Honouring New Democrat Pat Chefurka


Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I would like today to pay tribute to our sister, Pat Chefurka, a proud New Democrat, a trail-blazing feminist, and a relentless advocate for social justice. Pat died January 21.

    Born in Manitoba in 1924, Pat received a bachelor of science degree from Brandon College and became the first woman to receive a master's degree in physics from Montana State College.

    She accepted a position teaching physics at the University of Western Ontario in 1963 and resigned in 1974 due to pay inequity, a problem then, as now.

    Pat became actively involved with the CCF in the 1940s and was a good friend of Tommy Douglas.

    Among her many accomplishments, she was the first woman president of the Ontario NDP and a recipient of the Agnes Macphail Award.

    In addition to her many worthy pursuits, Pat managed to be a mentor to countless women over the course of her life. I will miss her steely determination, her unflagging optimism, and her dedication to fighting the good fight.

    Rest in power Pat. We will take it from here.