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The Honourable Sharon Carstairs


May 2013 Honorary Degree Recipient

Doctor of Laws (honoris causa)

The Honourable Sharon Carstairs, P.C. has served as a dedicated teacher, a political trailblazer, a champion for palliative care and an advocate for women and children who have experienced abuse.

Ms. Carstairs, a Dalhousie arts graduate, was the first woman leader of Manitoba’s Liberals and, in 1988, became the first woman to head the official opposition in the legislative assembly, a first not only for Manitoba but countrywide.

She also broke new ground in the Senate, where she served from 1994-2011. In 1997 she became its first woman deputy leader of the government. From 2001-2003 Ms. Carstairs was government leader in the Senate and minister with special responsibility for palliative care.

Ms. Carstairs’ leadership in this complex and vital issue includes her authorship of reports including Raising the Bar: A Roadmap for the Future of Palliative Care in Canada and her contribution to the Canadian Virtual Hospice. 

She is also a voice for women and children who have been abused. She is a founding member of the Prairieaction Foundation, which provides funding for research and education about violence and abuse.