Zanana Akande become the First Black Woman Elected to the Ontario Legislative Assembly


Zanana Lorraine Akande (born c. 1937) is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. She was a New Democratic member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1990 to 1994 who represented the downtown Toronto riding of St. Andrew—St. Patrick. She served as a cabinet minister in the government of Bob Rae. She was the first black woman elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and the first black woman to serve as a cabinet minister in Canada.

A daughter of immigrants from the Caribbean, she became a teacher and school principal in the Toronto public school system. After her election in 1990, she was appointed to cabinet as Minister of Community and Social Services but resigned because her private financial arrangements appeared to violate cabinet guidelines. A subsequent review cleared her of any wrongdoing. In 1992, she was named parliamentary assistant to Premier Bob Rae. In 1994 she quit politics after a dispute over the handling of an investigation and firing of Ontario civil servant Carlton Masters.

As of 2009, Akande is retired but continues to be involved in the community, serving as a volunteer on boards and committees of local organizations including the YWCA and Centennial College.


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SOURCE:  Wikipedia