One Year Into COVID-19 It’s not every day that you start a new job and then immediately have to close down the office indefinitely and send everyone home amidst a once-in-a-century pandemic. But that was my whirlwind experience when I joined YWCA Edmonton as our new CEO one year ago today. I hadn’t even met most of our staff yet before making that difficult decision after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mandated an historic stay-at-home order
Catherine was born on October 7, 1934 in Krasne, Saskatchewan.
After high school, Catherine moved to Edmonton and attended McTavish Business College; she later took a Canadian Institute of Realtors course through the University of Alberta. Catherine was the secretarial and Claims Manager with a van lines company and for a legal firm.
Catherine first ran for political office in the 1966 Edmonton municipal election. She finished in 20th place out of 44 in the plurality block vote, not high enough for a seat on city council. She ran again in the 1968 Edmonton municipal election; she did slightly better, finishing 17th out of a field of 32 candidates, but still short of election to council.
Catherine ran for the Alberta Legislature as the Progressive Conservative candidate in the electoral district of Edmonton-Norwood in the 1971 general election and won with a comfortable lead. Catherine continued to get re-elected in this position until she was defeated in the P.C. nomination in Edmonton-Norwood riding.
Catherine entered municipal politics when she was elected to the Edmonton Catholic School Board in 1983; she became chairman on that board in 1984. She remained on that board until 1989, when she was elected to city council in the 1989 General Civic Election.
Of note, Catherine was the subject of much controversy when it was revealed that she owed city business taxes and was therefore unqualified to run in the 1989 election. The case went before the courts and eventually she was allowed to retain her seat after she paid her taxes. However, she was convicted of signing a false statement under the Local Authorities Election Act and fined $200.
Catherine was defeated in the 1992 election. She was a member of Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and the Progressive Conservative party.
Catherine passed away on April 6, 2009 at the age of 74.
Sources: Edmonton Journal; Edmonton Bulletin; City of Edmonton Archives