Donna Eileen WOOD

Donna passed away peacefully in Victoria Hospice, surrounded by family and friends, after an intense struggle with breast cancer. Donna leaves behind her husband, Patrick Hagey; son, Daniel (Tove); daughter, Samantha (Winston); sister, Doris (Gary); brother, Ken (Judy); and four beloved grandchildren, Nicella, Kendrick, Edwin and Leah.


Born in Saint Catharines, Ontario, Donna was always tenacious in achieving her goals. After completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa, she moved to Yellowknife and took on the (traditionally-male) position of Head of the Apprenticeship and Trades Program for the Government of the Northwest Territories. She then moved to Edmonton, Alberta, where she worked in Alberta Social Services for over twenty years and rose to the position of Executive Director of Intergovernmental Relations. While working in Alberta she went back to school to earn a Master’s of Public Management. Donna took early retirement in order to pursue a doctorate in Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, which she was awarded in 2008.


In her research career, Donna authored 43 published works, including her book Federalism in Action: the devolution of Canada’s public employment service 1995-2015 (University of Toronto Press, 2018). Since moving to Victoria and completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Victoria, she has held the position of Adjunct Assistant Professor at the university’s Department of Political Science. As both a civil servant and academic, her life goal was to make a difference to the poor and unemployed by studying how Canadian tax dollars could be best used to help them.


After moving to Victoria she became an active member of the community, being on the executive of the local federal Liberal Party and a member of a number of Newcomers groups, including those devoted to walking, hiking, poker and books.


As a friend, mother, grandmother, wife, sister, and daughter, Donna challenged and supported those she loved. Her determination, intelligence, kindness and love lives on in all who knew her.


In lieu of flowers, donations can be directed to Victoria Hospice or towards a memorial bench on the Cedar Hill Golf Course chip trail. To contribute please click on the "Donna Wood's Fundraiser" option in the right menu.


If you wish to contribute photos for her Celebration of Life on May 4, 2019, please email them to Samantha at




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