Electoral firsts in Canada

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This article lists notable achievements of women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and gay/lesbian/bisexual and transgender people in Canadian politics and elections in Canada.

This list includes:

Women[edit]

Earliest elected woman in Canada(First woman in Canada elected at the federal, provincial or municipal level): Hannah Gale, Alderman in Calgary 1917.[1]

First woman elected to a legislature in Canada: Louise McKinney, first woman elected anywhere in the British Empire, member 1917–1921 of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the Non Partisan League, a left-wing Prohibitionist socialist party. (Roberta MacAdams, a member of the Canadian Army Medical Corps, was also elected in the 1917 Alberta general election, as a member at large in overseas voting by Albertans serving in the First World War. McKinney was the first woman declared elected because the overseas voting was completed after the in-province election.)

Agnes Macphail, Canada's first Woman MP

First woman candidates in a Federal Election Five women ran in the first federal election in which women were allowed to become candidates (1921) (Note: Some women had been granted the right to vote, but not to run as candidates, in the wartime election of 1917. Even in 1921, still many women were denied the right to vote - Treaty Indian women did not get the right to vote until 1960.)

  • Harriet S. Dick - Winnipeg Centre, Independent ; 2,314 (4th Place, 4/5)
  • Rose Mary Louise Henderson - St. Lawrence—St. George, Labour Party ; 510 (Last Place, 3/3)
  • Elizabeth Bethune Kiely ; Toronto East, Liberal ; 52 votes (Last Place, 5/5)
  • Agnes Macphail - Grey Southeast, Progressive Party ; 6,958 (1st ; 1/3)
  • Harriet Dunlop Prenter - Toronto West, Labour Party ; 1,741 (Last Place, 3/3)

First women elected to the Canadian House of Commons

  1. Agnes Macphail, Progressive, United Farmers of Ontario-Labour, Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) MP Grey South and Grey—Bruce, from 1921 to 1940 (She was also one of two women who were the first women as MPPs in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for the Ontario CCF (the forerunner to the New Democratic Party) for the riding of York East 1943–1945 and 1948–1951
  2. Martha Black, Independent Conservative, MP Yukon, 1935–1940
  3. Dorise Nielsen, Unity (Communist) and Labor-Progressive (Communist) MP North Battleford, Sask. 1940–1945
  4. Cora Taylor Casselman, teacher, Liberal MP, Edmonton East, 1941–1945
  5. Gladys Strum, teacher, CCF MP Qu'Appelle (electoral district), Sask., 1945–1949

First female Prime Minister

  • Kim Campbell, Progressive Conservative Prime Minister 1993


First women in Cabinet

First female Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons: Jeanne Sauvé, 1980–1984

First female federal Justice Minister (Attorney General): Kim Campbell (Progressive Conservative)

First female Defence Minister: Kim Campbell, (Progressive Conservative)

First female Speaker of the House

  • Nancy Hodges British Columbia Liberal, MLA 1941–1953, made speaker of BC legislature in Dec 1949.

First female senator: Cairine Wilson, 1930

First female Governor General of Canada: Jeanne Sauvé, (1984–1990)

First female Premiers

  1. Rita Johnston, BC, 1991 (Social Credit)
  2. Nellie Cournoyea, Northwest Territories, 1991–1995, (non-partisan consensus government)
  3. Catherine Callbeck, PEI, 1993–1996, (first elected female Premier) (Liberal)
  4. Pat Duncan, Yukon, 2000–2002, (Liberal)
  5. Eva Aariak, Nunavut, 2008-2013, (non-partisan consensus government)
  6. Kathy Dunderdale, Newfoundland and Labrador, 2010-2014, (Progressive Conservative)
  7. Alison Redford, Alberta, 2011-2014, (Progressive Conservative)
  8. Pauline Marois, Quebec, 2012-2014, (Parti Québécois)
  9. Kathleen Wynne, Ontario, 2013–present, (Liberal)

First female MLAs elected in British Columbia: Mary Ellen Smith, Liberal MLA 1918–1928, elected to replace her late husband

First female MLA elected in Alberta: Louise McKinney, she was also the first woman elected anywhere in the British Empire, 1917–1921 Alberta Legislature for the Non Partisan League, a left-wing Prohibitionist socialist party.

First female MLA elected in Saskatchewan: Sarah Ramsland, Saskatchewan Liberal - Pelly 1919 by-election - 1925. Replaced her husband Max who won the seat in 1917 general election after his death. Was re-elected in 1921 and defeated in 1925.

First female MLA elected in Manitoba: Edith McTavish Rogers, Manitoba Liberal MLA 1920–1932

First female MPPs elected in Ontario:

First female MNA elected in Quebec: Marie-Claire Kirkland, elected in 1961. Also first woman appointed a cabinet minister in Quebec, the first woman appointed acting premier, and the first woman judge to serve in the Quebec Provincial Court.

First female MLA elected in New Brunswick: Brenda Robertson, New Brunswick Progressive Conservative MLA, 1967–1984

First female candidate in P.E.I.: Hilda Ramsay, P.E.I. CCF candidate in 1951 [1]

First female MLA elected in P.E.I.: Jean Canfield, PEI Liberal MLA 1970–1979

First female MHA elected in Newfoundland & Labrador (Pre-Confederation): Helena Squires, MHA 1930–1932

First female MLA elected in Nova Scotia: Gladys Porter, Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative MLA 1960–1967

First female MLA elected in Yukon: G. Jean Gordon, Non-Affiliated, MLA 1967–1970

First female MLA elected in Northwest Territories Lena Pedersen (Pederson) in 1970 to 1975

First female MLA elected in Nunavut: Manitok Thompson, Independent, 1999–2003 (Nunavut was created from the Northwest Territories in 1999, so Thompson served in its first legislature.)

First female elected in a Nova Scotia municipal election: Mary Teresa Sullivan, Halifax City Council, 1936+

First female elected in an Ontario municipal election: Constance Hamilton, Toronto City Council, 1920–21

First female mayor: Barbara Hanley, Webbwood, Ontario (1936–1944)

First female mayor of a city: Charlotte Whitton, Ottawa (1951–1956, 1960–1964)

Female presidents of major political parties

  1. Agnes Macphail - Founding President of the Ontario CCF 1932–34
  2. Gladys Strum - President of Saskatchewan CCF 1944-195?

First female Lieutenant Governors

First female Commissioners of Canadian territories

  • Ione Christensen, 10th Commissioner of Yukon 1979
  • Helen Maksagak, 13th Commissioner of the Northwest Territories 1995-1999
  • Helen Maksagak, 1st Commissioner of Nunavut 1999-2000

Aboriginal Canadians[edit]

Year that First Nations persons were granted the right to vote in federal elections: 1960

First Aboriginal Canadian elected to a Legislature in Canada: Frank Calder, BC New Democratic Party, 1949–1975 (first Native elected anywhere in Canada)

First Aboriginal Canadian appointed to Canadian Senate (first Treaty Indian named a senator in Canada): James Gladstone of Alberta, 1958

First Aboriginal Canadian elected to the Canadian House of Commons (first Aboriginal Canadian MP): Leonard Marchand, Kamloops-Cariboo (BC), Liberal Party, 1968–1974

First Aboriginal Canadian woman elected to the Parliament of Canada: Ethel Blondin-Andrew, Liberal Party of Canada, Western Arctic, 1988–2006

First Aboriginal Canadian MLA elected in British Columbia: Frank Calder, BC New Democratic Party, 1949–1975* (first treaty native elected anywhere in Canada)

First Aboriginal Canadian MLA elected in Alberta: Mike Cardinal, Alberta Progressive Conservatives MLA Athabasca-Redwater 1989–present

First Aboriginal Canadian MLA elected in Saskatchewan: Lawrence Riel Yew Saskatchewan New Democratic Party MLA Cumberland, 1982–1986 and second was Keith Goulet MLA, Cumberland, 1986–2003

First Aboriginal Woman MLA elected in Saskatchewan: Joan Beatty, Saskatchewan New Democratic Party MLA for Cumberland, 2003 to 2009

First Aboriginal Canadian MLA elected in Manitoba: Elijah Harper, Manitoba New Democratic Party MLA Rupertsland, 1981–1992

First Aboriginal Canadian MPP elected in Ontario: Peter North Ontario New Democratic Party) MPP 1990–1993, Independent MPP 1993–1999

First Aboriginal Canadian MNA elected in Quebec: Ludger Bastien, Quebec Conservative Party MLA for Chauveau 1924–1927

First Aboriginal Canadian MLA elected in New Brunswick: T. J. Burke, NB Liberal MLA for Fredericton-Nashwaaksis 2006–present

First Aboriginal Canadian MHA elected in Newfoundland & Labrador: William Andersen III Newfoundland & Labrador Liberal MHA Torngat Mountains, 1993-1996

First Aboriginal Canadian Premier: Richard Nerysoo, Northwest Territories, 1984-1985 (non-partisan consensus government)

First Aboriginal speaker of a legislature: Richard Nerysoo, Northwest Territories, 1989-1991

First Métis Canadian elected to a Legislature in Canada: Pierre Delorme, Conservative, MP Provencher, Manitoba 1871–1872

First Métis Canadian MHA elected in Newfoundland & Labrador: Joe Goudie Newfoundland & Labrador PC MHA Labrador North and Naskaupi, 1975-1985

First Inuk Canadian elected to the Canadian House of Commons (first Inuk Canadian MP): Peter Ittinuar, New Democratic Party, a pilot from the North West Territories, MP Nunatsiaq, NWT 1979-1984 ("Inuk" (plural: Inuit) are the people formerly known as "Eskimos")

First Inuk elected in southern Canada: George Hickes Manitoba New Democratic Party MLA, Point Douglas, 1990–present

First Inuk Premier: Nellie Cournoyea, Northwest Territories, 1991–1995, (non-partisan consensus government)

First Inuk speaker of a legislature: Levi Barnabas, Nunavut non-partisan consensus government, Speaker 1999–2000

First Inuk appointed to the federal cabinet: Leona Aglukkaq, Conservative Party of Canada, Minister of Health, 2008.

African-Canadians[edit]

Earliest African-Canadians elected in Canada

  1. James W. Douglas, Victoria City, British Columbia MLA, 1875-1878 (Explanation: His grandmother on his father's side was part black. As well, his mother was Cree.)
  2. Burr Plato, town council member, Town of Niagara Falls (from 1886);
  3. William Hubbard, City of Toronto city council member (from 1894) and a member of the Board of Control; also the first black and the first visible minority to win elected public office in any major city of Canada. And still, to this day, by virtue of his being on the city-wide elected Board of Control, the only visible minority ever elected city-wide across Toronto.[2]

First African-Canadian candidate to run for the House of Commons: Bill White - Spadina, CCF (the forerunner to the New Democratic Party) 1949

First African-Canadian elected to the House of Commons: Rt. Hon Lincoln Alexander - Hamilton West, Progressive Conservative MP 1968–1984

First African-Canadian leader of a political party (federally or provincially): Stuart Parker - Leader of the B.C. Green Party 1993–2000 (and nephew of Harry Jerome)

First African-Canadian candidate to run for the Ontario Legislature: Stanley G. Grizzle, York East, ran for the Ontario CCF (the forerunner to the Ontario New Democratic Party) in the 1959 provincial general election.

First African-Canadian elected to a Provincial Legislature in Canada: James W. Douglas, Victoria City, British Columbia MLA, 1875-1878

First African-Canadian woman elected in Canada: Rosemary Brown Vancouver-Burrard, Burnaby-Edmonds, BC New Democratic Party MLA 1972–1986


First African-Canadian women elected to the House of Commons (first Black female MPs)

First African-Canadian MLA in British Columbia: James W. Douglas, Victoria City, MLA 1875-1878

First African-Canadian female MLA in British Columbia: Rosemary Brown, Vancouver-Burrard, BC New Democratic Party MLA 1972–1986

First African-Canadian MLA in Alberta: George Rogers, Alberta Progressive Conservative MLA Leduc-Beaumont-Devon 2004–present

First African-Canadian MPP in Ontario: Leonard Braithwaite, Etobicoke-York, Ontario Liberal MPP 1963–1975

First African-Canadian female MPP in Ontario: Zanana Akande, St-Andrew's-St. Patrick's, Ontario New Democratic Party MPP 1990–1994

Michaëlle Jean, Canada's first African-Canadian Governor General

First African-Canadian MNA in Quebec: Jean Alfred, Papineau, Parti Québécois MNA 1976–1981

First African-Canadian Female MNA in Quebec: Yolande James, Nelligan, Liberal MNA 2003–present

First African-Canadian MLA in Nova Scotia: Wayne Adams, Nova Scotia Liberal MLA for Preston 1993–1998

First African-Canadian female MLA in Nova Scotia: Yvonne Atwell, Nova Scotia New Democratic Party MLA for Preston 1998–1999

African-Canadian Speakers of Legislatures in Canada

  1. Emery Barnes, BC New Democratic Party MLA 1972–1996, Speaker in BC Legislature 1993 to 1996 when he retired.
  2. Alvin Curling, Ontario Liberal MPP 1985–2005, Speaker 2003–2005

First African-Canadian woman in Cabinet: Zanana Akande, St-Andrew's-St. Patrick's, Ontario New Democratic Party MPP 1990–1994

First African-Canadian Governor General of Canada: Michaëlle Jean Governor General of Canada, 2005–2010

First African-Canadian Lieutenant Governor: Rt. Hon Lincoln Alexander Lt. Governor of Ontario, 1985–1991

First African-Canadian Senator: Anne Cools, Liberal Senator 1983–2004, Conservative, 2004+

First African-Canadian mayor: Firmin Monestime - 1964

First African-Canadian female mayor: Daurene Lewis - 1984

Arab Canadians[edit]

First Arab Canadian elected to the House of Commons (first Arab Canadian MP): Pierre De Bane, 1968–1984, Liberal MP Matane, Quebec (Palestinian)

First Arab Canadian Premier: Joe Ghiz Prince Edward Island 1986 – 25 January 1993

First Arab Canadian in Cabinet

  • Pierre De Bane, 1968–1984, Liberal MP Matane, Que. (Palestinian)
  • Larry Shaben, 1979–1984 first Muslim in a cabinet in Canada as Minister in the Alberta cabinet under Peter Lougheed and first Arab in Alberta's cabinet

First Arab Canadian leaders of political parties

  1. Fonse Faour Newfoundland New Democratic Party leader, 1980–1981
  2. Joe Ghiz Prince Edward Island Liberal Party, 1981–1993
  3. Hassan Husseini Communist Party of Ontario, 1998–2001
  4. Lorraine Michael Newfoundland New Democratic Party leader 2006–present

First Arab Canadian Senator: Mac Harb, Liberal Senator 2004–present

Armenian Canadians[edit]

First Armenian Canadian elected to the House of Commons (first Armenian Canadian MP)

Chinese Canadians[edit]

First Chinese Canadian candidate in Canada: Catherine Emily Ling, 1941 BC provincial election for the Emancipation Party in Vancouver Point Grey

First Chinese Canadian MP:

  1. Douglas Jung (鄭天華), Progressive Conservative MP for Vancouver Centre (1957–1962), first Chinese Canadian to hold elected office

First Chinese-Canadian member of provincial legislature:

  1. George Ho Lem (何榮禧), Alberta Social Credit MLA for Calgary-McCall (1971–75)
  2. Bob Wong (黄景培), Ontario Liberal MPP for Fort York (1987–90)
  3. Gary Mar (馬健威), Alberta Progressive Conservative MLA for Calgary Nose Creek/Calgary Mackay (1993–2007)
  4. Ida Chong (張杏芳), BC Liberal MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head (1996–present), together with Jenny Kwan were the First Chinese Canadian women elected in Canada
  5. Jenny Kwan (關慧貞), BC NDP MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant (1996–present), together with Ida Chong were the First Chinese Canadian women elected in Canada
  1. Teresa Woo-Paw (鮑胡嫈儀), Alberta Progressive Conservative MLA for Calgary-Mackay (2008–present)

First Chinese Canadian leader of a political party (federally or provincially)

  1. Arthur Lee (李僑棟), BC Liberal leader, 1984–1987 (*The BC Liberals had no seats)
  2. Victor Lau, Saskatchewan Green Party Leader 2006 (interim), 2011–present

First Chinese-Canadian in Cabinet:

  1. Bob Wong (黄景培), Ontario Liberal, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure (1987–89), Minister of Citizenship(1989–90)
  2. Raymond Chan (陳卓愉), Federal Liberal, Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) (1993–2001), Minister of State (Multiculturalism)(2004–2006), First Chinese-Canadian federal cabinet minister
  3. Gary Mar (馬健威), Alberta Progressive Conservative, Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations, Minister of Health and Wellness, Minister of Learning, Minister of the Environment, and twice Minister of Community Development (1993–2007)
  4. Jenny Kwan (關慧貞), BC NDP, Minister of Municipal Affairs (1998–99), Minister of Women's Equality (1999–2000), Minister of Community Development, Cooperatives and Volunteers (2000–01)
  5. Michael Chong (莊文浩), Federal Conservative, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs & President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada (2006)
  6. Michael Chan, Ontario Liberal, Minister of Revenue (2007), Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (2007–present)
  7. Alice Wong (黃陳小萍), Federal Conservative, Minister of State for Seniors (2011–present)

First Chinese Canadian Senator: Vivienne Poy (利德蕙), 1998-current

First Chinese Canadian Governor General of Canada: Adrienne Clarkson (伍冰枝), Governor General of Canada, 1999–2005

First Chinese Canadian Lieutenant Governors

  1. David Lam (林思齊), British Columbia Lieutenant Governor 1988–1995
  2. Norman Kwong (林佐民), Lieutenant Governor of Alberta 2005–2010
  3. Philip S. Lee (李紹麟), current Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

First person of Chinese descent in Canada to be elected in a municipal election: George Ho Lem

First Chinese Canadian mayor in Canada:

  • Peter Wing (吳榮添), Mayor of Kamloops, first elected 1966, served for three terms

Croatian Canadians[edit]

First Croatian Canadian elected to a Legislature: Dave Stupich, British Columbia MLA, Nanaimo and the Islands, 1963–1969, Nanaimo 1972–1988

First Croatian-born Canadian elected to a Legislature: John Sola, Ontario Liberal MPP, Missisauga East, 1987–1993 (expelled), Independent MPP 1993–1995

First Croatian Canadian elected to the House of Commons (first Croatian Canadian MP): Dave Stupich, New Democratic Party MP, Nanaimo—Cowichan, 1988–1993

First Croatian-born Canadian elected to the House of Commons: Janko Peric, Liberal MP, Cambridge, 1993–2004

Czech Canadians[edit]

First Czech Canadian MP: Otto Jelinek PC MP 1972–1979 High Park-Humber Valley, 1979–1993 Halton

First Czech Canadian cabinet minister: Otto Jelinek, 1984–1993

Dutch Canadians[edit]

First Dutch-born Canadians elected to the House of Commons:

First Dutch-born Canadian Senator: Roméo Dallaire, 2005–Present

First Dutch-born Canadian Provincial Premier: Bill Vander Zalm, Social Credit Premier for British Columbia, 1986–1991

Filipino Canadians[edit]

Conrad Santos, First Filipino Canadian elected in Canada

First Filipino elected in Canada: Conrad Santos, Manitoba New Democratic Party MLA Burrows 1981–1988, Broadway 1990–1999, Wellington 1999–present

First Filipino Canadian Woman elected in Canada: Flor Marcelino, Manitoba NDP MLA Wellington 2007–present

First Filipino Canadian elected to the House of Commons (first Filipino Canadian MP): Dr. Rey Pagtakhan, Winnipeg North, Liberal MP, 1988–2004

First Filipino Canadian elected in Manitoba: Conrad Santos, Manitoba New Democratic Party MLA Burrows 1981–1988, Broadway 1990–1999, Wellington 1999–present

First Filipino Canadian Woman elected in Manitoba: Flor Marcelino, Manitoba NDP MLA Wellington 2007–present

First Filipino Canadian appointed to the Federal Cabinet: Dr. Rey Pagtakhan, Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific)(2001–2002), Minister of Veterans Affairs(2002–2003), Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development)(2002–2003), Minister with political responsibility for Manitoba (2002–2003), Minister of Western Economic Diversification(2003–2004)

First Filipino Canadian to run for the leadership of a major party: Conrad Santos, Manitoba New Democratic Party leadership 1988

German Canadians[edit]

First German Canadian Federal Prime Minister of Canada: John Diefenbaker, 1957–1963

First German Canadian Governor General of Canada: Edward Schreyer, 1979–1984

First German Canadian Provincial Premier: Edward Schreyer, Premier of Manitoba, 1969–1977

Greek Canadians[edit]

First Greek Canadian elected to the House of Commons (first Greek Canadian MP): Gus Mitges, Progressive Conservative MP, Grey—Simcoe 1972–1993

First Greek Canadian Senator

First Greek elected to the Ontario legislature: George Samis, Ontario New Democratic Party MP 1974 by-election - 1985, Cornwall

Hungarian Canadians[edit]

First Hungarian Canadian elected to the House of Commons (first Hungarian Canadian MP): Tom Wappel, Liberal MP, Scarborough West 1988–2000; Scarborough Southwest 2000–present

First Hungarian-born Canadian elected to the House of Commons: Andrew Telegdi, Liberal MP Waterloo, 1993–2008

Icelandic Canadians[edit]

  • First Icelandic-Canadian elected to a Legislature in Canada: Sigtryggur Jonasson, Manitoba Liberal Party, 1896-1899, 1907-1910
  • First Icelandic-Canadian Provincial Party Leader: Boss Johnson, British Columbia Liberal Party, 1947-1952
  • First Icelandic-Canadian Premier: Boss Johnson, British Columbia Liberal Party, 1947-1952

Iranian Canadians[edit]

First Iranian Canadian elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario (1st Iranian Canadian Provincial MPP)

Italian Canadians[edit]

First Italian Canadian to a provincial legislature Philip Gaglardi, 1952=1968, also first cabinet minister of Italian origin 1955 onwards First Italian Canadian Elected to the Federal Legislature (1st Italian Canadian MP)

First Italian Canadian Cabinet Minister (Federal)

First Italian Canadian Senator

First Italian Canadian to Run for the Leadership of a Major Party (Federally or Provincially) -

  1. John Nunziata - Federal Liberal Leadership race 1990
  2. Philip Gaglardi - provincial British Columbia Social Credit League leadership race 1952
  3. Tony Silipo - Ontario NDP leadership race 1996
  4. Greg Sorbara - Ontario Liberal leadership race 1992

Japanese Canadians[edit]

First Japanese Canadian candidate in Canada: Joan Kabayama, Grenville—Carleton New Democratic Party 1972 federal election

First Japanese Canadian elected to the House of Commons (first Japanese Canadian MP): Bev Oda, Conservative MP, Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, 2004–2012

First Japanese Canadian elected to the Ontario Provincial Parliament (first Japanese Canadian MPP): David Tsubouchi, Progressive Conservative, Markham, 1995–2003

Jewish Canadians[edit]

Extended full political rights: 1831, in Lower Canada (Quebec)

First Jewish Canadian elected to a Legislature in Canada: Ezekiel Hart, elected in Lower Canada in the by-election of April 11, 1807

First Jewish Canadian cabinet minister (provincial or federal):

  1. David Croll, Ontario Liberal, Ontario Cabinet of Premier Mitchell Hepburn, 1934–1937
  2. Allan Grossman, Ontario Progressive Conservative, Ontario Cabinets of Premiers Leslie Frost, John Robarts and Bill Davis, 1960–1975

First Jewish Canadian federal cabinet minister: Herb Gray, Liberal, first appointed in 1969 as Minister without portfolio by Pierre Trudeau (Liberal)

Henry Nathan, Canada's First Jewish MP

First Jewish Canadians elected to the Canadian House of Commons (first Jewish Canadian MP)

  1. Henry Nathan, Liberal MP Victoria 1872–1874
  2. Abraham Albert Heaps, CCF (the forerunner to the New Democratic Party) MP, Winnipeg North 1935–1940
  3. Fred Rose, Labor-Progressive (Communist) MP Cartier, Quebec 1943–1947

First Jewish leader of a federal party: David Lewis, New Democratic Party 1971–1975

First Jewish Premiers

  1. Dave Barrett, BC New Democratic Party Premier 1972–1975
  2. Tom Marshall, NL Progressive Conservative Party, January 24, 2014 – September 26, 2014

First Jewish Senator: David Croll, Liberal, appointed 1955.

First Jewish Leaders of provincial parties

  1. Dave Barrett, BC New Democratic Party, 1969-May 20, 1984
  2. Stephen Lewis, Ontario New Democratic Party, 1970–1978
  3. Izzy Asper, Manitoba Liberal, 1970–75
  4. Sidney Spivak, Manitoba Progressive Conservatives, 1971 to 1975
  5. Stuart Smith, Ontario Liberal 1976–1982
  6. Larry Grossman, Ontario Progressive Conservatives, November 22, 1985 - September 10, 1987
  7. Tom Marshall interim, NL Progressive Conservative Party, January 24, 2014 - September 26, 2014

First Jewish Supreme Court Judge: Bora Laskin, 1970, subsequently Chief Justice

First Jewish mayors

  1. Lumley Franklin, Victoria, 1865–1866
  2. David Oppenheimer, Vancouver, 1888–1891
  3. David Croll, Windsor, 1931–1934
  4. Leonard Arthur Kitz, Halifax, 1955–1957
  5. Nathan Phillips, Toronto, 1955–1962
  6. Vernon Singer, North York (Reeve), 1957–1958
  7. Sidney Buckwold, Saskatoon, 1958–1963
  8. Max Silverman, Sudbury, 1966
  9. Sam Katz, Winnipeg, 2004–present
  10. Michael Applebaum, Montreal, 2012

Korean Canadians[edit]

First Korean Canadian candidates in Canada

  1. Dr. David Kho, Ontario New Democratic Party, 1987 provincial election Scarborough—Agincourt
  2. Raymond Cho, New Democratic Party, 1988 federal election, Scarborough—Rouge River

First Korean-Canadian elected to a legislature: Sandy Lee, North West Territories

First Korean-Canadian to hold federal public office: Yonah Martin (Kim), Conservative, Senator, 2009–present

Latvian Canadians[edit]

First Latvian Canadian MP: Sarmite Bulte, Liberal MP Parkdale—High Park, 1997–2006

Macedonian Canadians[edit]

First Macedonian Canadian MP

Maltese Canadians[edit]

First Maltese Canadian MP

Muslim Canadians[edit]

First Muslim MLA (Alberta) & Cabinet Minister

  • Larry Shaben - Alberta Progressive Conservative MLA for Lesser Slave Lake from 1975 till 1989. One of the first Muslims elected to higher political office in North America. Was the Minister of Utilities and Telephones from 1979 to 1982; the Minister of Housing (1982–1986) and Minister of Economic Development and Trade (1986–1989)

First Canadian Muslim MP

First Female Canadian Muslim MP

First Canadian Muslim MPP (Ontario)

First Canadian Muslim President of a Provincial Political Party

First Canadian Muslim Mayor

First Canadian Muslim Senator

Norwegian Canadians[edit]

First Norwegian elected to a legislature in Canada

Polish Canadians[edit]

First Polish Canadians elected to the House of Commons (first Polish Canadian MPs)

  1. Alexandre Edouard Kierzkowski, St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, Liberal MP, 1867–1872
  2. Fred Rose, Labor-Progressive (Communist) MP 1943–1947, from Cartier, Quebec

Portuguese Canadians[edit]

First Portuguese Canadian elected to the House of Commons

  1. John Rodriguez, Nickel Belt, New Democratic Party MP, 1974–1980, 1984–1993 (Guyanese Portuguese) [7]

Russian Canadians[edit]

Russian Canadian leader of the Opposition and leader of a major federal political party: Michael Ignatieff, Liberal Party of Canada, 2008–2011

Slovak Canadians[edit]

First Slovak Canadian to run for the leadership of a major party: Peter Kormos, Ontario New Democratic Party leadership 1996

South Asians[edit]

  • Note: South Asians include those of Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Nepalese or Bangladeshi ancestry.

First South Asian Canadian candidate in Canada: Hardial Bains, Marxist–Leninist Party of Canada - Eglinton - 1972 federal election

First South Asian elected in Canada: Johnder Basran, Mayor Lillooet 1960s

First South Asian Provincial Premier: Ujjal Dosanjh, BC New Democratic Party February 24, 2000 to June 5, 2001 (Punjabi)

First South Asian leaders of a major political party: Raj Pannu, Alberta New Democratic Party February 2, 2000 – 2004 (MLA 1997–2008) (Punjabi) Note: Hardial Bains was the first South Asian Canadian to lead a political party. He founded and led the Marxist–Leninist Party of Canada from 1970 to 1997

First South Asian elected to the House of Commons: Gurbax Singh Malhi, Bramalea—Gore—Malton, Liberal MP 1993-2011, Jag Bhaduria, Markham—Whitchurch—Stouffville, Liberal MP 1993-1997, Herb Dhaliwal, Vancouver South, Liberal MP 1993-2003, Hedy Fry, Vancouver Centre, Liberal MP 1993+ (Indo-Caribbean)

First South Asian female MPs: Hedy Fry, Vancouver Centre, Liberal MP 1993+ (Indo-Caribbean)

First South Asian MLA elected in BC: Moe Sihota, BC New Democratic Party MLA, Esquimalt-Port Renfrew 1986–1991, Esquimalt-Metchosin, 1991–2001

First South Asian MLA elected in Alberta

First South Asian MLA elected in Manitoba: Gulzar Cheema, Manitoba Liberal MLA Kildonan 1988–1990

First South Asian MPP elected in Ontario: Murad Velshi, Ontario Liberal MPP Don Mills 1987–1990

First South Asian MLA elected in Nova Scotia: Leonard Preyra, Nova Scotia NDP MLA Halifax Citadel 2006–present

First South Asian School Board Trustee elected in Canada: Neethan Shan, York Region District School Board 2006–present

South Asian Canadian Senators

South Asian presidents, vice presidents and secretaries of political parties

  • Sav Dhaliwal - President of the BC NDP (2009)
  • Raj Sharan - Former president of the Newfoundland & Labrador Newfoundland & Labrador New Democratic Party

Tamil Canadians[edit]

First Tamil-Canadian candidate to run for the House of Commons:

  • Joseph Thevarkunnel, NDP candidate in 2000 federal election for Oak Ridges

First Tamil-Canadian candidate to run in Ontario

  • Chandran Mylvaganam, NDP Candidate in 1993 by-election in Don Mills

First Tamil-Canadian elected in Canada

  • Logan Kanapathi, elected Councillor for Ward 7 in Markham, Ontario in 2006
  • Neethan Shan, elected York School Board Trustee for Markham Wards 7 & 8

First Tamil-Canadian Female elected in Canada

  • Juanita Nathan, elected York School Board Trustee for Markham Wards 7 & 8

First Tamil-Canadian and Tamil Female elected House of Commons

Ukrainian Canadians[edit]

First Ukrainian Canadian elected to the House of Commons (first Ukrainian Canadian MP): Michael Luchkovich United Farmers/CCF MP from Vegreville, Alberta, 1926–1935

First Ukrainian Canadian Senator: William Michael Wall, Liberal Senator from Manitoba, 1955–1962

First Ukrainian Canadian cabinet minister: Michael Starr, federal Progressive Conservative, Minister of Labour, 1957–1963

First Ukrainian Canadian leader of a major political party: Roy Romanow, Saskatchewan New Democratic Party leader 1987–2001

First Ukrainian Canadian Premier: Roy Romanow, NDP Premier of Saskatchewan, 1990–2001

First Ukrainian Canadian Leaders of Provincial parties

Alberta Liberal Party Laurence Decore 1974-19777

Alberta Conservative Party Ed Stelmach 2006-2011

First Ukrainian Canadian Governor General of Canada: Ray Hnatyshyn, 1990–1995

First Ukrainian Canadian Mayor

1. Stephen Juba Winnipeg 1954-1977

2. William Hewrelak Edmonton 1951-1959, 1963-1965, 1974-1975

Vietnamese Canadians[edit]

First Vietnamese Canadian elected to a Legislature in Canada : Hung Pham, Alberta Progressive Conservative MLA, Calgary-Montrose 1993–2008

First Vietnamese Canadian MP

  1. Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac, Bloc Québécois MP, Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot 2007–2011
  2. Hoang Mai, New Democratic Party MP, Brossard—La Prairie 2011-
  3. Anne Minh-Thu Quach, New Democratic Party MP, Beauharnois—Salaberry 2011

First Vietnamese Canadian Deputy Speaker of the Legislature in Canada : Wayne Cao

People with disabilities[edit]

First hearing-impaired (deaf) person elected in Canada: Gary Malkowski Ontario New Democratic Party MPP York East (East York) 1990–1995

First paraplegic person elected in Alberta: Kent Hehr Alberta Liberal Party MLA Calgary-Buffalo (2008–Present)

First quadriplegic person elected to a Canadian legislature: Doug Mowat BC Social Credit MLA Vancouver-Little Mountain 1983–1991

First quadriplegic person elected to the House of Commons: Steven Fletcher, Conservative, Charleswood—St. James, Manitoba, 2004–present

First quadriplegic mayor : Sam Sullivan, Mayor of Vancouver, November 2005 - December 2008

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender[edit]

First openly-gay candidates in Canada

  1. Robert Douglas Cook, 1979 BC provincial election for GATE (Gay Alliance Toward Equality) Party in West Vancouver-Howe Sound

First transgender-identified candidates in Canada

  1. Jamie Lee Hamilton, 1996 Vancouver municipal election
  2. Micheline Montreuil, 2008 federal election
  3. Christin Milloy, 2011 Ontario provincial election, Ontario Libertarian Party candidate in Mississauga-Brampton South

First openly gay MP (male):

  1. Svend Robinson, New Democratic MP for Burnaby-Douglas (1979–2004), came out publicly in 1988
Svend Robinson, Canada's first Gay MP

First openly LGBT MP (female):

  1. Libby Davies

First openly-gay Provincial Premier:

  1. Kathleen Wynne, Premier and leader of the Provincial Liberal Party (2013–present)

First openly-gay Members of Provincial Legislatures:

  1. Maurice Richard, Quebec Liberal MNA for Nicolet (1985–89) and Nicolet-Yamaska (1989–94)
  2. Ted Nebbeling, British Columbia Liberal MLA for West Vancouver-Garibaldi (1996–2005)
  3. Tim Stevenson, British Columbia NDP MLA for Vancouver-Burrard (1996–2001)
  4. George Smitherman, Ontario Liberal MPP for Toronto Centre (1999–2010)
  5. Jim Rondeau, Manitoba NDP MLA for Assiniboia (1999–present)
  6. Gerry Rogers, Newfoundland and Labrador MHA for St. John's Centre (2011–present)
  7. Joanne Bernard, Nova Scotia MLA for Dartmouth North (2013–present)

First gays/lesbians to run for leadership of a major party

  1. Svend Robinson, 1995 New Democratic Party leadership election—came in first on first ballot, but withdrew
  2. Scott Brison, Progressive Conservative leadership election, 2003—came in third
  3. Scott Brison, Liberal Party of Canada leadership election, 2006

First openly gay leaders of political parties

  1. Chris Lea, Green Party of Canada, 1990–1996
  2. Allison Brewer, New Brunswick New Democratic Party, Sept 25, 2005–2006
  3. André Boisclair, Parti Québécois, Nov 15, 2005–2007 (first openly gay leader of a party with seats in the legislature)

First openly gay/lesbian senators

  1. Laurier Lapierre, Liberal
  2. Nancy Ruth (formerly Nancy Jackman) PC, first lesbian senator, appointed in 2006, came out in 1990[citation needed]

First openly gay/lesbian cabinet ministers

  1. Tim Stevenson, British Columbia, 2000–2001, first openly gay politician to be appointed to cabinet in Canada
  2. André Boisclair, Quebec, 1996–2003, came out in 2000
  3. Dale Eftoda, Yukon, 2000–2002, came out in 2001
  4. Ted Nebbeling, British Columbia, 2001–2004
  5. George Smitherman, Ontario, 2003–2009
  6. Scott Brison, federal, 2004–2006
  7. Jim Rondeau, Manitoba, 2004–2006
  8. Kathleen Wynne, Ontario, 2006–present
  9. Jennifer Howard, Manitoba, (2009–present)
  10. Joanne Bernard, Nova Scotia, (2013–present)

First openly gay mayor : Glen Murray - Mayor of Winnipeg (1998–2004)

First openly gay city councillors:

  1. Montreal: Raymond Blain, 1986–1993
  2. Vancouver: Gordon Price, 1986–2002
  3. Winnipeg: Glen Murray, 1989–1998
  4. Toronto: Kyle Rae, 1991–2010
  5. Ottawa: Alex Munter, 1991–2003
  6. Edmonton: Michael Phair, 1992–2007
  7. Saskatoon: Lenore Swystun, 2000-2003
  8. Halifax: Krista Snow, 2003-2008
  9. Cumberland: Conner Copeman, 2011–present

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]