The Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain receives Honorary CPS Membership for her dedication and contributions to improving child and youth health in Canada. Mrs. McCain was the first woman to be appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, an office she held from 1994 to 1997. She advocated in that role for the need to invest and cooperate across sectors to deliver quality early learning and child care.
In 1998, Mrs. McCain and Dr. Fraser Mustard were appointed by the Ontario government’s secretariat for children as co-chairs of the “Early Years Study.” The resulting report, released the following year and subtitled Reversing the Real Brain Drainbroke new ground. They argued compellingly for the economic and social benefits of investing in early childhood and the need to establish strong child development policies and programming. Their report called for an integrated network of health services, preschool programming, parenting resources and child care, starting with pregnancy care and offered through family parenting centres. Two subsequent studies followed in 2007 and 2011 that shaped and deepened our understanding of the impact of early experiences on lifelong learning, behaviour and health.
With her husband, Wallace, and their four children, Mrs. McCain founded the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation, which promotes the best possible early childhood for all of Canada’s children. Her foundation champions effective early childhood programs across Canada, especially those that provide equal opportunities for all children, align with the school system, and operate within a provincial and territorial framework. It’s a powerful legacy, and the CPS is proud to recognize a founder of child care in Canada.
- Access the Canadian Paediatric Society webpage