Patricia A. Hajdu /ˈhaɪdjuː/; born November 3, 1966) is a Canadian Liberal politician, who was elected to represent the riding of Thunder Bay—Superior North in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2015 federal election. Since November 2019, she has been the Minister of Health in the federal Cabinet. Previous to this, she was the Minister of Status of Women and Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.(
Early life and education
Born in Montreal, she spent her early years in Chisholm, Minnesota, raised by her aunt and uncle. Her Hungarian last name comes from her stepfather.
At 12 years old, Hajdu moved to Thunder Bay to live with her mother. Due to a tumultuous relationship, she ended up living on her own at age 16, attempting to finish high school. After graduating high school, she got a job in Thunder Bay through an employment-insurance initiative, at a non-profit adult-literacy group, where she trained in graphic design.
Hajdu then attended Lakehead University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts. In 2015, she received a Master of Public Administration from the University of Victoria.
Hajdu worked mainly in the field of harm prevention, homelessness, and substance misuse prevention, including nine years as the head of the drug awareness committee of the Thunder Bay District Health Unit. She also worked as a creative director and graphic designer in marketing. Prior to her election in 2015 she was the executive director at Shelter House, the city's largest homeless shelter.
On November 4, 2015, she was appointed the Minister of Status of Women in the federal Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In this capacity, she convened in July 2016 an advisory council to help develop of Canada's strategy against gender-based violence. She was sworn in as Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour on January 10, 2017.
On October 29, 2018, Minister Hajdu, alongside Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef and President of the Treasury Board and Minister for Digital Government Scott Brison introduced proactive pay equity legislation for federally regulated workplaces, which ensures that women are fairly compensated for the work that they do. This legislation will ensure that all federally regulated employers examine their compensation practices to reflect equal pay for work of equal value for both men and women.
|2019 Canadian federal election: Thunder Bay—Superior North|
|New Democratic||Anna Betty Achneepineskum||9,126||21.1||-2.08|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||43,177||100.0|
|Total rejected ballots||416|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|2015 Canadian federal election: Thunder Bay-Superior North|
|New Democratic||Andrew Foulds||10,339||23.18||-26.97||$121,837.34|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||44,608||100.0||$248,538.44|
|Total rejected ballots||178||–||–|
|Source: Elections Canada|
Hajdu is the mother of two adult sons. She has a partner and is the mother of two step children.