Anne Lagacé Dowson

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Anne Lagacé Dowson (born Toronto, Ontario) is a Canadian radio journalist.

Radio career[edit]

A longtime host of CBC Radio's Radio Noon, a daily current affairs and phone-in program in Quebec, she left to run for political office in 2008.[1] She also hosted Home Run in Montreal, and was producer of C'est la Vie. She was a news reporter, arts reporter, press reviewer, and has guest hosted Cross Country Checkup and As It Happens, where she was also a producer. Anne has been a frequent guest in the francophone media, she was a juror on the Radio Canada version of Canada Reads, entitled Le Combat des livres, and she championed Mordecai Richler's Barney's Version.

She was a daily presence on the Radio-Canada radio programme Sans Preliminaires with Franco Nuovo. She has been a member of a weekly politics panel on Radio-Canada's flagship television newscast Le Téléjournal with Jean-François Lisée, Liza Frulla and Tasha Kheiriddin, hosted by Céline Galipeau.

Anne was the first ever Anglo spokesperson for the Festival International du Film sur l'Art in Montreal-the biggest festival of films on art in the world.

From September 2009 to August 2011, she hosted a Saturday afternoon show on CJAD-AM in Montreal. She now participates in the Tommy Schnurmacher Show as a member of the Gang of Four, and does a weekly column on politics on the drive show with Aaron Rand.

In 2015 she has been the guest host for the noontime Barry Morgan Show when Barry is on vacation on Montreal's CJAD 800 am radio.

Her column about Anglo Quebec is entitled "Bloke Nation" and appears in the entertainment weekly Hour Community.

Political career[edit]

She was the New Democratic Party candidate in the 2008 Canadian federal election for Westmount—Ville-Marie, coming second to Liberal Marc Garneau. She had originally been the party's candidate in a by-election for Westmount—Ville Marie, which was superseded by the general election call.

She was endorsed by Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing,[2] McGill University academics Charles Taylor and Desmond Morton, human rights lawyer Julius Grey and the former mayor of Westmount, May Cutler.

She ran for office in the 2015 election in the riding of Papineau, losing against Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.[3]


Dowson holds a B.A. in sociology and women's studies at the University of Ottawa, where she was a member of the student senate, and holds a M.A. in Canadian studies at Carleton University. At Carleton, Dowson served as vice president of the teaching assistant's union. She moderated at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to writers ranging from Salman Rushdie to John Ralston Saul. Invited by the governor general, she hosted events at Rideau Hall, most recently three national panel debates on the arts.

Personal life[edit]

Lagacé Dowson is married to Brian McKenna, an independent documentary filmmaker.[1]

Fluently bilingual, she is the daughter of trade unionist Hugh Dowson of Toronto and Québec City's Claire Lagacé. Claire Lagacé studied with the Ursulines alongside leading Québec author Anne Hébert, from whom Anne derives her name.

Her great uncle Pierre Édouard Blondin was a Conservative Minister in Prime Minister Robert Borden's government, and went on to become Speaker of the Senate. Her uncle Ross Dowson ran for Mayor of Toronto after the war on a Trotskyist platform.

Her aunts Lois and Joyce Dowson co-founded the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Hemophilia Society in the 1950s after Joyce, married to sculptor Joe Rosenthal, discovered that their son, Ronald Rosenthal, had hemophilia. Lois and Joyce were also leading pro choice activists, and supporters of Dr Henry Morgentaler.

Electoral History[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2015: Papineau
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Justin Trudeau 26,391 51.98 +14.05
New Democratic Anne Lagacé Dowson 13,132 25.87 -3.6
Bloc Québécois Maxime Claveau 6,182 12.18 -12.71
Conservative Yvon Vadnais 2,390 4.71 -0.33
Green Danny Polifroni 1,443 2.84 +0.95
Independent Chris Lloyd 505 0.99
Rhinoceros Tommy Gaudet 323 0.64
Independent Kim Waldron 159 0.31
Marxist–Leninist Peter Macrisopoulos 142 0.28 -0.25
No affiliation Beverly Bernardo 103 0.2
Total valid votes/Expense limit 50,770 100.0   $213,091.50
Total rejected ballots 698
Turnout 51,468
Eligible voters 78,649
Source: Elections Canada[4][5]
Canadian federal election, 2008: Westmount—Ville-Marie
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Marc Garneau 18,041 46.47 +0.79 $78,009
New Democratic Anne Lagacé Dowson 8,904 22.93 +7.56 $79,186
Conservative Guy Dufort 6,139 15.81 -1.84 $34,968
Bloc Québécois Charles Larivée 2,818 7.26 -5.30 $8,281
Green Claude William Genest 2,733 7.04 -1.31
Rhinoceros Judith Vienneau 62 0.16
Marxist–Leninist Linda Sullivan 49 0.13 -0.10
Independent David Rovins 47 0.12 $30
Communist Bill Sloan 34 0.09 -0.08 $2,433
Total valid votes/Expense limit 38,827 100.00   $83,153
Total rejected ballots 224 0.57
Turnout 39,051 50.64
Eligible voters 77,112
Liberal hold Swing +1.34