Flora Isabel MacDonald (1926–2015)

Canadian politician and humanitarian, first female foreign minister, and one of the first women to vie for leadership of a major Canadian political party (Progressive Conservative). MacDonald worked at Progressive Conservative headquarters from 1956 to 1965 and served as executive secretary for half a decade. She was the Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands from 1972 to 1988 and became the party’s critic for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. In 1976, MacDonald put her name in as a contender for the party’s leadership but was defeated by Joe Clark. Under Clark she became the first female Secretary of State for External Affairs in 1979. Under Brian Mulroney she became the Minister of Employment and Immigration and then his Minister of Communications in 1986. After losing her seat in 1988, she dedicated herself to humanitarian work and other projects. She was honoured with many awards, including Officer of the Order of Canada (1992) and Companion of the Order of Canada (1998).

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