Margaret Birch doing a ribbon-cutting for the Centenary hospital opening

Statement on the Passing of Margaret Birch

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Margaret Birch earlier this morning.

To call Margaret a trailblazer would be an understatement. She defied the gender norms of her time to become the first female cabinet minister in Ontario. In that role she oversaw a vast ministry which, at the time, was responsible for social services. Her work directly impacted the lives of millions of Ontarians and remains part of the puzzle that makes Ontario the exceptional place it is today.

Margaret loved Scarborough, her home. She was instrumental in creating what eventually became known as Scarborough Centenary Hospital. This was a project near and dear to her heart. She recognized the community lacked access to proper health services and she took action. Because of her determination, strength and wit, people came to the table to make this dream a reality.

While we mourn the passing of one of the great women of our collective history, we also celebrate a life lived to its fullest filled with family, community and selflessness.

Maureen Adamson     Liz Buller                       Alicia Vandermeer
Chair of the Board       President and CEO     President and CEO
SHN                               SHN                               SHN Foundation

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