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Born October 14, 1927, Grace McCarthy (nee Winterbottom) was first elected to the provincial legislature of British Columbia as a member of the Social Credit party in 1966. She was re-elected in 1969; defeated in 1972 when the NDP won power; and re-elected in 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1986. Following two unsuccessful runs, she became party leader in 1993, but resigned in May 1994 following a by-election loss.
As Deputy Premier of the B.C., she was instrumental in bringing Expo ’86 to Vancouver and oversaw the building of the first SkyTrain line. As Minister of Tourism, she spearheaded the building of the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre at Canada Harbour Place. Serving as Minister of Social Services, Grace McCarthy established Canada’s first Hot Line to respond to abused children, and brought the most comprehensive legislation to stop child abuse in the country. She lobbied successfully for home-ownership for women in an era when women were not considered for a mortgage without a male guarantor.
Grace McCarthy is a recipient of the Order of Canada (1992), the Order of British Columbia (2004), an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, among others. She established the CH.I.L.D. Foundation in 1995 to raise funds for research for children suffering from Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and liver disorders, and continues to serve as that foundation's volunteer Chairman of the Board.
McCarthy passed away on May 24, 2017.
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Updated August 9, 2017 MH