Fonds UBCA-ARC-1322 - Patricia Carney fonds

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Patricia Carney fonds

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  • Multiple media

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the fonds

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7.53 m of textual records and other material

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Biographical history

Patricia Carney was born in Shanghai, China, on 26 May 1935. She spent most of her childhood in the Kootenay region of British Columbia before earning a BA in economics and political science at the University of British Columbia in 1960. In the 1960s, Carney worked as an economic journalist writing weekly columns for the Vancouver Province and the Vancouver Sun. In the 1970s, Carney formed a consulting company called Gemini North, which provided consulting services on various issues concerning predominantly northern Canadian affairs. During the 1970s, she returned to UBC, where she completed an MA in Regional Planning.

In the late 1970s, Carney accepted the Progressive Conservative Party's offer to run as an MP for the riding of Vancouver Centre. She was first elected for Vancouver Centre in 1980 and then re-elected in 1984. In her first term, Carney served as the Official Oppositions Energy Critic. In September 1984, when the Progressive Conservatives formed the government under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Carney was sworn to the Queen's Privy Council when she was appointed Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources in Mulroney's Cabinet. As Minister of Energy, Carney dismantled the Liberal's National Energy Policy (NEP), replacing it with new Agreements. In Canada's Atlantic region, Carney constructed the Atlantic Accord. Simultaneously, in western Canada, the Conservative energy policy took the form of the Western Accord, in which Carney instigated the Agreement on Natural Gas Markets and Prices. In June 1986, Carney was appointed Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). During FTA negotiations with the United States, Carney worked closely with Simon Reisman, Canada's chief negotiator, and Joe Clark, Michael Wilson, and other members of the Mulroney Cabinet. In April 1988, Carney was appointed President of the Treasury Board, serving a short term before a brief retirement from politics due to a severe arthritic condition. She returned to federal politics when Prime Minister Mulroney appointed her to the Senate on 30 August 1990. She was a member of the following Senate committees: Aboriginal Peoples; Fisheries; Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources; and Foreign Affairs.

Carney was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of British Columbia on 29 May 1990 and again from Simon Fraser University in 2010. She was an Adjunct Professor in the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC from 1990 to 1999. Pat Carney retired from the Senate in March 2008. She currently lives on Saturna Island in the Gulf Islands off the coast of BC and is an honorary patron of the Saturna Heritage Committee.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, minutes, memoranda, personal notes, diaries, photographs, videos and an assortment of ephemera created or collected by Carney over her years in federal politics. The fond consists predominantly of materials reflecting Carney's political life. Records from her years in the Official Opposition (1980-1984) and in government (1984-1988) consist of parliamentary reports, minutes from Neighbourhood Nights and correspondence from constituents. The majority of materials reflect Carney's tenure as Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (1984-1986), and Minister of International Trade (1986-1988). For dates during the evolution of both the Atlantic and Western Accords, these records include correspondence between Carney and provincial premiers, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and provincial Ministers of Energy. Records from the FTA include a copy of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, correspondence with Simon Reisman, Finance Minister Michael Wilson, Mulroney, and other Cabinet Ministers. FTA materials also include correspondence and newspaper clippings from the tenth anniversary of the FTA. The records also include copious handwritten notes from Carney's participation on the Priorities and Planning Committee of the Cabinet. The fonds also includes records from State Visits of the Prince and Princess of Wales and American Vice-President George Herbert Walker Bush to Expo 86, as well as State Visits by President and Mrs. Reagan of the United States and President and Mrs. Mitterrand of France. The fonds also contains records documenting Carney's career as a Senator, including a series dedicated to the Task Force on Barriers to Women in the Public Service. Also, the records contain a series of Carney's School of Community and Regional Planning teaching materials as well as limited amounts from both her private life and her career as an economic journalist.
The 2011 accrual (Boxes 47-60) consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, personal notes, reports, photographs, tapes and videos created collected by Carney during her time as a Senator. There is also further material regarding the reception of her autobiography and material from the operations of Gemini North.

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The materials have been arranged into series based on Carney's political position, with sub-series reflecting specific events that occurred within those positions.

Videos and audiotapes can be found in the University Archives A/V Collection. The videos are catalogued as UBC VT 914-931 and 2090-2123 and the audiotapes UBC AT 2521-2522 and 3739-3768.

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Online Finding Aid
Please see the finding aid for an inventory of files.

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Further accruals are expected

General note

For additional information see Carney’s autobiography, Trade Secrets: A Memoir. Toronto: Key Porter Books, 2000.

Physical description

Includes 803 photographic images, 51 video tapes, 31 audio tapes, 2 CDs (audiovisual), 3 CD-ROM (digital-born records), 1 map, and ephemera.

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Revised June 2020

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