Search this site powered by FreeFind

Quick Link

for your convenience!

Human Rights, Youth Voices etc.

click here


For Information Concerning the Crisis in Darfur

click here


Northern Uganda Crisis

click here


 Whistleblowers Need Protection


David Kilgour's Biography

For your convenience, David Kilgour's biography is also given in a shorter Notes format.

David Kilgour

David Kilgour is co-chair of the Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran, past chair of the Latin America and Caribbean policy working group of the Ottawa branch of the Canadian International Council, a director of the Washington-based Council for a Community of Democracies (CCD), a Fellow of the Queen's University Centre for the Study of Democracy, a director of the New York-based NGO Advancing Human Rights and a director of the Ottawa Mission Foundation.

First elected to the House of Commons in 1979, he was re-elected seven times, most recently in 2004, for the south-east region of Edmonton. During his time in Parliament, he was Deputy Speaker and Chair of the Committees of the Whole House, Secretary of State for Latin America & Africa (1997-2002) and Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific (2002-2003). He did not stand in the 2006 election.

David remains active on issues of human dignity. A 2007 book, Uneasy Neighbo(u)rs, co-authored with David Jones, a former American diplomat, discusses the relationship of Canada and the USA. In 2009, he published with David Matas Bloody Harvest-The Killing of Falun Gong for their Organs. He and Matas were awarded the 2009 Human Rights Prize of the International Society for Human Rights in Switzerland for their work in raising awareness of state-sponsored organ pillaging in China. For further information, see:

David and Laura


David Kilgour is currently a Fellow of the Queen's University Centre for the Study of Democracy and a director of the Council for a Community of Democracies (CCD). He was one of the two longest-serving MPs in the House of Commons for the 38th Parliament. First elected in 1979 in the riding of Edmonton Strathcona, he has been re-elected seven times, most recently in 2004 to represent the constituents of Edmonton - Mill Woods - Beaumont. Since Confederation, only two Alberta MPs have served longer terms.

In the 38th Parliament, David was Chair of the Canada-ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group and the Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast; co-chair of the All-Party and Multi-Faith Committee on Religious-Cultural Harmony and the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet; and Canadian Chair of Parliamentarians for Global Action.


David was born in 1941 in Winnipeg. While studying at St John's Ravenscourt School, he won the Governor General's medal, and later completed a B.A. in Economics at the University of Manitoba and an L.L.B from the University of Toronto in 1966.

After being set up on a blind date, David married Laura Scott in 1974. They have four grown children.

Early Beginnings

After graduating from high school, David worked as a ranch hand at the A-7 Ranche in the foothills of southwest Alberta. While at university, he pursued a wide variety of career options, including becoming a trail rides guide in Banff National Park, a copy writer for the Winnipeg Free Press and a labourer-teacher on a steel gang with Frontier College in northern Ontario.

David's interests in recreational activities also started early in life. While studying law at the University of Toronto, he was a member of the Varsity Blues Boxing Team. He has played many sports, including hockey, football, skiing and jogging.

Professional Career

As a lawyer, David was admitted to practice in Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba. After graduating from law school, he articled with a Vancouver law firm and then worked as an assistant city prosecutor for the city of Vancouver. He also had his first attempt at running for public office in the federal riding of Vancouver Centre in the 1968 election, losing to incumbent Liberal Ron Basford.

Following the '68 election, David went to work for the federal Department of Justice in Ottawa and later became Crown Attorney for the Dauphin Judicial District in Manitoba. From 1972 to 1979, he served as a senior agent of the Attorney General and a constitutional advisor to the Government of Alberta, a position he held until being elected to the House of Commons in the spring of 1979.

Life in the House

During his almost 27 years of service in the House of Commons, David held a wide variety of portfolios, including Parliamentary Secretary to the Government House Leader, the Minister of External Relations, the Minister of Indian Affairs and the Minister of Transport.

His career has been marked by tough decisions and having to stand up for his beliefs. In April of 1987, he was dismissed as Parliamentary Secretary by then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for criticizing his government's ethics and its treatment of Western Canadians. Three years later, after voting against the Goods and Services Tax, was expelled from the Conservative caucus. He briefly sat as an independent Progressive Conservative before joining the Liberal Party in 1991.

After joining the Liberals, he served as Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Committees of the Whole House. He then became Secretary of State for Latin America & Africa (1997-2002) and later Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific (2002-2003). He has traveled to over 75 countries and represented Canada abroad on numerous occasions, most recently as a member of the Canadian delegation to Rwanda in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the genocide.

In April 2005, he chose to become an independent Member of Parliament and did not stand in the general election of Jan, 2006.

Canada and the West

A continuing theme in David's political career has been the importance placed upon including Western Canadians in the federal political dialogue. He has always been a strong advocate of representing Western views, even if it means criticizing his own party in the process. He has published two books on the topic of regional alienation: Uneasy Patriots: Western Canadians in Confederation and Inside Outer Canada. David believes in a strong Western presence in Ottawa and has spent his career representing Edmontonians and Albertans generally at the federal table.

International Ambassador

David also believes in a stronger voice for Canada in the world. He advocates strengthening our human rights commitments and engaging in multilateral peacekeeping and peace-building efforts. He has been instrumental in bringing the situation in countries like Burma, Sudan and Zimbabwe to the forefront of Canadian foreign policy and he works with NGO's from around the world to promote the advancement of human dignity for all.

From 1990-1994, he served as the Chair of the Canadian chapter of the International Committee for a Free Vietnam, and he continues to shed light on the plight of political prisoners in Vietnam. In December of 1994, David's efforts to promote human rights in Vietnam were acknowledged by the Committee for the release of Political Prisoners in Vietnam.

David is also passionate about Rwanda and ensuring that the atrocities committed there in the mid-90's are never repeated. He counts Gen. Romeo Dallaire as one of his personal heroes and in April 2004 participated in the Canadian delegation sent to the 10th anniversary remembrance ceremonies. David also contributed to La Mission au Rwanda, a book about the aftermath of the genocide, and continues to write on issues of human rights.

Community Involvement

David has been an active member of the Edmonton community for over 25 years. He received many awards, including the Kaputiman Award from the Council of Edmonton Filipino Associations, Special Award from the  Ukrainian Canadian Congress (Alberta Provincial Council), and an Outstanding Service Award from the Edmonton Sikh community. He serves on the Board of Directors the Ottawa Mission, a shelter and transition centre for homeless men.

Faith Based Issues

As a practising Christian, David believes it is important to promote awareness and understanding across and among different faiths. He is a member of the Muslim-Christian Dialogue of Ottawa and received a Religious Liberty Award from the International Religious Liberty Association in Washington, D.C. As Chairman of the Parliamentary Group for Soviet Jewry, he was recognized by B’Nai Brith Canada for his effort and commitment to bringing the plight of the Soviet Jewry to the attention of Canadians. David and his staff were instrumental in helping to organize the 39th Annual National Prayer Breakfast on Parliament Hill, bringing together participants from numerous faiths to celebrate religious harmony. David is also currently working on an all-party motion to recognize the importance that religious harmony plays in our multicultural and diverse society.

Committees in the 38th Parliament

Chair, Canadian Chapter of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA)

Chair, Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast

Chair, Canada-ASEAN Inter-Parliamentarian Friendship Group

Honorary Chair, Canadian Section, International Committee for a Free Vietnam

Co-Chair, All-Party and Multi-Faith Committee on Religious-Cultural Harmony

Co-Chair, Parliamentary Friends of Tibet


Biographical Notes

David Kilgour

  • Born Winnipeg, 1941


  • Married Laura Scott, Edmonton, 1974

  • Four children


  • Admitted to practise law in Alberta, British  Columbia and Manitoba

  • A senior agent of the Attorney General and a constitutional advisor to the Government of Alberta, 1972-79

  • Crown Attorney for Dauphin Judicial District (Manitoba); 1971-72

  • Senior advisory counsel, Department of Justice, Ottawa, 1968-69

  • An assistant city prosecutor, Vancouver, 1967-68 


  • Doctoral studies in constitutional law, University of Paris, 1969-70

  • LL.B. - University of Toronto, 1966; in April 2000 the University of Toronto reissued these degrees as Juris Doctor (JD)

  • B.A. - economics, University of Manitoba, 1962

  • Graduate, St. John’s Ravenscourt School (Governor General’s Medal), Winnipeg, 1958

Other Work Experience

  • Partner, Braebourne Farm, Gunn, Alberta, honey producers, 1975-1980

  • Journalist, Toronto Daily Star, 1964; copy boy Winnipeg Free Press, summer 1960

  • International Economics Section, Bank of America, San Francisco, summer 1964

  • Investment analyst, Citibank, Manhattan, summer 1963

  • Labourer - teacher, Frontier College, northern Ontario, summer 1961

  • Trail rides guide, Banff National Park, summer 1959

  • Ranch-hand, A7 Ranche, Nanton, Alberta, summer 1958


  • Independent Member of Parliament representing Edmonton Mill Woods Beaumont until January 2006

  • Chair of the Canadian Chapter of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) until January 2006

  • Chair of the Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast until January 2006

  • Chair of the Canada-ASEAN Interparliamentarian Friendship Group until January 2006

  • Honorary Chair of the Canadian Section of the International Committee for a Free Vietnam

  • Co-Chair of the All-Party and Multi-Faith Committee on Religious-Cultural Harmony until January 2006

  • Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet until January 2006

  • Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific), January 2002-December 2003

  • Secretary of State (Latin America & Africa), June 1997-January 2002

  • Appointed Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons and Chairman of Committees of the Whole House for the 35th Parliament, January 1994

  •  Joined Liberal Party and appointed Critic for Energy, Mines and Resources, January 31, 1991

  •  Expelled from Conservative Caucus for voting against the Goods and Services Tax, April, 1990

  •  Dismissed as Parliamentary Secretary April 1987 by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for criticizing ethics and treatment of Western Canadians by his government

  • Parliamentary Secretary to Government House Leader, 1979; to Minister of External Relations, 1984; to Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 1985; to Minister of Transport, October 1986

  • Elected M.P. for Edmonton - Beaumont, 2004

  • Elected M.P. for Edmonton Southeast, 1988; re-elected 1993, 1997 and 2000

  • Elected M.P. for Edmonton Strathcona, 1979; re-elected 1980 and 1984

  • Progressive Conservative candidate, Vancouver Centre, 1968 federal election - defeated

Other Interests

  • Member, Muslim-Christian Dialogue of Ottawa

  • Board of Directors, The Ottawa Mission (for the homeless), 1988 to present

  • Board of Directors, Ashbury College Foundation, Ottawa, until 2007

  • Board of Directors and Steering Committee, Canada-Ukraine Legislative Cooperation Project, 1995 - June 1997 

  • Chair, Canadian Chapter, International Committee for a Free Vietnam, 1990-January 1994

  • Chair, Canadian Parliamentary Group for Soviet Jewry, 1984-86


  • Author of Uneasy Patriots: Western Canadians in Confederation (1988), Inside Outer Canada (1990), and Betrayal: The Spy Canada Abandoned (1994) and Uneasy Neighbo(u)rs with David Jones (2007).

  • contributor, Christians in the Public Square (1996)

  • contributor, La Mission au Rwanda, Editions Liber, Montreal (1997)


  • Special Award, Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Alberta Provincial Council

  • Masaryk Award, Czechoslovak Association of Canada

  • Human Rights Award, B'Nai Brith Canada

  • Katipuman Award, Council of Edmonton Filipino Associations

  • Outstanding Service Award, Edmonton Sikh

  • Community Religious Liberty Award, International Religious Liberty Association, Liberty Magazine and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Top of Page


Home Books Photo Gallery About David Survey Results Useful Links Submit Feedback