On this day in history, June 17, 1930, Canadian politician Rosemary Wedderburn Brown was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Brown moved to Canada in 1951 in order to study social work at McGill University in Montreal. She then earned a Master of Social Work degree at the University of British Columbia. Brown was the first black Canadian woman elected to a provincial legislature in Canada, serving in the legislature of British Columbia as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) as part of the New Democratic Party from 1972 to 1986. She represented Vancouver-Burrard from 1972 to 1979 and then represented Burnaby-Edmonds from 1979 to 1986. In 1975, Brown became the first black woman, and only the second woman in history, to run for the leadership of a federal party in Canada. After leaving politics, Brown was a professor of women’s studies at Simon Fraser University, and in 1993, she received an appointment to the position of Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, a position she held until 1996. Brown received the Order of British Columbia in 1995 and was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 1996. She became a member of the federal Security Intelligence Review Committee, being sworn to the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada.
In this role, Brown was responsible for the oversight of activities of the Canadian Intelligence Service and served in this office from 1993 to 1996. Brown also served on the Advisory Committee of the Order of Canada from 1999 until her death at age 72 after suffering a heart attack on April 26, 2003. Rosemary Brown was featured on a Canadian postage stamp issued on February 2, 2009, and on June 17, 2005, a park in her former provincial riding of Vanco was named in her honor.
Photo source:Wikipedia (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,