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Lynn McDonald

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Lynn McDonald

Lynn McDonald
Lecturing in Toronto, November 2009
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Broadview-Greenwood
In office
Preceded by Bob Rae
Succeeded by Dennis Mills
Personal details
Born (1940-07-15) July 15, 1940
Political party New Democrat
Residence Toronto
Profession Professor
Religion Anglican

Lynn McDonald, CM, PhD (born July 15, 1940) is a university professor, anti-tobacco activist and former member of the Canadian House of Commons. She is a former president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women and was the New Democratic Party (NDP) Member of Parliament for Broadview—Greenwood from 1982 until 1988. McDonald is a professor emerita of sociology at the University of Guelph.


  • Political career 1
  • Writing 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Political career

McDonald's first run for public office was during the 1981 provincial election when she was the Ontario New Democratic Party's candidate in the riding of Oriole in North York.

The next year, she entered federal politics and was elected in the by-election held to fill the vacancy created by Bob Rae's departure from federal politics to take the leadership of the Ontario NDP. She defeated senior party aide Gerald Caplan on the third ballot to win the NDP nomination. In the by-election she defeated former Toronto Sun editor Peter Worthington, who was running as an independent, by almost 2,000 votes. In the 1984 federal election, she increased her margin to over 3,500 votes again defeating Worthington who, this time, was running as the official Progressive Conservative candidate.

In Parliament, McDonald championed women's equality (she was the first Member of Parliament to be addressed as Ms.) and was also a notable opponent of smoking. She earned the enmity of the tobacco industry by moving a private member's bill to restrict smoking and ban tobacco advertising and sponsorships.[1]

Bill C-204, the Non-smokers' Health Act, was introduced by McDonald in October 1986 and proposed to restrict smoking in federally regulated workplaces as well as on planes, trains and boats. The Bill also would have banned tobacco advertising and sponsorships and regulated sales by listed tobacco products under the Hazardous Products Act.

McDonald's bill was short-listed by a parliamentary committee for debate on the floor of the house and succeeded in winning growing support from MPs from all sides of the House of Commons as health groups lobbied in its favour. On April 22, 1987, ten days prior to the Bill's scheduled second reading vote, Health Minister Jake Epp announced the government's intention to introduce a bill that would ban tobacco advertising and sponsorships and strengthen health warnings on cigarette packages. The government also announced that it would prohibit smoking in government buildings and restrict it in other federally regulated workplaces.

Despite intense lobbying by the tobacco industry, both McDonald's bill and Epp's Bill C-51, were passed by parliament and given royal assent on June 28, 1988. The lobbying around McDonald's bill is credited with giving Epp the political motivation to introduce his own legislation. McDonald's bill passed in a free vote despite the fact that every member of Cabinet present in the House voted against it.

McDonald was defeated in the 1988 federal election by Liberal Dennis Mills by 1,200 votes. She attempted a comeback against Mills in the 1993 federal election, but was defeated by almost 10,000 votes as support for the NDP collapsed nationwide.[2]

McDonald has since been active on environmental issues, initially with the Campaign for Nuclear Phaseout, and lately as co-founder of JustEarth: A Coalition for Environmental Justice,[3] which works on climate change; she is a member of the Board of Directors of Climate Action Network Canada. Since 2011 McDonald has been campaigning for an electoral alliance for the 2015 federal election, to lead to proportional representation; she is a co-founder of the Canadian Electoral Alliance.

She was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2015.[4]


McDonald is the author of a number of books and scholarly articles including The Early Origins of the Social Sciences (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1993), Women Founders of the Social Sciences (Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1994), and Women Theorists on Society and Politics (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press 1998). She is the director of The Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, a 16-volume edition of Florence Nightingale's books, articles, pamphlets and previously unpublished correspondence, gathered from more than 200 archives worldwide. Publication, by Wilfrid Laurier University Press, began with volume 1 in 2001, and ended with volume 16 in 2012.[5]

She is co-founder of The Nightingale Society which promotes the legacy of Florence Nightingale.


  1. ^ The Battle to Ban Advertising. The International Development Research Centre. [4], Last accessed, December 19, 2009
  2. ^ Whitehorn 52.
  3. ^ About JustEarth [5] (JustEarth official website). Last accessed March 08, 2012.
  4. ^ "Four Nova Scotians among Order of Canada honourees". The Chronicle-Herald, July 1, 2015.
  5. ^ WLU Press - Collected Works of Florence Nightingale [6]. Last accessed March 08, 2012.


  • Whitehorn, Alan. "The NDP's Quest for Survival," in The Canadian General Election of 1993. ed. Alan Frizzell, Jon H. Pammett, and Anthony Westell. Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1994.

External links

  • Lynn McDonald – Parliament of Canada biography
  • The Battle to Ban Advertising on Bill C-204 and Bill C-51
  • The Collected Works of Florence Nightingale project homepage
  • The Nightingale Society
  • Just Earth: A Coalition for Environmental Justice
  • Canadian Electoral Alliance
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