اخبارالعرب 24-كندا:السبت 15 يناير 2022 01:21 مساءً Canadian politicians from across the political spectrum are paying tribute to Alexa McDonough, who died Saturday at the age of 77.
McDonough died in Halifax after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's, her family said.
The longtime politician's career included serving as Nova Scotia's New Democratic Party leader and as the leader of the federal party.
McDonough became the first woman to lead a major political party in Canada when she became the leader of the Nova Scotia NDP in 1980, a post she held until 1994, when she stepped down. She was elected leader of the federal NDP in 1995 and held that post until 2003, but she continued to serve as an MP for two more terms, until 2008.
Federal NDP Leader
that McDonough will be dearly missed.
Today is a sad day for Canada.— Jagmeet Singh (@theJagmeetSingh) January 15, 2022
Alexa Mcdonough was the first woman to lead a major political party in Canada.
She dedicated her life to social justice, championed women in politics, and never backed down from a challenge.
We'll miss her dearly.
Rest in power Alexa. pic.twitter.com/kcybh7DuoU
"She dedicated her life to social justice, championed women in politics and never backed down from a challenge," he said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called her death "an extraordinary loss for our country"
"the impact she had, history she made, and barriers she broke for women cannot be overstated."
The passing of Alexa McDonough is an extraordinary loss for our country. The impact she had, history she made, and barriers she broke for women cannot be overstated. My thoughts are with her family, friends, colleagues, and all who were inspired by her lifetime of public service.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 15, 2022
Former Conservative MP Lisa Raitt, who grew up in Sydney, N.S.,
I wouldn’t have grown up in NS with the belief that women belonged in politics but for Alexa McDonough. She was a role model for many, including me. My condolences to her family and friends. https://t.co/UfpNWp14rq— Lisa MacCormack Raitt (@lraitt) January 15, 2022
"I wouldn't have grown up in N.S. with the belief that women belonged in politics but for Alexa McDonough. She was a role model for many, including me," Raitt said.
Skilled at finding middle ground
Former CBC journalist Peter Mansbridge interviewed McDonough countless times over the years. He said she was skilled at finding middle ground with her colleagues and opponents.
Mansbridge noted 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 party in 1974 after becoming disenchanted and joined the NDP.
"She was always seen with some suspicion by the left of the party," Mansbridge said. "However, she managed to bridge those differences for most of her tenure."
WATCH: Remembering Alexa McDonough, the first Canadian woman to lead a major political party
'A public servant in the truest sense'
Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston says the hallmark of Alexa McDonough's political career was the respect she had for the people she represented.
"She was a public servant in the truest sense and she will be sorely missed by people across Canada," Houston said in a statement on Saturday.
"Alexa McDonough was a trailblazer whose name will be mentioned in the same breath as Agnes Macphail and Gladys Porter," Houston said. Macphail was the first woman elected to the House of Commons in Canada, and Porter was the first female member of the Nova Scotia Legislature.
In a statement, Nova Scotia NDP Leader Gary Burrill said people still talk to him about McDonough when he canvasses in Halifax Chebucto, her former riding.
"In her glory on the doorstep, Alexa loved people, and the people loved her back," he said.
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