Marie-Claire Kirkland

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Marie-Claire Kirkland
Claire Kirkland-Casgrain.png
Marie-Claire Kirkland-Casgrain in 1971
MLA for Jacques-Cartier
In office
Preceded byCharles-Aimé Kirkland
Succeeded byNoël Saint-Germain
MNA for Marguerite-Bourgeoys
In office
Preceded byfirst member
Succeeded byFernand Lalonde
Personal details
Born(1924-09-08)September 8, 1924
Palmer, Massachusetts
DiedMarch 24, 2016(2016-03-24) (aged 91)
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Philippe Casgrain (m. 1954, div), Wyndham Strover (m. 1989)
ChildrenLynne, Kirkland, Marc[1]
Alma materMcGill University

Marie-Claire Kirkland-Casgrain, CM CQ QC (September 8, 1924 – March 24, 2016) was a Quebec lawyer, judge and politician. She was the first woman elected to the Legislative Assembly of Quebec, the 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.


Born in Palmer, Massachusetts, the daughter of Charles-Aimé Kirkland (who was studying at Harvard), a Quebec MLA from 1939 to 1961, and Rose Demers, she received a Bachelor of Arts in 1947 and a Bachelor of Civil Law in 1950 from McGill University. She was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1952 and was made a Queen's Counsel in 1969. From 1952 to 1961, she practiced law in Montreal.

She was elected in a by-election as a Liberal in her father's riding of Jacques-Cartier after his death in 1961. She was re-elected in 1962. She held two cabinet posts in the government of Jean Lesage: Minister without Portfolio (1962 to 1964) and Minister of Transport and Communications (1964 to 1966). In 1966, she was elected in the riding of Marguerite-Bourgeoys and re-elected in 1970. She also held two cabinet posts in the government of Robert Bourassa: Minister of Tourism, Game and Fishing (1970 to 1972) and Minister of Cultural Affairs (1972 to 1973).

She resigned in 1973 to become a judge. She retired in 1991.

In 1985, she was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec. In 1992, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

She was married to lawyer Philippe Casgrain with whom she had three children before they eventually divorced. She remarried Wyndham Strover. On March 24, 2016, she died at the age of 91.[2]


In 2012, Quebec premier Pauline Marois unveiled a statue of Casgrain, Idola Saint-Jean and Kirkland outside the National Assembly of Quebec. The statue by Jules Lasalle was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kirkland being made the first female cabinet minister in Quebec.[3]

She was the first woman in the history of Quebec to be honoured with a national funeral.[4]


  1. ^ Claire Kirkland-Casgrain was Quebec’s first female legislator Globe and Mail obituary by LISA FITTERMAN Apr. 01, 2016
  2. ^ Deschamps, Richard (March 24, 2016). "Marie-Claire Kirkland-Casgrain, first female MNA, dies at 91". CJAD. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  3. ^ Monument to women in politics, Radio Canada, in French, retrieved 28 December 2014
  4. ^ Annabelle Olivier and Felicia Parrillo (2 April 2016). "National funeral held in Montreal for Claire Kirkland-Casgrain". Global News.

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