Ellen Louks Fairclough, was a member of the Canadian House of Commons from 1950 to 1963, she was the first woman ever to serve in the Canadian Cabinet.
As Immigration Minister in 1962, Fairclough introduced new regulations that mostly eliminated racial discrimination in immigration policy. She also introduced a more liberal policy on refugees and increased the number of immigrants allowed into Canada.
Fairclough first ran for federal office as a Progressive Conservative in the 1949 federal election, in which she was defeated by incumbent Liberal MP Colin Gibson in Hamilton West. When Gibson was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario the following year, however, Fairclough ran in and won the resulting by-election.
As a Member of Parliament, she advocated women’s rights including equal pay for equal work.
When the PC Party took power as a result of the 1957 federal election, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker appointed her to the position of Secretary of State for Canada. In 1958, she became Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and from 1962 until her defeat in 1963, she was Postmaster General.
Fairclough was also Acting Prime Minister of Canada from February 19 to February 20, 1958; she was the first woman ever given the duty.
She died in a Hamilton, Ontario nursing home on November 13, 2004. Her husband Gordon and son Howard both predeceased her. On June 21, 2005, Canada Post issued a postage stamp in honour of Fairclough.
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 2016-09-23.
”Ellen Louks Fairclough: Canada’s First Female Federal Cabinet Minister“. Electoral Insight, March 2003.
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