Claire Kirkland-Casgrain (1924-)
Until 1961, Claire Kirkland-Casgrain's sole connection with politics was in the capacity of President of the Constitution Committee of the Fédération des femmes libérales du Québec. She is the daughter of Charles-Aimé Kirkland, a physician and member of the Legislative Assembly for 22 years, renowned for his fight against pollution for which he was nicknamed the dirty water doctor. After his death, she decided to follow in his steps as member representing the Jacques-Cartier riding. In the wake of her re-election in 1962, she was appointed to Cabinet as a minister without portfolio. Thereafter, she became Minister of Transport and Communications (1964-1966), Minister of Tourism, Game and Fishing (1970-1972) and, finally, Minister of Cultural Affairs (1972-1973). She withdrew from the political scene in 1973 to embark on a career as a judge.
It is often said that diffident and sensitive personalities have no place in politics. Claire Kirkland-Casgrain demonstrated very strong resolve during her twelve or so years in politics. She braved the sexist and sarcastic comments of adversaries who sometimes referred to her in less than glowing terms.