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The Hon. Myra A. Freeman

Photograph of The Hon. Myra A. Freeman

O.N.S., B.A., B.Ed., D.Hum.L, LL.D.

First woman Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia
First Jewish Lieutenant Governor in Canada

Born in Saint John, New Brunswick on May 17, 1949

The Hon. Myra A. Freeman

Political Affiliation: Liberal

Honours and Awards: Dame of Justice and Vice Prior of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (2000); Canadian Corps of Commissionaires' Distinguished Service Medal (2001); Royal Canadian Legion's 75th Anniversary Medal (2002); National Advisory Council Member for Historica Foundation of Canada (2002); First Recipient and Chancellor of the Order of Nova Scotia by appointment of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (2002); honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society (2003); Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal (2003); appointed as the first Honorary Captain (Navy) in the Canadian Forces, directly affiliated with Maritime Forces Atlantic in Halifax (2003); recognized by the Richard Ivy School of Business and Women's Executive Network as a "Trailblazer" and one of 100 Outstanding Canadian Women (2004); and recipient of the Israel Cancer Research Foundation 2004 Women of Action Humanitarian Award. She received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Mount Saint Vincent University (2004) and was granted the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa by Cape Breton University in 2005.

Myra Ava Freeman (née Holtzman) began her ardent community service while still a child. She was a leader at school, in Girl Guides of Canada and in youth groups at synagogue. She decided to become a teacher when only fifteen, while instructing an arts and crafts course at the YWCA. She attended Dalhousie University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1970 and a Bachelor of Education in 1971. Upon graduation she began her professional life as a school teacher in Halifax.

Throughout her career Myra Freeman has been active on numerous boards and foundations including the Atlantic Theatre Festival Foundation, Canadian Health Care Consulting Services Limited, the Citizens Advisory Committee to Maritime Broadcasting System Limited, Grace Maternity Hospital Foundation, the Nova Scotia Division of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, and the Nova Scotia Talent Trust Fund.

She has also served with numerous voluntary organizations including the Kidney Foundation of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Gift of Israel program. In 1990, she was festival chair for the World Figure Skating Championships in Halifax and helped develop a Nova Scotia teachers' resource kit for this event. In 1995, she was manager of the spousal program for the Halifax G-7 Summit. She served as Nova Scotia campaign co-chair for the Liberals in 1993 and 1997. From 1995 to 2000, she served as Atlantic chair of the CRB [Charles R. Bronfman] Foundation.

On May 17, 2000, Myra Freeman was sworn in and installed as the 30th Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Nova Scotia since Confederation, becoming one of the youngest lieutenant governors in history. She exemplifies a milestone for the province, becoming the first woman to hold the position in its 400-year history. She also became the first Jewish lieutenant governor in Canada.

Before ending her term in 2006, the Honourable Myra Freeman brought energy and dignity to her role as Lieutenant Governor. In addition to fulfilling the roles necessary as the Monarch's representative in Nova Scotia, she was Honorary Patron of more than 90 not-for-profit organizations. Perhaps resulting from her career as an educator, she was passionate about involving and encouraging youth to take an active interest in Canadian heritage, volunteerism, leadership and public service. Besides emphasizing that Government House is open to people of all ages and cultures, she made her presence known around the province, inspiring volunteers with her enthusiasm for community service.

Myra Freeman and her husband, Lawrence (Larry) A. Freeman, a partner in the law firm of McInnes Cooper, have three adult children, Daniel, Jonathan and Debra. Rituals that strengthen family ties and nurture individual family members are important to the Freemans. They believe that the family is the place where individuals begin to understand who they are, where they belong and how they will contribute to their community.


Canada. Privy Council Office. "Prime Minister Announces Lieutenant-Governor Appointment: Myra A. Freeman."

(accessed September 12, 2005).

The Canadian Encyclopedia. "Myra A. Freeman." Historica Foundation of Canada, 2005.

(accessed September 12, 2005).

Jackson, David. "Lt.-Gov. Freeman Staying in Post for Now." The Chronicle-Herald. (Friday, June 3, 2005), p. B3.

Jacobson, Joel. "Jewish Lt.-Gov. Named in N.S." Canadian Jewish News. Vol. 30, no. 19 (May 11, 2000), p. 1 and 34. Online edition "Nova Scotia Gets First Jewish Lieutenant-Governor." (May 11, 2000) (accessed September 12, 2005).

Nova Scotia. Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia.
(accessed September 12, 2005).

Patterson, Arnie. "Not Patronage, Politics: Lieutenant-Governor's Post Sweetest of Plums." The Daily News. (May 7, 2000), p. 17.

Smulders, Marilyn. "Lt.-Gov. Announces $25k Art Prize." The Daily News. (Wednesday, July 6, 2005), p. 21.

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