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Sheila Finestone

Date Range 1949-1991.
Description Level Fonds
Collection FINESTONE, SHEILA = M.P. & Senator.
(View all records in this collection )   (View Fond Description )    (View Finding Aid )
Fonds No. P0186
Physical Description 2.75 metres of textual records. - 14 videos. - 3 sound elements. - 200 photographs. - 21 artefacts.
History/Biographical Born Jan. 28, 1928 in Montreal, Sheila Finestone entered politics through the "NO" Campaign in 1979 for the Quebec referendum. She was first elected in 1984 as a Member of Parliament for the Liberal Party (Mount Royal riding). She was subsequently re-elected 1988, 1993 and 1997. She was appointed to the Senate of Canada in August 1999. Throughout her professional and political career she has been actively involved in community development, ranging from cultural and multicultural issues to those dealing with protection of human rights and the promotion of equality for women and minorities.In the 1990s she was appointed as Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and the Status of Women. She served as president of the Canadian Inter-Parliamentary Union, and was active in promoting human rights, women's rights, and was a founding member of the Board of Alliance Quebec. She served as the first anglophone president (1977-1980) of the 130,000 member coalition, "La Federation des Femmes du Quebec", past president of the Women's Federation of Allied Jewish Community Services, Combined Jewish Appeal as well as Neighbourhood House Services of the YM-YWHA, and was the driving force behind the establishment of the Centre Communautaire Juif. Finestone was a member of the board of trustees of AJCS and the YM-YWHA. She is a member of the board of directors of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation, the Quebec Heart Foundation, the Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montreal, La Fondation Therese-F. Casgrain, and the Shawbridge Youth Centers. She was vice-president of the Caldwell Residence for the Well Aged, and was presently a member of the Joint Committee on Ashkenazi-Sephardic Relations (CJC-AJCS). At CJC, Finestone is or was a member of the CJC Joint Public Relations Committee, the National Law and Social Action Committee, and an advisor to the Status of Women Committee of CJC; member of the Coalition for Pension Reform, the Coalition against Media Violence and the Interfaith Task Force for Soviet Jewry. She has chaired committees which have presented briefs to federal and provincial parliamentary commissions on a wide range of issues, such as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Proposed Revisions to the Labour Code, the Civil Code, the Federal Criminal Code and the Youth Protection Act, the Royal Commission on the Status of Women and the Service de la Garde d'Enfance. As political attaché to the Quebec Liberal Party leaders Claude Ryan, Gerald D. Levesque and Robert Bourassa, Finestone had the special responsibility of informing them of the concerns of the minority communities. She served on the Quebec Liberal Party Policy Commission and is/ was chairman of the Commission on Aging. Prior to this, Sheila was the first director of Youth Protection for Jewish Family Services.She is the daughter of Monroe Abbey (a former CJC president). She retired from politics in 2001.
Custodial History The collection was donated by Mrs. Finestone after retiring from her political life. Additon was made on July 26, 2006
Scope & Content Scrapbooks of clippings, framed photos and certificates, files of correspondence - pertaining to functions as Minister of Parliament (Federal) and as a participant in events organized by CJC and other NCOs and cultural groups.Addition 2006: 1.45 m docs. relating to Sheila Finestone's political career and other activities, including various Jewish community projects and committees. 14 videos, 3 cassette tapes, approx. 200 photos including a large group photo of McGill's Jewish Fraternity. Also 42 books on themes relevant to the Archives collections, 1 complete Jewish Boy Scout uniform and illustrative photo, and approximately 20 small artefacts (political campaign buttons, commemorative items). This collection was weeded down from 28 large boxes in storage at Mrs. Finestone's former apartment in Montreal. The eliminated items were returned to Mrs. Finestone or disposed of in consultation with her.
Notes Alpha-numeric designations :P02/06, P06/12.Associated material :The Finestone Collection (P0058).General note :Sheila Finestone was a Member of Parliament who identified herself strongly with the Jewish community and with the goals and activities of CJC, where her father was a past president. She was involved in the Fédération des Femmes du Québec and made numerous goodwill trips to Israel with various groups. Her husband was a member of the McGill University Jewish fraternity in the 1940s. Her son was a member of a Jewish Boy Scout troop. All these elements are reflected in the present deposit.
Repository Canadian Jewish Congress Charities Committee National Archives

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