1952 - W.A.C. Bennett, B.C.'s Longest Serving Premier, is Elected
After serving as a Conservative MLA in the anti-socialist coalition government during the
Great Depression, William Andrew Cecil (W.A.C.) Bennett joined the new Social Credit Party in 1951. In 1952, the party won a surprise electoral victory by one seat, and Bennett was asked to form the government.
As Premier, Bennett formed a
Cabinet that reflected the province’s changing socio-economic reality. Tilly Rolston became the first woman in Canada to hold a Cabinet portfolio - education. Trade unionists, and people of German, Norwegian, and Italian descent, as well as evangelical Christians, were all represented in the new Cabinet.
W.A.C. Bennett served as the Premier of British Columbia for 20 years, from 1952 to 1972, making him the longest serving Premier in the province's history. During this time, economic growth was rapid and dynamic. Based on resource development and out-of-province investment, the W.A.C. Bennett government invested in hydro dams, highways, and railways throughout British Columbia.