Pat Carney
Pat Carney.jpg
President of the Treasury Board
In office
March 31, 1988 – December 7, 1988
Prime MinisterBrian Mulroney
Preceded byDon Mazankowski
Succeeded byDoug Lewis (acting)
Minister for International Trade
In office
June 30, 1986 – March 30, 1988
Prime MinisterBrian Mulroney
Preceded byJames Kelleher
Succeeded byJohn Crosbie
Minister of Energy, Mines, and Resources
In office
September 17, 1984 – June 29, 1986
Prime MinisterBrian Mulroney
Preceded byGerald Regan
Succeeded byMarcel Masse
Member of Parliament
for Vancouver Centre
In office
April 14, 1980 – October 1, 1988
Preceded byArt Phillips
Succeeded byKim Campbell
Canadian Senator
from British Columbia
In office
August 30, 1990 – January 31, 2008
Nominated byBrian Mulroney
Appointed byRay Hnatyshyn
Preceded byNancy Bell (1989)
Personal details
Patricia Carney

(1935-05-26) May 26, 1935 (age 87)
Shanghai, Republic of China
Political partyConservative (since 2003)
Other political
Progressive Conservative (1979–2003)
CommitteesChair, Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources (1994–1996)

Patricia Carney PC CM (born May 26, 1935) is a former Canadian politician who served as a member of parliament from 1980 to 1988 and as a Senator from 1990 to 2008.

A member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, she first ran for the House of Commons of Canada during the 1979 Canadian federal election, but was defeated. She ran again in the election the following year and won, representing the district of Vancouver Centre. After winning a second term in the 1984 elections, she held the cabinet positions of minister of Energy, Mines and Resources from 1984 to 1986 and minister of International Trade from 1986 to 1988 under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. She did not seek a third term during the next federal elections in 1988, and was succeeded by future prime minsiter Kim Campbell. In 1990, Mulroney appointed her to the Senate, where she served until her resignation in 2008.

Early life

Carney was born in Shanghai, China, the daughter of Dora May Sanders and John James Carney, a Canadian who worked as a policeman in Shanghai.[1][2][3]

During the early part of her working life Pat Carney ran her own socio-economic consulting business in Yellowknife, NWT. Trading under the name of Gemini North, Ltd., Pat Carney developed useful contacts in the NWT Government and the oil and gas industry. Following the 1970 Centennial Royal Tour of the NWT Pat Carney, at the invitation of the NWT Commissioner, Stuart Hodgson, produced a book about the tour.[4] Carney became a close friend of Stuart Hodgson and accompanied the Commissioner and his party in the 1971 Canadian North Pole expedition an aborted attempt to reach the Pole by Twin Otter in a bid to establish the route for tourist adventurers. Carney was accompanied by her twin brother from Montreal during the flight in and out of the Polar Basin.

Carney's contacts with the oil and gas industry resulted in her being commissioned to conduct a survey of local opinion about the installation of a gas pipeline along the Mackenzie River Valley. Carney organised an information tour of the valley with stops at all the river settlements where the fly-in pipeliners conducted workshops explaining to the local people details about the pipeline project. The pipeliner's tour was shadowed by the president of the Northwest Territories Indian Brotherhood president James Wah-shee and was seen in native rights circles as a demonstration of the Brotherhood's aim to be consulted before any pipeline work started. Shortly after this tour the Brotherhood applied for a development caveat to stop all development on treaty land. This caveat eventually led to the pipeline inquiry which resulted in the project being shelved.

A fictionalized account of these events was published in 2008.[5]

Political career

Member of Parliament

Carney first ran for the House of Commons of Canada as a Progressive Conservative candidate in the 1979 election and was defeated. She was elected in the 1980 election as the Member of Parliament (MP) from Vancouver Centre.

Cabinet minister

When the Tories formed government under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney as a result of the 1984 election, Carney was appointed to Cabinet as Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, and was responsible for dismantling the previous Canadian government's unpopular National Energy Program.

In 1986, she was named Minister of International Trade and, as such, was involved in negotiating the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement.

Carney did not run for re-election in the 1988 election.


In 1990, she was appointed to the Canadian Senate by Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn. Carney, a pro-choice advocate of women's rights to abortion, voted against the abortion law proposed by her successor as MP for Vancouver Centre, Kim Campbell. The bill failed in the Senate in a tie vote. In 2000 Carney acted on concerns that landmark lighthouses on both Canadian coasts were being neglected by teaming up with the late Senator Mike Forrestall from Nova Scotia to introduce the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act, a private members bill which enjoyed consistent multi-party support in subsequent minority Parliaments and which received royal assent in 2008.[6]

Carney had mused that the Province of British Columbia might benefit from separating from Canada.[citation needed]

On October 11, 2007, the Prime Minister's Office announced that Senator Carney intended to resign, two years in advance of the mandatory retirement age of 75 years.[7] She officially resigned on January 31, 2008. In 2011, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada "for her public service as a journalist, politician and senator."[8]


There are Patricia Carney fonds at Library and Archives Canada[9] and the University of British Columbia.[10]

Electoral history

1984 Canadian federal election: Vancouver Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Pat Carney 21,704 43.23 +7.96
New Democratic Johanna den Hertog 16,283 32.43 +0.66
Liberal Paul E. Manning 10,654 21.22 -10.20
Green Paul Watson 533 1.06 +0.95
Rhinoceros Danny Tripper Parro 487 0.97 +0.25
Libertarian Paul A. Geddes 316 0.63
Communist Maurice Rush 135 0.27 -0.16
Confederation of Regions Poldi Meindl 98 0.20
Total valid votes 50,210 100.0  
Progressive Conservative hold Swing +3.65
1980 Canadian federal election: Vancouver Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Pat Carney 16,462 35.27 +0.84
New Democratic Ron Johnson 14,830 31.77 +1.80
Liberal Art Phillips 14,667 31.42 -3.22
Rhinoceros David J. Longworth 337 0.72
Communist Jack Phillips 200 0.43 +0.18
Independent John Elliot 101 0.22 -0.38
Independent Paul Watson 54 0.12
Marxist–Leninist Greg Corcoran 24 0.05 -0.06
Total valid votes 46,675 100.0  
Progressive Conservative gain from Liberal Swing -0.48
1979 Canadian federal election: Vancouver Centre
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Art Phillips 15,430 34.64 -7.09
Progressive Conservative Pat Carney 15,335 34.43 -3.10
New Democratic Ron Johnson 13,350 29.97 +10.58
Independent John Elliot 267 0.60
Communist Bert Ogden 111 0.25 -0.22
Marxist–Leninist Greg Corcoran 48 0.11 -0.20
Total valid votes 44,541 100.0  
Liberal hold Swing -2.00


  1. ^ The International Who's Who, 1997-98. Europa Publications. 1997. p. 252. ISBN 9781857430226.
  2. ^ Saturday Night, Volume 100, Issues 1-6. Consolidated Press Limited. 1985. p. 40.
  3. ^ Pierre G. Normandin (1991). The Canadian Parliamentary Guide. Gale Canada. p. 103.
  4. ^ Carney, Pat (1971). Tiara & Atigi: Northwest Territories 1970 Centennial, The Royal Tour. Mitchell Press Limited. ASIN B0006C6B50.
  5. ^ Wake, Val (2008). White Bird Black Bird. Booksurge Publishing. ISBN 978-1-43920345-3.
  6. ^ "Heritage Canada Foundation Welcomes Passing of Heritage Lighthouse Bill". Heritage Canada Foundation. 2008.
  7. ^ "Mulroney-era Conservative announces her retirement". Canadian Press. October 12, 2007. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  8. ^ "Appointments to the Order of Canada". June 30, 2011.
  9. ^ "Finding aid to Patricia Carney fonds, Library and Archives Canada" (PDF). Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  10. ^ "Finding aid to Patricia Carney fonds, University of British Columbia" (PDF). Retrieved August 31, 2020.