Marie-Claire Kirkland

Marie-Claire Kirkland

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Marie-Claire Kirkland

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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 National 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.

Born in Palmer, Massachusetts, the daughter of Charles-Aimé Kirkland, a Quebec MNA 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 Philippe Casgrain and had three children. Her...
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