Hedy Fry

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Hedy Fry

Special Representative on Gender Issues Hedy Fry - 2017 (32687209370) (cropped).jpg
Fry in 2017
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Vancouver Centre
Assumed office
October 25, 1993
Preceded byKim Campbell
Chairwoman of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage
Assumed office
February 4, 2016
MinisterMélanie Joly
Preceded byGord Brown
Chairwoman of the Standing Committee on
Status of Women
In office
5 February 2009 – 20 June 2011
MinisterRona Ambrose
Preceded byYasmin Ratansi
Succeeded byNiki Ashton
Personal details
Born (1941-08-06) August 6, 1941 (age 78)
San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago
Political partyLiberal
RelationsPete Fry
ResidenceVancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Hedy Madeleine Fry PC MP (born August 6, 1941) is a Trinidadian-Canadian politician and physician. She is currently the longest-serving female Member of Parliament,[1] winning nine consecutive elections in the constituency of Vancouver Centre including the 1993 election, when she defeated incumbent Prime Minister Kim Campbell.

Early life and career[edit]

Fry was born in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago. After declining an English Literature scholarship to Oxford, Fry earned her equivalent of a BA in Science in one year and then went on to receive her medical training at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland.[1] She immigrated to Canada in 1970 and established a practice in Vancouver.

Fry worked at St. Paul's Hospital (Vancouver) for 23 years. She served as president of the British Columbia Federation of Medical Women in 1977. She was president of the Vancouver Medical Association in 1988-89, the BC Medical Association in 1990-91, and chaired the Canadian Medical Association's Multiculturalism Committee in 1992-9. She volunteered as a Tawny Owl as a member of the Girl Guides of Canada, leading a Brownie group.[2] Fry was also a host on the nationally televised CBC show Doctor Doctor.

Federal politics[edit]

Fry sought and won the Liberal Party nomination for Vancouver Centre for the 1993 federal election over lawyer David Varty and college lecturer John Lang in March 1993. She was elected to the House of Commons of Canada, defeating Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Kim Campbell. Fry was only the fifth person to unseat a sitting prime minister, and the first to do so on his or her first try for office. Fry has been re-elected in every subsequent election (1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2019 ).

Chretien and Martin governments[edit]

She served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Health and Welfare from 1993 until 1996 when she was appointed to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Status of Women. Fry apologized to the people of Prince George, B.C. after she said in the House of Commons that “crosses are being burned on lawns as we speak”.[3] Fry did not remain a minister after cabinet was shuffled in 2002.

When Paul Martin became Prime Minister of Canada at the end of 2003, he made her Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration with special emphasis on Foreign Credentials. After the 2004 election, she was named Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development with special emphasis on the Internationally Trained Workers Initiative.

In opposition[edit]

In 2006, she beat high-profile NDP activist and former MP Svend Robinson and in 2008 she defeated high-profile Conservative Lorne Mayencourt. On May 4, 2006, Fry became the 11th person, 3rd woman, and the only Westerner to officially enter the Liberal party leadership race. Fry launched her leadership campaign saying that Canada's diversity is its greatest competitive advantage - "our weapon of mass inclusion" - and called for a "non-ideological" approach to problem solving. She withdrew from the contest on September 25 and announced her support for Bob Rae.

Re-elected in Vancouver Centre for a sixth term in 2008, Fry was appointed the Official Opposition Critic for Canadian Heritage. On November 21, 2008, Liberal leadership candidate Bob Rae announced that Fry would serve as his Campaign Co-Chair in British Columbia.

Fry was re-elected in 2011 by a margin of approximately 2,000 votes.[4] When the Liberals lost power in 2006, Fry was named as Critic for Sport Canada in the Liberal shadow cabinet. In 2011, as the Liberals lost their designation as Official Opposition, Fry was named Liberal Critic for Health.

J. Trudeau government[edit]

In the 2015 election, Fry won her riding once more, becoming the oldest Canadian MP and the longest serving female MP. In the 2019 Election, Fry once again won her riding, for a 9th consecutive term.[5]


Her son, Pete Fry, was elected to Vancouver City Council in the 2018 municipal election.


  1. ^ a b Hume, Stephen (March 20, 2017). "Canada 150: 'Underestimate Hedy Fry at your peril'". Vancouver Sun.
  2. ^ "Hedy Fry, "Guide and Scout Week" on Feb. 19th, 2003 | openparliament.ca". openparliament.ca. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  3. ^ "Minister apologizes for cross burning remarks". CBC News. 22 March 2001. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  4. ^ Lazaruk, S. (2011-05-03). "Fry breezes by NDP and Tory candidates". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved May 3, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Tasker, John Paul (22 October 2015). "Meet the Class of 2015: Notable rookies headed to Parliament Hill". CBC News. Retrieved 22 October 2015.

External links[edit]

26th Ministry – Cabinet of Jean Chrétien
Sub-Cabinet Post
Predecessor Title Successor
Sheila Finestone Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women)
Jean Augustine