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authority records

Bennett, Premier William R.

  • CA-BC-BWR001
  • Person
  • April 14, 1932 - December 3, 2015

William R. 'Bill' Bennett was the Premier of British Columbia from 1975 to 1986 and served as MLA for Okanagan South from 1973 to 1986. Like his father, Premier W.A.C. Bennett, he was the leader of the Social Credit Party.

Before entering politics, Bennett had achieved success in real estate and other business ventures. His accomplishments as premier included creating the SkyTrain and the Coquihalla Highway, bringing Expo 86 to Vancouver, establishing the BC Winter and Summer Games, and encouraging large-scale developments such as the Northeast coal project. However, his tenure was also marked by minor scandals, economic stagnancy, massive cuts to social services (the "Restraint" program), and a general strike. The BC Securities Commission found him guilty of insider trading in 1996. Bennett's public service was recognized with the Order of British Columbia in 2007.

Bennett was married to Audrey Bennett and they had four children. He died of Alzheimer's disease in 2015 at the age of 83.

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