Daniel J. MacDonald

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Daniel Joseph MacDonald, PC (July 23, 1918 – September 30, 1980) was a Canadian politician.

Life[edit]

He was born on his family's farm in Bothwell, Prince Edward Island and was educated in a one-room schoolhouse.

At the age of 20, he bought his own farm at Bothwell Beach. In 1940, he enlisted in The Prince Edward Island Highlanders to fight in World War II. He was transferred to the Cape Breton Highlanders in 1943 and fought with the rank of sergeant in Italy where he was wounded during the assault on the Gothic Line. He returned to his unit after a few weeks and was seriously wounded on December 21, 1944 during the Battle of Senio River. As a result his left arm and leg were amputated. Undiscouraged by his injuries, he returned to his farm, married a local woman named Pauline Peters, built a house and raised seven children: Blair, Heather, Gail, Daniel, Leo, Walter, and Gloria.

In 1962 he was elected to the Prince Edward Island House of Assembly and sat in the body for ten years. He served as Minister of Agriculture and Forestry from 1966 to 1972 when he resigned to run in the 1972 federal election. Elected as the Liberal Member of Parliament for Cardigan, he was appointed to the Cabinet of Pierre Trudeau as Minister of Veterans Affairs. He was defeated in the 1979 federal election but returned in the 1980 election after which he was reappointed to the Veterans Affairs portfolio. MacDonald reformed veterans' pensions to make them more generous and introduced disability pensions and pensions for Prisoners of War.

He died in office on September 30, 1980 and was given a state funeral. The eulogy was given by Prime Minister Trudeau at St. Dunstan's Cathedral in Charlottetown.

The Daniel J. MacDonald Building in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, was named in his honour. It houses Veterans Affairs Canada and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board.

References[edit]

20th Ministry – First cabinet of Pierre Trudeau
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Arthur Laing Minister of Veterans Affairs
1972–1979
Allan McKinnon
22nd Ministry – Second cabinet of Pierre Trudeau
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Allan McKinnon Minister of Veterans Affairs
1980
Gilles Lamontagne
Other offices
Preceded by
Melvin McQuaid, Progressive Conservative
Councillor for 1st Kings
1962–1972
Succeeded by
Melvin McQuaid, Progressive Conservative
Preceded by
Melvin McQuaid, Progressive Conservative
Member of Parliament from Cardigan
1972–1979
Succeeded by
Wilbur MacDonald, Progressive Conservative
Preceded by
Wilbur MacDonald, Progressive Conservative
Member of Parliament from Cardigan
1980
Succeeded by
W. Bennett Campbell, Liberal