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Alexa McDonough

Personal data
Date of birthAugust 11, 1944(age 72)
Place of birthOttawa, Ontario
Birth nameAlexa Ann Shaw
Political partyNew Democratic Party
SpousePeter McDonough (divorced)
ChildrenJustin & Travis McDonough
ResidenceHalifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia
ProfessionSocial Worker
ReligionBaptist
Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada
In officeOctober 14, 1995 - January 25, 2003
Succeeded byJack Layton
Preceded byAudrey McLaughlin
Member of Parliament
In officeSeptember 22, 1997 - September 7, 2008
ConstituencyHalifax
Succeeded byMegan Leslie
Preceded byMary Clancy
Leader of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party
In office1980 - 1994
Succeeded byJohn Holm
Preceded byJames 'Buddy' MacEachern
Member of the Legislative Assembly
Nova Scotia
In office1981 - 1993
ConstituencyHalifax Chebucto
Succeeded byJay Abbass
Preceded byWalter Fitzgerald
Member of the Legislative Assembly
Nova Scotia
In office1993 - 1995
ConstituencyHalifax Fairview
Succeeded byEileen O'Connell
Preceded byNew riding

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Alexa Ann Shaw McDonough OC (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 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.


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