Condolences have begun to pour in following the death of Senator and former Alberta cabinet minister Elaine McCoy.
Born in Brandon, Man., McCoy passed away in Ottawa on Tuesday. She was 74.
McCoy attended the University of Alberta before pursuing a career in law. She was later elected MLA for Calgary-West from 1986 to 1993, during which time she served as minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Women’s Issues, Labour and Human Rights.
She styled herself a Progressive Conservative even though that party in 2003 merged with the Canadian Alliance to form the modern Conservative Party of Canada.
She wore the title as symbol of what she called her fiscal conservatism and more progressive social values.
McCoy was appointed to the Senate of Canada by former prime minister Paul Martin on March 24, 2005. She was a founding member and first leader of the Independent Senators Group and later joined the Canadian Senators Group from its inception in 2019.
The ISG is now the largest caucus within the Senate.
“A respected member of the parliamentary community, Senator McCoy will be greatly missed by her colleagues in the Senate,” Senate Speaker George J. Furey said in a statement Tuesday.
“She will always be remembered as a proud Albertan, an ardent defender of fairness, and a tireless champion for the people she represented.”
Premier Jason Kenney also shared a statement of condolence upon learning of her death.
“I particularly appreciated working with her as she took a leadership role in fighting recent legislation that undermined Alberta’s resource industries. Elaine was a persuasive and unapologetic advocate of Alberta workers, and the province’s role as a responsible energy producer,” Kenney said.
“In recent years, Senator McCoy faced significant health challenges, none of which stopped her from working hard to represent Albertans in the Parliament of Canada. For that, and for a lifetime of public service, I am deeply grateful.”
With files from The Canadian Press.
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