David MacDonald (Canadian politician)

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

David MacDonald

Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Rosedale
In office
Preceded byDavid Crombie
Succeeded byBill Graham
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Egmont
In office
Preceded byNew riding
Succeeded byGeorge Henderson
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Prince
In office
Preceded byJohn Watson MacNaught
Succeeded byRiding abolished
Personal details
Born (1936-08-20) August 20, 1936
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Political partyNew Democratic (1996–present)
Other political
Progressive Conservative (before 1996)
Sandrabelle Rogers
(m. 19641997)

Deborah Sinclair
(m. 2005)
Domestic partnerAlexa McDonough (1997-2004)
OccupationUnited Church minister, politician

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.

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 (i.e., left-leaning), 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.

MacDonald was romantically involved with time as leader of the federal NDP, Alexa McDonough 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]

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.

Electoral record

Toronto Centre—Rosedale

1997 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes%±%
LiberalBill Graham22,94549.19-0.80
New DemocraticDavid MacDonald9,59720.58+9.80
Progressive ConservativeStephen Probyn8,99319.28-1.96
ReformJohn Stewart3,6467.82-4.65
GreenJim Harris5771.24+0.30
Canadian ActionAnthony Robert Pedrette3030.65
Natural LawRon Parker2700.58-1.01
Marxist–LeninistSteve Rutchinski1660.36+0.25
IndependentTed W. Culp1450.31
Total valid votes 46,642 100.00


1993 Canadian federal election: Rosedale
Party Candidate Votes%±%Expenditures
LiberalBill Graham27,70749.98$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
GreenLeslie Hunter4790.86$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 ConservativeDavid MacDonald22,70441.36-11.44
LiberalBill Graham22,62441.21+15.08
New DemocraticDoug Wilson8,26615.06-2.77
LibertarianChris Blatchly4110.75+0.09
GreenFrank de Jong3970.72-1.15
RhinocerosLiane McLarty2650.48
IndependentMike Constable1020.19
IndependentHarry Margel910.17
Commonwealth of CanadaPaul Therrien330.06-0.27
Total valid votes 54,893 100.00


1980 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes%±%
LiberalGeorge Henderson8,63952.37+12.93
Progressive ConservativeDavid MacDonald7,03342.63-13.44
New DemocraticVincent Gallant8245.00+0.51
Total valid votes 16,496100.00
1979 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes%±%
Progressive ConservativeDavid MacDonald8,86156.07+3.82
LiberalBill Reese6,23339.44-4.81
New DemocraticVincent Gallant7104.49+0.98
Total valid votes 15,804100.00
1974 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes%±%
Progressive ConservativeDavid MacDonald7,58352.25-3.53
LiberalBill Reese6,42244.25+3.97
New DemocraticCletus Shea5093.51-0.04
Total valid votes 14,514100.00
1972 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes%±%
Progressive ConservativeDavid MacDonald7,86855.78+2.26
LiberalGeorge W. Olscamp5,68140.28-4.02
New DemocraticCarroll L. Kadey5013.55+1.37
Social CreditHugh G. Ryan550.39
Total valid votes 14,105100.00
1968 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes%
Progressive ConservativeDavid MacDonald7,18253.52
LiberalJ. Melville Campbell5,94544.30
New DemocraticHarvey Dawson2922.18
Total valid votes 13,419100.00


1965 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes
Progressive ConservativeDavid MacDonald9,082
LiberalJohn Watson MacNaught8,312
New DemocraticHarvey Dawson384


  1. Parliament of Canada, Parliamentarian File
  2. Sheppard, Robert (April 14, 1997). "You call that endurance?". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. p. A13.
  3. 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.
Political offices
Preceded by
Marc Lalonde
Minister responsible for the Status of Women
4 June 1979 – 2 March 1980
Succeeded by
Lloyd Axworthy
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