Former federal NDP leader Alexa McDonough dies at 77

Alexa McDonough dies

Former federal NDP leader Alexa McDonough has died in Halifax at the age of 77.

Her family confirms McDonough died today after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

McDonough became the first woman to lead a major political party in Canada when she was elected leader of the Nova Scotia New Democrats in 1980.

She became leader of the federal NDP in 1995 and served in the party's top post until 2002.

Known to many across the country as simply "Alexa," McDonough was a trail-blazing politician who paved the way for women in the field.

Her son Justin McDonough says his mother was a concensus builder who earned respect beyond partisan political lines.

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