Richard McBride

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Sir Richard McBride

Richard McBride.jpg
16th Premier of British Columbia
In office
June 1, 1903 – December 15, 1915
MonarchEdward VII
George V
Lieutenant GovernorHenri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière
James Dunsmuir
Thomas Wilson Paterson
Francis Stillman Barnard
Preceded byEdward Gawler Prior
Succeeded byWilliam John Bowser
MLA for Westminster-Dewdney
In office
July 9, 1898 – October 3, 1903
Preceded byColin Buchanan Sword
Succeeded bydistrict abolished
MLA for Dewdney
In office
October 3, 1903 – November 25, 1909
Preceded byfirst member
Succeeded byWilliam J. Manson
MLA for Yale
In office
November 25, 1909 – March 28, 1912
Preceded byStuart Alexander Henderson
Succeeded byAlexander Lucas
MLA for Victoria City
In office
February 2, 1907 – December 15, 1915
Preceded byWilliam George Cameron
Richard Low Drury
Richard Hall
James Dugald McNiven
Succeeded byHarlan Carey Brewster
Personal details
Born(1870-12-15)December 15, 1870
New Westminster, Colony of British Columbia, British Empire
DiedAugust 6, 1917(1917-08-06) (aged 46)
London, England, UK
Political partyConservative
Other political
Christine Margaret McGillivray (m. 1896)
Children6 daughters
Alma materSchulich School of Law
CabinetMinister of Mines (1900-1901)

Sir Richard McBride, KCMG (December 15, 1870 – August 6, 1917) was a British Columbia politician and is often considered the founder of the British Columbia Conservative Party. McBride was first elected to the provincial legislature in the 1898 election, and served in the cabinet of James Dunsmuir from 1900 to 1901. McBride believed that the province's system of non-party government was unstable and hindered development. After the lieutenant-governor appointed him the 16th premier in June 1903 and McBride announced that his government was a Conservative Party administration and would contest the upcoming election along party lines. On October 3, 1903, McBride's party, the British Columbia Conservative Party won the first provincial election to be fought along party lines with a two-seat majority. McBride was also the first native-born Premier in British Columbia's history.

Richard McBride is interred in the Ross Bay Cemetery in Victoria, British Columbia.

Premier of British Columbia[edit]

The new Conservative government attempted to stabilize the economy by cutting spending and raising new taxes. It also introduced progressive reforms of the province's labour law. In 1909 McBride unveiled plans for a provincial university and promised to build more railway lines. The party won commanding majorities in the 1909 and 1912 elections, almost shutting the Opposition out of the legislature.

McBride's Conservatives were aligned with the federal Conservatives of Robert Borden, and helped them take power in the 1911 federal election. On the first day of the First World War, the provincial government purchased and took possession of two submarines (HMCS CC-1 and HMCS CC-2) to defend the province from the threat of German attack. As provinces are not constitutionally allowed to maintain militaries, they were quickly transferred by order to the federal government within 48 hours and entered service with the Royal Canadian Navy in August 1914.[1]

His government was also responsible for the creation of the province's first university, the University of British Columbia, which opened its doors in 1915.

The government's popularity waned as an economic downturn hit the province along with the mounting railway debts. McBride resigned on December 15, 1915, to become the province's representative in London, where he died in 1917.


The small community of McBride, British Columbia was named after this premier during the time he was in office. Also named for the premier, the McBride River in northern British Columbia is a major tributary of the Stikine.

Richard McBride Elementary School in New Westminster was built in 1912 and replaced the Sapperton School nearby, after burning down it was rebuilt as the current school being completed in 1929.[2] Sir Richard McBride Elementary School in Vancouver was named after him in 1911 during his tenure as Premier as well as McBride Park in Kitsilano on July 26, 1911.( During World War I the park was used for the cultivation of vegetables.) Mount McBride, a peak in Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island, is also named after the premier.

Also named for him is McBride Boulevard in New Westminster which is the western ramp for the Pattullo Bridge.

Premier McBride held extremely abhorrent and racist views, including strong prejudices against people descended from Asia, views which he campaigned on widely. McBride was strongly in favour of restricting immigration, expelling people of Asian descent and sought to build a "White man's province."[3]

Plaque from Richard McBride Elementary about the former premier.

See also[edit]



External links[edit]