Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Former Cabinet Minister Judy Foote Bids Farewell to House of Commons

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Former Cabinet Minister Judy Foote Bids Farewell to House of Commons

Article excerpt

Judy Foote says goodbye to politics

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OTTAWA - With tears in her eyes and her daughters and granddaughters watching from the gallery, MP Judy Foote bade farewell to the House of Commons on Thursday by urging more women to take up the challenges of politics.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal announced in August she would step down as MP to be with her family. She had been on a leave of absence from her Public Services and Procurement portfolio since spring.

The two-time breast cancer survivor earlier revealed that she inherited the cancer-causing BRCA2 gene.

"Getting my head around what having the gene could mean for my children, Carla, Jason and Heidi and their children, if they inherited it from me, was difficult and needless to say remains so, because unfortunately two of my three children did," she told the House.

She said that raised the spectre of genetic discrimination as she urged her fellow MPs to enshrine protection in the human rights act.

"No one should be discriminated against on the basis of their genetic characteristics."

Foote was first elected to the Commons in 2008 after 11 years as a member of the provincial legislature and eight years as a senior aide to then-premier Clyde Wells.

In her first job as MP, she was named a party whip, entering cabinet after Justin Trudeau's Liberals won power in 2015.

Before entering politics, she was a CBC broadcaster. She told the House that one of her most memorable stories was covering Terry Fox and his cancer-fighting Marathon of Hope.

Memories of Fox came pouring back years later, when she was first diagnosed with cancer, she said. …

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