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Former B.C. lieutenant-governor in hospital with spinal injury after fall

Then B.C. Lt.-Gov. Iona Campagnolo waves in Victoria on Feb. 13, 2007. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Deddeda Stemler

VANCOUVER – Former British Columbia lieutenant-governor and Trudeau-era cabinet minister Iona Campagnolo is in hospital with a spinal cord injury, but she is expected to make a full recovery.

Campagnolo’s daughter, Jennifer, said her mother was injured in a recent fall and is now in the spinal care unit at Vancouver General Hospital.

The injury means Campagnolo, 81, won’t be attending next week’s federal Liberal party convention in Montreal.

“She’s fighting hard,” Jennifer Campagnolo said in an interview. “She had a tremendous surgical team … and the prognosis was three to six months (for her recovery).”

Campagnolo was elected to Parliament in 1974 in the Vancouver Island riding of Skeena and was eventually appointed as minister of state for fitness and amateur sport in the government of then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

She became the first woman to serve as B.C.’s lieutenant-governor in 2001 and was succeeded by Steven Point in 2007.

Since leaving her posting as lieutenant-governor, Campagnolo has held several honorary positions and has worked with the Child Honouring Society, a group founded by children’s entertainer Raffi Cavoukian.

She is also the honorary patron of the Barkerville Historic Town in northern B.C., and is involved with the Comox Valley Community Justice Centre, which sponsors an annual human rights lecture in her name.

Campagnolo currently lives on Vancouver Island.