Judi Tyabji

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Judi Tyabji Wilson)
Jump to: navigation, search
Judi Tyabji
Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
In office
Constituency Okanagan East
Personal details
Born Judeline Kim Mary Tyabji
1965 (age 51–52)
Calcutta, India
Political party Liberal (BC)
Progressive Democratic Alliance
Spouse(s) Kim Sandana (ex-husband)
Gordon Wilson
Children Kasimir, Kiri, Tanita[1]
Alma mater University of Victoria

Judeline Kim Mary "Judi" Tyabji (born 1965)[4] is a former British Columbia politician, who was the youngest elected Member of the Legislative Assembly,[5] and the wife of former provincial Leader of the Opposition Gordon Wilson.

Early life[edit]

Tyabji was born in Calcutta, India in 1965 to English and Indian parents who immigrated their family in the mid-1970s to Canada, first to Toronto then to Kelowna, where she attended Catholic elementary and high schools. Her father Alan Tyabji was an executive for Calona Wines then owned Okanagan Vineyards Winery in Oliver, British Columbia. In 1986, she graduated from the University of Victoria with a degree in Political Science then went to work as an assistant for the federal Liberal party.[5]


After Gordon Wilson became leader of the provincial Liberal party in 1987, Tyabji became their regional representative. Shortly after her giving birth to her first child, she was their nominee for a by-election in Penticton. She lost her first election to the NDP agriculture minister Bill Barlee but raised the Liberal share of vote in the riding from 2% to 11%.[5] After Jean Chretien became the federal Liberal leader, she briefly switched to the NDP then returned to the provincial Liberals when they disconnected from the federal party in 1991.[5]

When she was 26 years old and pregnant with her third child, Tyabji earned what was described as a "surprise victory" in her first election win in October 1991 by defeating a Social Credit cabinet minister and a prominent NDP activist[5] to become the MLA for the newly created riding of Okanagan-East.Tyabji was the only Liberal elected in the province's Interior region that year and in the Okanagan since before World War Two.[6] She was the youngest MLA on record at the time and the first to give birth while in office. She was also appointed Environment Critic by the Liberals.[5]

Wilson affair[edit]

She served as an MLA for the British Columbia Liberal Party from 1991 until 1993 when Wilson's leadership of the Liberals was challenged after it came to light that he was having an extramarital affair with Tyabji, whom he had recently named as the party's House Leader. Wilson and Tyabji retained their seats in the Legislature and sat as members of a new party, the Progressive Democratic Alliance.[1] [7] Wilson and Tyabji then married in 1994,[8] the same year she lost custody of her three children to her ex-husband.[1]

In the 1996 provincial election, Wilson retained his seat, while Tyabji lost hers.[1] Wilson afterwards, in 1997, crossed the floor to join the British Columbia New Democratic Party government of Glen Clark as Minister of Finance and Minister of Employment, Investment and International Trade.[1][7] He subsequently folded his party, the PDA.


After leaving politics she hosted a daily talk show on Victoria-based CHEK-TV until suing CHEK for breach of contract in 1998.[1] She served as a municipal councillor in Powell River from November 1999 until October 2001. She currently heads a software company and remains married to Wilson as Judi Tyabji Wilson.

In 2008, Tyabji, her firm Tugboat Enterprises, and The Province newspaper were sued for defamation by Blair Wilson (despite same surname not related to Gordon Wilson) who was the federal Member of Parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country and who later lost his attempt at re-election. She, Gordon Wilson and Tugboat were later sued by their legal representatives Hakemi Law Corp for failure to pay legal bills. A string of legal and financial difficulties led to a court-ordered sale of their Powell River waterfront home.[9]

Authored publications[edit]

  • In 1994, she and Gordon Wilson co-authored a book Political Affairs.
  • In 2002, authored a book Daggers Unsheathed: The Political Assassination of Glen Clark about the Glen Clark political era from his seeking the NDP leadership in 1995 to Clark's acquittal in 2002 related to Casinogate scandal.
  • In 2016, authored a biography Behind The Smile of the current Premier Christy Clark[10]

Election results[edit]

British Columbia general election, 1996: Okanagan East
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberal John Weisbeck 9,382 38.37%
Progressive Democrat Judi Tyabji 6,432 26.30%
New Democratic Janet Elizabeth Gooch 5,176 21.17%
Reform Paul Halonen 3,116 12.74%
Green Dave Cursons 347 1.47%
Total valid votes 24,453
Total rejected ballots 108
B.C. General Election 1991: Okanagan-East[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Judi Tyabji 8,578 38.47
Social Credit Larry Chalmers 7,896 35.41
New Democratic Eileen M. Robinson 5,825 26.12
Total Valid Votes 22,299 100.00
Total rejected ballots 349
1988 By-Election: Boundary-Similkameen[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
New Democratic Bill Barlee 15,778 52.82
Social Credit Russ Fox 10,585 35.44
Liberal Judi Tyabji 3,144 10.53
Green Rus Domer 361 1.21
Total Valid Votes 29,868 100.00
Total rejected ballots 87


  1. ^ a b c d e f Hunter, Jennifer (1 March 1999). "Wilson Joins BC's NDP". Maclean's Magazine. The Canadian Encyclopedia The Historica Dominion Institute. Retrieved June 8, 2015. 
  2. ^ Rayner, William (2001). "3. The Gord and Judi Show". Scandal!!: 130 years of damnable deeds in Canada's Lotus Land. Heritage House Publishing. pp. 132–136. ISBN 978-1-894384-24-7. 
  3. ^ "Afternoon Sitting, Volume 2 Number 8". Official Report of Debates of the Legislative Assembly (Hansard). Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. 22 April 1992. p. 863. Retrieved 7 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Women Members of the Legislature of British Columbia" (PDF). Legislative Library of British Columbia. 2 July 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f McNeil, Holly (Spring 1992). "Judi Tyabji: A Star Is Elected" (PDF). Okanagan Life: 12–15. Retrieved Feb 21, 2015. 
  6. ^ McMartin, Will (April 4, 2005). "The Okanagan, a Liberal Stronghold". The Tyee. Retrieved Feb 21, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Kamath, A P (18 November 1999). "More 'Desi' Connections In BC Election". Rediff.com. Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  8. ^ Bitonti, Daniel (May 24, 2013). "Reviewing lessons at the school for scandal's B.C. campus". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved Feb 21, 2015. 
  9. ^ Mackin, Bob (May 16, 2013). "Gordon Wilson's endorsement of Clark follows slew of legal, financial woes". Business In Vancouver. Retrieved Feb 21, 2015. 
  10. ^ MacDonald (2016-06-04). "Christy Clark bio goes beyond the smile : Former B.C. MLA Judi Tyabji pens an unauthorized biography of the B.C. Premier". Macleans Magazine. 
  11. ^ "B.C. Provincial Elections (1991)". ubc.ca. Retrieved Feb 21, 2015. 
  12. ^ "1987-2001 Election History" (PDF). electionsbc.ca. Retrieved Feb 21, 2015.