Jul 27, 2015

By Kim O'Hare

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Long time Canadian politician and recipient of the Order of Canada, Flora MacDonald has died at the age of 89.

MacDonald was born in North Sydney, Nova Scotia and served as Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands from 1972 to 1988. In 1979, she became the first female Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in Canadian history.

MacDonald began her career working at Progressive Conservative headquarters from 1956. After being elected as a Member of Parliament in 1972, she became the party’s critic for aboriginal affairs and northern development.

Four years later , she sought  the party leadership, losing to Joe Clark who eventually became Prime Minister.

Clark appointed MacDonald Secretary of State for External Affairs and she became one of the first few female foreign leaders worldwide at the time.

She also served as Minister of Employment and Immigration under Brian Mulroney. MacDonald and  later became Mulroney’s communications minister in 1986.

After 16 years in the Commons she dedicated her time to humanitarian efforts but also managed to host a television program, write a book and serve as chair of an international development research centre.


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