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David MacDonald (Canadian politician)

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David MacDonald
Secretary of State for Canada
In office
June 4, 1979 – March 2, 1980
Prime MinisterJoe Clark
Preceded byJohn Roberts
Succeeded byFrancis Fox
Minister of Communications
In office
June 4, 1979 – March 2, 1980
Prime MinisterJoe Clark
Preceded byJeanne Sauvé
Succeeded byFrancis Fox
Minister responsible for the Status of Women
In office
June 4, 1979 – March 2, 1980
Prime MinisterJoe Clark
Preceded byMarc Lalonde
Succeeded byLloyd Axworthy
Member of Parliament
for Rosedale
In office
November 21, 1988 – October 25, 1993
Preceded byDavid Crombie
Succeeded byBill Graham
Member of Parliament
for Egmont
(Prince; 1965–1968)
In office
November 8, 1965 – February 18, 1980
Preceded byJohn Watson MacNaught
Succeeded byGeorge Henderson
Personal details
David Samuel Horne MacDonald

(1936-08-20) August 20, 1936 (age 87)
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Political partyNew Democratic (1996–present)
Other political
Progressive Conservative (until 1996)
Sandrabelle Rogers
(m. 1964⁠–⁠1997)
Deborah Sinclair
(m. 2005)
Domestic partnerAlexa McDonough (1997-2004)
OccupationUnited Church minister, politician

David Samuel Horne MacDonald PC (born August 20, 1936) is a Canadian United Church of Canada minister, former politician, and author.

Early life

Born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, David MacDonald was ordained in the United Church by the Maritime Conference on June 11, 1961, and was a minister at Alberton, Tignish, and Cascumpec, Prince Edward Island before going into federal politics.

Political career

He was first elected to the House of Commons of Canada as a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) from the former Prince Edward Island riding of Prince in the 1965 election, and was re-elected in the realigned Egmont riding from 1968 until 1979.[1]

After the Tory victory in the 1979 election, he was appointed Minister of Communications, Minister responsible for the Status of Women and Secretary of State for Canada in the short-lived Cabinet of Prime Minister Joe Clark.

MacDonald lost his seat to Liberal George Henderson in the 1980 election but returned to the House as MP in the Toronto riding of Rosedale in the 1988 election, replacing former Toronto Mayor and PC incumbent David Crombie.

However, he lost his seat again to a Liberal majority government in the 1993 election, this time to Bill Graham. Two other notable candidates ran against MacDonald in this election: future New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jack Layton, and magician Doug Henning for the Natural Law Party of Canada.

MacDonald also spent time in Africa between parliamentary duties.

MacDonald had a reputation as a Red Tory and subsequently switched his political allegiance to the social democratic New Democratic Party of Canada. He ran as the NDP candidate in his old riding (now called Toronto Centre-Rosedale) in the 1997 election, but was defeated again by Graham.

After politics

On November 25, 1998, The United Church of Canada appointed MacDonald a Special Advisor on residential schools, in light of major lawsuits against the UCC from former students.

Personal life

MacDonald was romantically involved with Alexa McDonough who at the time was leader of the federal NDP, prior to his 1997 candidacy.[2] However, they split up prior to the 2004 federal election.[3] MacDonald has since started another relationship and married.[3]

Electoral record

Toronto Centre—Rosedale

1997 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Bill Graham 22,945 49.19 -0.80
New Democratic David MacDonald 9,597 20.58 +9.80
Progressive Conservative Stephen Probyn 8,993 19.28 -1.96
Reform John Stewart 3,646 7.82 -4.65
Green Jim Harris 577 1.24 +0.30
Canadian Action Anthony Robert Pedrette 303 0.65
Natural Law Ron Parker 270 0.58 -1.01
Marxist–Leninist Steve Rutchinski 166 0.36 +0.25
Independent Ted W. Culp 145 0.31
Total valid votes 46,642 100.00


1993 Canadian federal election: Rosedale
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Bill Graham 27,707 49.98 $54,087
  Progressive Conservative David MacDonald 12,018 21.68 $60,961
  Reform Daniel Jovkovic 7,048 12.71 $25,016
  New Democratic Party Jack Layton 5,937 10.71 $44,872
  National Martin Lanigan 1,091 1.97 $6,964
  Natural Law Doug Henning 839 1.51 $37,086
Green Leslie Hunter 479 0.86 $380
  N/A (Christian Freedom) Linda Dale Gibbons 214 0.39 $200
  Marxist-Leninist Steve Rutchinski 61 0.11 $205
  Abolitionist Y. Patrice d'Audibert-Garcien 43 0.08 $0
Total valid votes 55,437 100.00
Total rejected ballots 491
Turnout 55,928 61.71
Electors on the lists 90,630
Source: Thirty-fifth General Election, 1993: Official Voting Results, Published by the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. Financial figures taken from official contributions and expenses provided by Elections Canada.
1988 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative David MacDonald 22,704 41.36 -11.44
Liberal Bill Graham 22,624 41.21 +15.08
New Democratic Doug Wilson 8,266 15.06 -2.77
Libertarian Chris Blatchly 411 0.75 +0.09
Green Frank de Jong 397 0.72 -1.15
Rhinoceros Liane McLarty 265 0.48
Independent Mike Constable 102 0.19
Independent Harry Margel 91 0.17
Commonwealth of Canada Paul Therrien 33 0.06 -0.27
Total valid votes 54,893 100.00


1980 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal George Henderson 8,639 52.37 +12.93
Progressive Conservative David MacDonald 7,033 42.63 -13.44
New Democratic Vincent Gallant 824 5.00 +0.51
Total valid votes 16,496 100.00
1979 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative David MacDonald 8,861 56.07 +3.82
Liberal Bill Reese 6,233 39.44 -4.81
New Democratic Vincent Gallant 710 4.49 +0.98
Total valid votes 15,804 100.00
1974 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative David MacDonald 7,583 52.25 -3.53
Liberal Bill Reese 6,422 44.25 +3.97
New Democratic Cletus Shea 509 3.51 -0.04
Total valid votes 14,514 100.00
1972 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative David MacDonald 7,868 55.78 +2.26
Liberal George W. Olscamp 5,681 40.28 -4.02
New Democratic Carroll L. Kadey 501 3.55 +1.37
Social Credit Hugh G. Ryan 55 0.39
Total valid votes 14,105 100.00
1968 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes %
Progressive Conservative David MacDonald 7,182 53.52
Liberal J. Melville Campbell 5,945 44.30
New Democratic Harvey Dawson 292 2.18
Total valid votes 13,419 100.00


1965 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes
Progressive Conservative David MacDonald 9,082
Liberal John Watson MacNaught 8,312
New Democratic Harvey Dawson 384


There is a David S.H. MacDonald fonds at Library and Archives Canada.[4]


  1. ^ "Parliament of Canada, Parliamentarian File". Archived from the original on 2015-10-06. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  2. ^ Sheppard, Robert (April 14, 1997). "You call that endurance?". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. p. A13.
  3. ^ a b Ottawa Citizen Staff (October 4, 2008). "Alexa McDonough reflects on time and change as she eases into life after politics: So how are you feeling?". Ottawa Citizen. Archived from the original on May 26, 2015. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  4. ^ "David S.H. MacDonald fonds, Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved September 9, 2020.
Political offices Preceded byMarc Lalonde Minister responsible for the Status of Women 4 June 1979 – 2 March 1980 Succeeded byLloyd Axworthy
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David MacDonald (Canadian politician)
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