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The Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain

Photograph of The Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain

O.C., O.N.B., B.A. (Hon.), B.S.W.

First woman Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick

Born in Amos, Quebec on October 1, 1934

The Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain

Honours and Awards: Dame of Grace of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (1994); Officer of the Order of Canada (1998); Order of New Brunswick (2004); YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Award for Philanthropy and Volunteerism (2005)

Margaret Norrie McCain was born in northern Quebec, her father was a prominent Quebec mining engineer and her mother was Senator Margaret Norrie of Truro, Nova Scotia. McCain received a Bachelor of Arts with honours in history from Mount Allison University and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Toronto. In addition, she has been presented with honorary degrees from many Canadian universities.

McCain has long been concerned about family violence. In New Brunswick, she was a founding member of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation whose mission is to eliminate family violence through public education and research. She chaired the Foundation and established the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research. McCain was also a member of the Mount Allison University Board of Regents from 1974 to 1994 and served as Chancellor of the University from 1986 to 1994.

In addition to her devoted local community work, she has served on the Board or Advisory Council of numerous not-for-profit organizations including the Canadian Women's Foundation, the National Ballet School, the Canadian Policy Research Network, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, The Learning Partnership and the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development. She was appointed the 27th Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick in June 1994 and served until April 1997.

In October 1994, McCain was invested as Dame of Grace of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. Other awards she has received include the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Award for Work in the Field of Family Violence, the Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian Award, the Centre for Excellence for Early Child Development Award and the 100 Most Powerful Canadian Women Award. In 1998, she received the Order of Canada (O.C.) and in 2004, she became a member of the Order of New Brunswick (O.N.B.). In May 2005, she received the YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction award for Philanthropy and Volunteerism.

Margaret Norrie McCain married acclaimed entrepreneur G. Wallace F. McCain of Florenceville in 1955 and the couple has four children. They now live in Toronto.

McCain continues to play a major role in many early child development policy and program initiatives in Canada. She has left an indelible mark on public policy in numerous organizations that promote women's rights, social equality, education, music and the arts both at the provincial and national levels.


Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System. The Margaret McCain Lecture Series.
(accessed August 4, 2005).

Collison, Robert. "All the Queen's Women." Homemaker's Magazine. Vol. 32, no. 3 (April 1997), p. 18-20, 22-25

Frum, Linda. "A New Way of Caring for Kids: Margaret McCain's Children's Crusade." National Post. (April 24, 1999), p. B1-B2.

"Margaret Norrie McCain." The Canadian Encyclopedia.

(accessed August 4, 2005).

Mascoll, Philip and Sonia Verma. "Honours for Champions of Public Education: McCain, Newell Praised for their Contributions." Toronto Star. (May 3, 2002), p. A20. Also available at:
(accessed August 4, 2005).

Warwick, Liz. "The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain." 2003 Awards: Reaching the Summit: An Exceptional Trio! [online]. Montréal: Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development, 2003, p. 2 [PDF 345 KB]
(accessed August 4, 2005).

YWCA Toronto. YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Award 2005: Philanthropy and Volunteerism [PDF 345 KB].
(accessed August 4, 2005).

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