Mourning Shirley Douglas

Shirley Douglas

1934 - 2020

Statement by the President of the Douglas-Coldwell Foundation, Karl Bélanger

It is with great sadness that we learned yesterday of the passing of Shirley Douglas, an impassioned activist, daughter of Tommy Douglas, a patron and long-time supporter of the Douglas-Coldwell Foundation.

Shirley Douglas was an extraordinary woman who led an extraordinary life, supporting a variety of political and social causes throughout her life, including her relentless fight to protect our public health care system.

I had the chance to spend some time with Shirley Douglas on the campaign trail with Jack Layton. She was a fierce campaigner and quite a story teller. Wherever she went, she was stealing the spotlight without even trying. She took her causes seriously while not taking herself too seriously. It was an honour and a privilege to have been able to witness her in action, ardently defending the health care system her father brought to Canada.

Our hearts and condolences go out to her family and friends, and we know that Canadians are joining us in thanking them for the sacrifices they had to make while Shirley Douglas was splitting her time between caring for her family, pursuing a stellar acting career and her inspiring and spirited defense of the causes she believed in.  

Shirley Douglas strongly believed that “if you see something that offends you morally or any other way you have to follow that and take it up.” She lived up by her words and for that, we will always remember her and her contribution to Canada. One thing we all learned about Shirley Douglas was that she never gave up the fight for social justice and equality. The best tribute we can pay to her is to redouble our own efforts to build a fairer world.

Karl Bélanger
Douglas-Coldwell Foundation

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