Alexa Ann McDonough OC (née Shaw, born August 11, 1944) is a Canadian politician who became the first woman to lead a major, recognized political party in Canada, when she was elected the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party's (NSNDP) leader in 1980. She served as a member of the Nova Show more...
Scotia Legislature from 1981 to 1994, representing the Halifax Chebucto and Halifax Fairview electoral districts. She stepped down as the NSNDP's leader and as a member of the legislature in 1994. She subsequently ran for, and was elected, leader of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP) in 1995. McDonough was elected the Member of Parliament (MP) for the federal electoral district of Halifax in 1997. She stepped down as party leader in 2003, but continued to serve as an MP for two more terms, until 2008, when she retired from politics altogether. In 2009 she became the interim president of Mount Saint Vincent University and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in December of that year.
McDonough was born Alexa Ann Shaw in Ottawa, Ontario in 1944. Her parents were Jean MacKinnon and Lloyd Robert Shaw, a wealthy businessman who was committed to progressive politics. He served as the first
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