Alexa McDonough remembered for her dedication to social justice, blazing a trail for women

Canadian politicians from around the political spectrum are paying tribute to Alexa McDonough, who died on Saturday at the age of 77.

McDonough passed on to the great beyond in Halifax after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease, her circle of relatives stated.

The longtime politician’s profession integrated serving as Nova Scotia’s New Democratic Birthday Party chief and because the chief of the federal celebration.

McDonough turned into the first woman to guide a big political birthday party in Canada whilst she changed into the chief of the Nova Scotia NDP in 1980, a publish she held till 1994, whilst she stepped down. She was once elected chief of the federal NDP in 1995 and held that submit till 2003, but she persevered to function an MP for two extra phrases, till 2008.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh tweeted Saturday that McDonough will likely be dearly ignored.

“She dedicated her life to social justice, championed women in politics and never backed down from a challenge,” he said.

Alexa McDonough, former NDP chief and trailblazer for girls in politics, has died

Top Minister Justin Trudeau known as McDonough’s dying “a unprecedented loss for our u . s . a .,” pronouncing in a tweet that “the have an effect on she had, history she made, and obstacles she broke for women can’t be overstated.”

Former Conservative MP Lisa Raitt, who grew up in Sydney, N.S., tweeted her condolences in addition.

“i would not have grown up in N.S. with the belief that women belonged in politics but for Alexa McDonough. She was a role fashion for many, together with me,” Raitt said.

‘A public servant within the truest sense’

Nova Scotia Most Desirable Tim Houston mentioned the hallmark of McDonough’s political career was once the distinction she had for the folks she represented.

“She was once a public servant in the truest feel and she can be sorely overlooked by folks across Canada,” Houston said in a statement on Saturday.

“Alexa McDonough was a trailblazer whose title can be mentioned within the related breath as Agnes Macphail and Gladys Porter,” Houston stated. Macphail used to be the first lady elected to the home of Commons in Canada, and Porter was the first female member of the Nova Scotia Legislature.

Alexa McDonough remembered for her dedication to social justice, blazing a trail for women

McDonough is greeted by means of supporters as she attends a rally in Corner Brook, N.L., in 2000. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

In a press release, Nova Scotia NDP Chief Gary Burrill mentioned folks nonetheless check with him approximately McDonough whilst he canvasses in Halifax Chebucto, her former riding.

“In her glory at the doorstep, Alexa beloved other people, and the people liked her back,” he said.

Skilled at discovering middle flooring

Former CBC journalist Peter Mansbridge, who interviewed McDonough numerous instances over the years, stated she was professional at finding center floor with her colleagues and fighters.

Mansbridge mentioned that McDonough’s roots were in the Liberal Party. She helped craft the Nova Scotia Liberals’ social policy platform in the 1970 provincial election, but she left the birthday celebration in 1974 after becoming disenchanted and joined the NDP.

“She was once always observed with a few suspicion by means of the left of the birthday celebration,” Mansbridge mentioned. “Alternatively, she managed to bridge the ones variations for most of her tenure.

How a rookie MLA was once impressed by McDonough

Halifax Castle-Sable Island MLA Lisa Lachance stated they had been impressed through something written about McDonough in a book.

While McDonough first served as provincial NDP chief, there wasn’t a separate washroom for feminine MLAs at Province Space. First Of All, McDonough needed to use a public washroom one ground beneath the chamber, even as her male colleagues had get admission to to a washroom simply steps from their seats.

Whilst Lachance was elected as an MLA this previous summer, they spotted there have been men’s and ladies’s washrooms.

“Recalling that story, I felt comfortable enough to ask, ‘What about gender-neutral bogs for someone who identifies as genderqueer?'” LaChance said.

“And that happened very quickly. While someone starts the really laborious stuff, it makes it more straightforward for the remaining people.”

WATCH | Remembering Alexa McDonough: 

Alexa McDonough remembered for her dedication to social justice, blazing a trail for women

WATCH: Remembering Alexa McDonough, the primary Canadian lady to steer an enormous political birthday celebration

7 hours ago

Duration 3:FIFTY SEVEN

Through archival subject material compiled from the closing 40 years, McDonough describes her ideals, her motivations and her visions for Canada. 3:FIFTY SEVEN

‘She was going to speak truth to power’

Former NDP most useful Darrell Dexter stated McDonough by no means shied away from having a debatable opinion. He mentioned politicians may also be wary and should dance round voicing them over worry of blowback — and he included himself in that class.

“Alexa never did that,” he stated. “It did not matter to her so much how debatable or unpopular one thing could be to be stated, however she used to be going to talk reality to energy.

“The political results of that meant much less if it used to be what she believed in her middle.”

Dexter mentioned McDonough’s legacy will be that “she used to be a tireless warrior on such a lot of fronts: social and financial inequality, women’s rights, simply the struggle against poverty in our province.”

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