Rona Ambrose, Interim Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Leader of the Official Opposition, issued the following statement on the passing of Elsie Wayne:
“I was saddened to hear of the passing of Elsie Wayne, who was a proud and vocal advocate for Atlantic Canada and a strong mentor for women in politics. From her first election to Saint John city council in 1977, Elsie was a dedicated and passionate servant of her community. Never losing an election, Elsie was the first woman elected as Mayor of Saint John, serving three terms from 1983 to 1993.
From 1993 to 2004, Elsie served as the Progressive Conservative and Conservative Member of Parliament for Saint John. Elsie was only one of two PC MPs in her first term, and she built a reputation as a champion for the Canadian Forces and her home community in Ottawa. In 1998, she served as Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.
Throughout her political career, Elsie was a strong advocate for Canada’s veterans, and was awarded a Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in 2008 for her work on behalf of Canada's Merchant Mariners. She was the only female Honorary Gunner for the 3rd Field Regiment, and the first female Lt.-Colonel of the 722 Communication Squadron of New Brunswick. She was awarded three honorary doctorates, as well as the Distinguished Auxiliary Cross of the Salvation Army.
Elsie was a unique character in Canadian politics. At a time when very few women leaders were present, she wasn't afraid to be loud, tough and passionate in standing up for Atlantic Canada.
On behalf of the Official Opposition and the Conservative Party of Canada, I offer my condolences to Elsie’s family and loved ones.”