Audrey McLaughlin

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The Honourable
Audrey McLaughlin
OCPC
AudreyMcLaughlin2012 1.png
McLaughlin at the 2012 NDP leadership convention
4th Leader of the New Democratic Party
In office
December 1989 – October 1995
Preceded by Ed Broadbent
Succeeded by Alexa McDonough
Member of the House of Commons of Canada
In office
July 20, 1987 – June 2, 1997
Preceded by Erik Nielsen
Succeeded by Louise Hardy
Constituency Yukon
Personal details
Born Audrey Marlene Brown
(1936-11-07) November 7, 1936 (age 77)
Dutton, Ontario
Political party New Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Don McLaughlin (m. 1954; div. 1972)
Alma mater University of Guelph
Occupation Author, business consultant, researcher, social worker, teacher

Audrey Marlene McLaughlin, OC PC (born November 8, 1936) was leader of Canada's New Democratic Party (NDP) from 1989 to 1995. She was the first female leader of a political party with representation in the Canadian House of Commons, as well as the first female federal political party leader to represent an electoral district in a Canadian territory.

Life and career[edit]

McLaughlin was born as Audrey Marlene Brown in Dutton, Ontario, the daughter of Margaret Clarke and William Brown, of Scottish and English descent.[1] She worked as a social worker in Toronto, Ontario and in Ghana. In 1955, she graduated from the University of Guelph with a Diploma in Home Science from the MacDonald Institute. In 1979, McLaughlin moved to Yukon and set up a consultancy business. In 1987, she ran in a by-election and won, the first federal NDP candidate to win in Yukon. In 1988, she was appointed caucus chair, and in 1989, she won the NDP 1989 leadership convention, replacing the retiring Ed Broadbent.

McLaughlin had taken over the NDP at its height. However, the party began a steady decline in the polls for several reasons. One was the NDP's provincial affiliates in British Columbia and Ontario, whose unpopularity in government reflected badly on the federal party. The rise of the Reform Party also sapped much NDP support in Western Canada. In the 1993 election, the NDP lost badly, and was left with only nine seats in Parliament. McLaughlin won her seat in the Yukon, but resigned as leader in 1995, and was succeeded by Alexa McDonough. McLaughlin did not run for re-election in the 1997 election.

McLaughlin was an overseas volunteer in Barbados in 1986 with Canadian Crossroads International. Today she is an honorary patron with Crossroads.

In 1991, she was sworn in as a member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada so that she could access classified documents during the Gulf War. In August 2003 she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

She published an autobiography, A Woman's Place: My Life and Politics, in 1992.

She has a daughter(Tracy),two grandchildren(Kelly and Derek) and two great grandchildren(Kagan and Danielle).

Post-political career[edit]

In 2000, she joined the National Democratic Institute, an organization that promotes democracy and peace in developing nations and travelled to Kosovo to help women there to run in the country's first democratic election.[2] McLaughlin has also served as the President of the Socialist International Women and as special representative for the Government of the Yukon on Circumpolar Affairs.[3] She was an honorary pallbearer at the state funeral of Jack Layton in 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Joyce Hayden, Yukon's Women of Power. Windwalker Press, 1999. ISBN 0968626602. [1]
  2. ^ "The Portico". University of Guelph. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  3. ^ "Our History". New Democratic Party of Canada. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 

External links[edit]