Odds-on favourite to become U.K. prime minister, Liz Truss, spent a year in Burnaby school system

She attended Parkcrest elementary when her family was living in Canada

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      British bookies have made the foreign secretary, Liz Truss, the overwhelming favourite to replace Boris Johnson as Britain's Conservative leader on Monday (September 5).

      If Truss defeats her chief rival, former chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak, she will become the United Kingdom's third Conservative female prime minister following Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990) and Theresa May (2016-2019).

      Here's another fun fact: Truss will become the first prime minister of Britain who was educated in Burnaby. In 1987-88, she spent a year at Parkcrest elementary school on the north side of the Vancouver suburb when her father John Truss, a left-wing mathematician, worked at Simon Fraser University.

      The mathematician took his daughter to anti-Thatcher protests with his wife Priscilla in the 1980s. He was reportedly appalled by Liz Truss's decision to embrace conservative ideology while at Oxford University.

      You can see Truss in the photo below as the second from the left in the second row from the top.

      Liz Truss/Instagram

      When she shared this photo on her Instagram account on Canada Day in 2018, she wrote "30 years ago I spent a year in Canada that changed my outlook on life.....#pioneercountry #optimism #maplespirit #vancouver #canadaday".

      Truss has publicly praised the education that she received in Canada, claiming it was superior to what she experienced at Roundhay school in North Leeds upon her return to the U.K.

      In particular, Truss has previously spoken highly of the math education and the "coherent curriculum" during her time in Canada.

      Liz Truss once said that when she went to school in Canada, there was a "coherent curriculum".

      Truss's critical comments about her secondary education in the U.K. drew condemnation from Guardian U.S. breaking news editor Martin Pengelly, who attended the same British school as she did.

      "Simply put, we were both taught well by the same good teachers, from whose work I have benefited every single day since I left the school – as I am sure Truss has too," Pengelly wrote in the Guardian in July. "Nonetheless, in December 2020, Truss said: 'While we were taught about racism and sexism, there was too little time spent making sure everyone could read and write.' That's risible."

      In fact, Pengelly added, students were not taught about racism and sexism to the exclusion of the basics. "We were taught the national curriculum," he declared.

      Truss has been described as a "political shape shifter". She used to support Britain remaining in the European Union before becoming a hardcore advocate for Brexit.

      Prior to joining the Conservatives in 1996, she was a member of the more centrist Liberal Democrats and supported the legalization of cannabis and end of the monarchy.


      Truss defeated Sunak by 81,326 to 60,399 among party members. She will become prime minister of the United Kingdom on Tuesday (September 6).

      Update #2

      Queen Elizabeth asked Liz Truss to form a government and she has accepted, becoming Britain's third female prime minister.