawsuit on the issue. The third challenged what Fogal argued was the federal government’s destruction of civil liberties and rights to free speech and lawful assembly by the erection of a fence in Quebec City to keep protesters away from the Summit of the Americas. The Supreme Court of Canada refused to deal with issues raised in the MAI and Quebec lawsuits.
Fogal promoted public education by bringing to Vancouver notable speakers including: Michel Chossudovsky, Economist, University of Ottawa, on globalization of poverty, and the impacts of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank; Guy Bertrand, Lawyer; and Max and Monique Nemni, editors of Cité Libre, on Quebec issues; Dr. Richard Wolfson on genetically modified foods (GMOs); Robert Goodman, Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Earl Grinols, professor of economics, University of Illinois on the damage of gambling as a mechanism for running the economy; Paul Hellyer, Leader of the Canadian Action Party, on globalization’s effects on Canada; Michael Rowbotham, England, professor and researcher on the origins and effect of money and debt.
Fogal has been a critic of Canada’s new laws implemented by our federal government under the guise of antiterrorism legislation since the September 11 attacks.
Fogal was a candidate for the Canadian Action Party in the 1997 and 2000 federal elections promoting environmental, monetary, economic sovereignty and human survival by opposing the corporatization, privatization. She called for the abrogation of NAFTA, and the Agreement on International Trade, pulling out of the FTAA, the World Trade Organization and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) expansion, opposition to Canada’s participation in and cooperation with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. She is also an opponent of the proposed UN Parliamentary Assembly.
Paul T. Hellyer
|Canadian Action Party leaders
Andrew J. Moulden