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Marie-Claire Kirkland

Marie-Claire Kirkland
Marie-Claire Kirkland-Casgrain in 1971
MLA for Jacques-Cartier
In office
Preceded by Charles-Aimé Kirkland
Succeeded by Noël Saint-Germain
MNA for Marguerite-Bourgeoys
In office
Preceded by first member
Succeeded by Fernand Lalonde
Personal details
Born (1924-09-08) September 8, 1924
Palmer, Massachusetts
Political party Liberal

Marie-Claire Kirkland-Casgrain, CM CQ (born September 8, 1924) is 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.


  • Life 1
  • Legacy 2
  • External links 3
  • References 4


Born in Palmer, Massachusetts, the daughter of Charles-Aimé Kirkland, 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.


In 2012 the Canadian Pauline Marois unveiled a statue of Casgrain, Idola Saint-Jean and Kirkland on Parliament Hill. The statue by Jules Lasalle was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kirkland being made the first Canadian female minister.[1]

External links

  • National Order of Quebec citation (French)
  • Order of Canada citation


  1. ^ Monument to women in politics, Radio Canada, in French, retrieved 28 December 2014
  • "Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French).  
  • "Marie-Claire Kirkland-Casgrain, C.M., C.Q., Q.C.". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved September 21, 2005. 
  • "Anne-France Goldwater: attention à l'arbitre!". Cyberpresse. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
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