Hedy Fry

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The Honourable
Hedy Fry
HedyFry 2011.JPG
MP for Vancouver Centre
Assumed office
Preceded by Kim Campbell
Chair of the Standing Committee on
Status of Women
In office
5 February 2009 – 20 June 2011
Minister Rona Ambrose
Preceded by Yasmin Ratansi
Succeeded by Niki Ashton
Personal details
Born (1941-08-06) August 6, 1941 (age 74)
San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago
Political party Liberal
Residence Vancouver
Profession Physician
Religion Catholic (lapsed)[1]

Hedy Fry, PC, MP (born August 6, 1941) is a Canadian politician and physician. She is the Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre.

Early life[edit]

Fry was born into poverty in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago. Declining an English Literature scholarship to Oxford, Fry instead earned her equivalent[clarification needed] of a BA in Science in one year and went on to then receive her medical training at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland. She immigrated to Canada and established a practice in Vancouver. She served as president of the British Columbia Federation of Medical Women in 1977. She was president of the Vancouver Medical Association in 1988-89, the BC Medical Association in 1990-91, and chaired the Canadian Medical Association's Multiculturalism Committee in 1992-9. Fry was also a host on the nationally televised CBC's Doctor Doctor.



Fry sought and won the Liberal Party nomination for Vancouver Centre for the 1993 federal election over lawyer David Varty and college lecturer John Lang in March 1993. She was elected to the Canadian House of Commons, defeating Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Kim Campbell. Fry was only the fifth person to unseat a sitting prime minister, and the first to do so on his or her first try for office. Fry has been re-elected in every subsequent election (1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2011). In 2006, she beat high profile NDP activist and former MP Svend Robinson and in 2008 she defeated high profile Conservative Lorne Mayencourt. Fry was re-elected in 2011 by a margin of approximately 2,000 votes.[2]

In government[edit]

She served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Health and Welfare from 1993 until 1996 when she was appointed to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Status of Women.

Fry ignited a political backlash when, on March 21, 2001, in reply to a question in the House of Commons, she claimed that crosses were being burned on lawns in Prince George, British Columbia "as we speak". No evidence of this had ever been given and, when asked to justify her claim, she stated that the mayor of Prince George had informed her of this. When asked, the mayor denied having said such a thing. It was later suggested Fry had confused Prince George with Merritt, British Columbia, where a Ku Klux Klan grand wizard was arrested following reported racist activity.[3] Fry was dropped from Cabinet when it was shuffled in 2002.

When Paul Martin became Prime Minister of Canada at the end of 2003, he made her Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration with special emphasis on Foreign Credentials. After the 2004 election, she was named Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development with special emphasis on the Internationally Trained Workers Initiative.

In opposition[edit]

When the Liberals lost power in 2006, Fry was named as Critic for Sport Canada in the Liberal shadow cabinet.

On May 4, 2006, Fry became the 11th person, 3rd woman, and the only Westerner to officially enter the Liberal party leadership race. Fry launched her leadership campaign saying that Canada's diversity is its greatest competitive advantage - "our weapon of mass inclusion" - and called for a "non-ideological" approach to problem solving. She withdrew from the contest on September 25 and announced her support for Bob Rae.

Re-elected in Vancouver Centre for a sixth term in 2008, Fry was appointed the Official Opposition Critic for Canadian Heritage. On November 21, 2008, Liberal leadership candidate Bob Rae announced that Fry would serve as his Campaign Co-Chair in British Columbia.

In 2011, as the Liberals lost their designation as Official Opposition, Fry was named Liberal Critic for Health.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Lazaruk, S. (2011-05-03). "Fry breezes by NDP and Tory candidates". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved May 3, 2011. 
  3. ^ Jeremy Hainsworth (June 24, 2004). "Too close to call". Retrieved November 16, 2009. 

External links[edit]

26th Ministry – Cabinet of Jean Chrétien
Sub-Cabinet Post
Predecessor Title Successor
Sheila Finestone Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women)
Jean Augustine