Statement by New Democrat Leader Nycole Turmel on the death of Madeleine Parent

It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Quebec unionist and feminist, Madeleine Parent, who passed away last night after a long illness, at the age of 93.

Madeleine Parent defended the rights  of women, immigrants, Aboriginal people and workers all her life. As a pioneer of the Quebec labour movement, she participated in the unionization of the province’s textile industry.

Under the orders of Maurice Duplessis, she was arrested five times for her strong convictions. In 1948 she was convicted of “seditious conspiracy” for her relentless advocacy for working people.

Madeleine Parent was also at the forefront of Canadian unions’ fight for independence.

Like her, I have dedicated my life to fighting for the rights of Canadian workers—and Madeleine Parent was a model and  source of inspiration for me and many others.

After her retirement, she continued to be involved in important causes, including the fight for Aboriginal and immigrant women’s rights. Let’s pay tribute to this great woman who fought for such noble causes her whole life and is too little known.

On behalf of the NDP, I wish to express my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Madeleine Parent.