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Statement from Jim Dinn on the Passing of Helen Fogwill Porter

For Immediate Release

17 February, 2023

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the death of our friend Helen Fogwill Porter.

Writer. Feminist. Mother. Grandmother. Sister. Social Activist. Union Member. Friend. Doctor of Letters. Member of the Order of Canada. And New Democrat. Helen Fogwill Porter is all of these and so much more.

Helen’s passing is not only a loss for her family and New Democrats, but for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Helen fought her whole life for social justice, championed women in politics, people struggling with their mental health and never backed down from a challenge.

Helen was ahead of her time in fighting for the inclusion of all people regardless of race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. She broke barriers so that other people could dream big and do the same. Helen wrote many stories about life in St. John’s, but her own story is truly one of dedication and determination.

Helen also shared her talents with others. She taught creative writing and she was a member of many notable organizations including International P.E.N., the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Newfoundland Writers’ Guild and the Writers’ Union of Canada.

In addition to her prolific writing career and raising her children, Helen made a tremendous contribution to the New Democratic Party in our province. She was recognized in 1998 when she was honoured with an outstanding service award from the NDP and with the naming of the Helen Fogwill Porter Fund for NLNDP Women Candidates that launched on International Women’s Day in 2003 to support women candidates to run for the House of Assembly.

Helen ran for the NDP four times between 1975 and 1985. The first three times in the district of Mount Pearl and the last time in Harbour Grace. In 1975, she received 21% of the vote. The campaign was run out of her home on a shoestring budget of less than $600. Her campaign manager was Dorothy Inglis. She firmly believed that all citizens should have an opportunity to vote NDP.

Like others who knew and loved Helen, we draw strength and hope from her wonderful legacy. Much of what we do as New Democrats in the province is in keeping with what Helen fought for and the example she set. We will honour Helen by continuing this work.


For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or

NR 17022023 Statement from Jim Dinn on the Passing of Helen Fogwill Porter
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