With great sadness, Canada has lost an exemplary leader and humanitarian.
MacDonald trail blazed as Canada’s first female Secretary of State for foreign affairs in 1979 and she became one of the first few female foreign leaders worldwide at the time.
Born in Nova Scotia, McDonald began her career working at Progressive Conservative headquarters from 1956 to 1965. She served as Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands from 1972 to 1988, under Prime Ministers Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney. First serving as the party’s critic for aboriginal affairs and northern development, Macdonald became secretary of state before moving on to being minister of employment and immigration and communications minister.
After losing her seat in 1988, MacDonald decided to dedicate her time towards humanitarian efforts and she also hosted a television program, authored a book, and served as chair of an international development research center.
MacDonald was bestowed with many honours and awards, including the Order of Canada as an officer in 1992 and as a companion in 1998. Maclean’s magazine honoured MacDonald with a lifetime achievement award in November 2014.
MacDonald has inspired many young women in Canada with her work as a parliamentarian and humanitarian. It is with sad hearts that we say goodbye.