Rosemary Brown (politician)

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The Honourable
Rosemary Brown
Rosemary Brown Canada.jpg
MLA for Vancouver-Burrard
In office
Serving with Norman Levi
Preceded by Harold James Merilees, Bert Price
Succeeded by riding dissolved
MLA for Burnaby-Edmonds
In office
Preceded by Raymond Loewen
Succeeded by David Mercier
Personal details
Born Rosemary Wedderburn
(1930-06-17)June 17, 1930
Kingston, Jamaica
Died April 26, 2003(2003-04-26) (aged 72)
Vancouver, British Columbia
Political party New Democratic

Rosemary Brown, PC OC OBC (née Wedderburn; June 17, 1930 – April 26, 2003), was a Canadian politician.

Early years[edit]

Rosemary Brown was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1930, and moved to Canada on 10 August 1950 to study at McGill University in Montreal. She served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in the British Columbia legislature from 1972 to 1986, making her the first Black Canadian woman to be elected to a Canadian provincial legislature.

Political history[edit]

In 1975, she became the first black woman to run for the leadership of a Canadian federal party (and only the second woman, after Mary Walker-Sawka), finishing a strong second (with 41+% of the votes on the fourth and final ballot) to Ed Broadbent in that year's New Democratic Party leadership convention. After departing politics, she became a professor of women's studies at Simon Fraser University. In 1993, she was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and served until 1996. In 1995, she was awarded the Order of British Columbia and in 1996 was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Brown was sworn to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada as a member of the federal Security Intelligence Review Committee, responsible for overseeing the actions of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, a role which she held from 1993 to 1998. She also served on the Order of Canada Advisory Committee from 1999 until her death in 2003.

She died of a heart attack on April 26, 2003 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Canada Post featured Brown on a Canadian postage stamp released on February 2, 2009.