Politicians &
Public Servants

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Politicians & Public Servants         
Ruth Addison Born 1897. Died January 9, 2005. She graduated from the University of Manitoba and worked her way from a lower level clerk in the Canadian Civil Service to being an economist and then executive assistant to the Canadian Minister of the Department of Defense Production. In 1957 she was appointed as the 1st woman member  of the Civil Service Commission a position she held until 1968. Source: Jean Bannerman, Leading Ladies of Canada (Belleville, Mika Publishing, 1977);
 
Minnie Bell Adney née Sharp. Born January 12, 1865, Woodstock, New Brunswick. Died April 11, 1937. In 1883 she took training in piano and voice in New York City, U.S.A. On September 12, 1899 she married Edwin Tappan Adney (1868-1950) an artist and writer. The couple raised one son but the marriage meant long periods of separation for the family. Minnie used her musical talents to run the Woodstock School of Music for two decades. She became interested in womens rights and politics and would become the 1st woman candidate in a federal election in New Brunswick. She attempted to run as an independent candidate in a federal by-election in October 1919 in the riding of Victoria Carleton. Even though women by this time had the right to vote had just recently been allowed to run for political positions and in this by-election her name did not appear on the ballot because her papers had been “lost” and she was disqualified as a candidate. In the 1921 general election she was unable to raise the $200.00 fee required to register her nomination. Her name finally appeared on the ballot for the 1925 Federal General Election but she only received 84 votes.  Source: New Brunswick Womens’ History ww.nbwomenshistory.ca (Accessed March 2012)
 
Raynell Andrechuk. Born August 14, 1944, Saskatoon Saskatchewan. In 1966 she graduated with her BA from the University of Saskatchewan and followed this with her Law Degree. She opened her law practice in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. In 1976 she was appointed judge with the Saskatchewan Provincial Court. From 1977-1983 she served as Chancellor of the University of Regina. In 1985 she became Deputy Minister of Saskatchewan Social Services. In 1987 she served at High Commissioner to Kenya and Uganda and Ambassador to Somalia. From 1988 through 1993 she also served as Canada’s permanent representative to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. In 1990 she was Ambassador to Portugal for Canada. In 1993 she was appointed to the Senate of Canada. She has also served Canadian youth as president of the YMCA of Canada, Chirr of Katimovik and Chair of Canadian World Youth. In May 2008  she was awarded the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise medal, for her substantial contribution in the development of Ukrainian-Canadian relations. In June 2010, she was awarded the World Federation of Ukrainian Women's Organizations’ Woman of Distinction Award, for her dedication and commitment to promoting freedom, democracy and human rights throughout the world. She is also a recipient of the Taras Shevchenko Medal, the Ukrainian Nation Builders Award, and a Special Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ukrainian Canadian Professional & Business Association of Calgary and is the recipient of the  Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Centennial Medal, the Y.M.C.A. Fellowship of Honour, the Vanier Outstanding Young Canadian Award, and the Regina Y.W.C.A. Women's Award. Senator Andreychuk has also been recognized as one of the top 100 distinguished graduates in the 100 year history of the University of Saskatchewan.  Source: Raynell Andrechuk (Biography) Parliament of Canada. Online (Accessed September 2014) .
 
Lise Bacon Born August 25, 1934 Valleyfield, Quebec. She studied humanities at College Marie-de-L'Incarnation and Academie Saint-Louis-de-GomInzague in Trois-Rivières and the sociology, political science and psychology at Institut Albert-Thomas in Chicoutimi, Quebec. She began her career as a department manager at Prudential Insurance Company from 1951-1971 and was a Canadian Citizenship Court Judge from 1977-1979.. She was an executive member of the Association des femmes libérales Louis Saint-Laurent, the Fédération des femmes libérales du Québec and the Canadian Liberal Women's Federation. She was elected to the National Assembly of Quebec in 1973 and held several cabinet positions. She would retire from provincial politics in 1994 and was appointed to the Senate of Canada.
 
Flora Minnie Leone Bagnall Born July 20, 1923 Springfield, Prince Edward Island. She attended Prince of Wales College 1971-1973 and went on to the University of Prince Edward Island obtaining a Diploma in Education. She earned her Bachelor in Education in 1979. She married Erroll Bagnall and taught elementary school. She was elected to the legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island (PEI) in 1979 and returned in 1982, 1986 and 1989. She served as Minister of Education from 1982-1986 and served as interim leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of PEI from 1987-1988. Leone was a charter member of the Prince Edward Island Association for Children with Learning Disabilities and a member of Eastern Star. Additionally, is is a member of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation and chair of the Advisory Committee for the Order of P. E. I. She received the Estelle Bowness Award from the University of Prince Edward Island for inspirational teaching. In 1992 she received the Canada 125 medallion and in 1995 she was invested in the Order of Canada. In 2005 into the Order of Prince Edward Island.
 
Isabel Bassett Born August 23, 1939 Halifax, Nova Scotia. She earned her BA from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and in 1973 her Master of Arts from York University, Toronto, Ontario. She graduated from Teacher’s College and taught English and French at the high school level. In the 1960’s she worked for the Toronto Telegram newspaper and later joined CTV (Canadian Television Network) becoming a prominent reporter and documentary producer. In 1970 she married Broadcast owner John Bassett (1915 -1998). She has written several books on political, social and historical achievements of Canadian women.  In 1993 she entered politics with an unsuccessful run for the federal House of Commons. In 1995 – 1999 she was elected as Progressive Conservative Member of Provincial Parliament. In 1997 she became Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation. After 1999 she was appointed head of TVOntario where she worked until 2005. In 2016 she became a member of the Order of Ontario and also a Member of the Order of Canada for “her community engagement and commitment to the advancement of women and public service in educational broadcasting.”
 
Monique Bégin. Born Rome, Italy March 1, 1936. She was first woman from Québec to be elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa in 1972. She distinguished herself as the executive secretary-general of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. During her political Career she would serve as Minister of National Revenue, then as Minister of National Health and Welfare. She was responsible for increases in old-age supplements for needy senior citizens and the child tax credit and a new health law which strengthened the health insurance system.
 
Wanda Thomas Elaine Bernard See Academics -
Florence Bayard Bird née Rhein. Born January 13, 1908. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A.  Died July 18, 1998. A member of the Canadian Senate, under the pen name of Anne Francis she was also an author.  She was also a pioneer broadcaster and journalist. In 1967 she was appointed Chairperson of the Royal Commission of the Status of Women. She was a Companion of the Order of Canada. 
 
Martha Louise Black. née Munger. Born February 24, 1866, Chicago, Illinois.  Died October 31, 1957. One of Canada's more colourful characters she joined the search for gold by hiking the famed Chilkoot Pass in the Yukon Gold Rush of 1898!  She gave birth to her first child alone in a log cabin. In order to survive she raised money to purchase a saw mill and bossed 16 men on a mining claim. She became the First Lady of the Yukon when her second husband, George Black, was Commissioner. She received the Order of the British Empire in 1946 for her cultural and social contributions to the Yukon.  At the age of 70 she won an election for a seat in the Canadian Parliament!
 
Ethel Dorothy Blondwin-Andrews. Born March 25, 1951, Tulita, Northwest Territories. Ethel attended various schools including residential school and Grandin College Leadership Program at Fort Smith. She followed this with a teacher certificate from Arctic College prior to earning her Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta in 1974. She was one of the 1st accredited Aboriginal teachers in the North, teaching in Tuktoyaktuk, Délįnę, Fort Providence, and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. From 1984-1986, she served as a Senior Public Servant with the Public Service Commission in Ottawa and before returning to the north to join the Government of the Northwest Territories as Assistant Deputy Minister for Culture from 1986 to 1988 where she served on the Arctic Institute of North America for two terms as well as the Assembly of First Nations Language Committee and worked on the Special Committee on Education for the Government of the Northwest Territories. In 1988, Ethel was elected as a Liberal from the District of the Western Arctic to the Canadian Parliament, the 1st aboriginal woman elected to the House of Commons. She went on to win the next four federal elections in 1993, 1997, 2000, and 2004. Under Prime Ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin she would be appointed to the Cabinet as Secretary of State, then Minister of State for Children and Youth. She returned to the North to work as Chairperson for Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated the organization created by the Sahtu region’s seven land corporations to ensure the Sahtu land claim (signed in 1994) is properly implemented. Sources: Ethel Blondwin-Andrews. Canadian House of Commons. Online (Accessed 2004) ; Ethel Blondwin-Andrews, Biography. Sahtu Secretariat INC. Online (Accessed July 2015)
 
Grace Jean Sutherland Boggs

Born June 11, 1922  Negritos, Peru. Died August 22, 2014, Ottawa, Ontario. Born while he parents lived and worked in Peru she grew up living in Coburg, Ontario. She attended Alma College in St Thomas, Ontario prior to attending the University of Toronto for her BA. By 1953 she had earned her MA and PhD from Radcliff College (sometimes reported as having a PhD from Harvard). She was one of the early women professors in fine art. She taught at Mount Holyoke from 1948-1952 and the University of California at Riverside from 1954 through 1962. In 1962 she worked a curator at the Art Gallery of Toronto. She became the 1st woman appointed to full professorship at George Washington University in St Louis in 1964. From 1976 through 1976 she served as the 1st woman and 5th directory of the National Gallery of Canada.  It was in the 1960’s that she brought art to Canadians through informative radio broadcasts. In 1973 she became an officer in the Order of Canada and in 1992 this was updated to the highest honor of Companion in the Order of Canada. From 1982 through 1985 she served as the Cahir and the Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Museums Construction Corporation that choose the sites, the architects and oversaw construction of the National Gallery of Canada and the National Museum of Man (now Canadian Museum of History) During her career she received 14 honorary degrees. From 1991 through 1993 she was senior advisor to the Andrew Mellon Foundation. An artist in her own right she never felt herself worthy as an artist. People who purchased her works promised never to show the works. When she moved into a retirement home she made sure that she had a view of the National Gallery. Sources: Obituary, Toronto Star, September 6, 2014; Diane Peters, ‘Visionary curator Jean Sutherland Boggs formed a legacy’. The Globe and Mail, September 18, 2014.
 

Tove Bording

Born September 28, 1935, Standard, Alberta. Died July 27, 2014, Victoria, British Columbia. Tove had a 30 year career in Canada’s Foreign Services working at embassies, consulates and High Commissions in such places as Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Singapore, Bonne, Seattle and Trinidad. She retired in 1995. She was a tough and determined woman who made an impact on our Canadian perceptions of the Indochinese refugees at a time when Canada was doing very little. It was Tove who first used the term “boat people”, in a report in which she had to distinguish them from the “land people” (mainly refugees from Laos and Cambodia) who came over land and over the Mekong River to Thailand. whenever she went to a refugee camp, she took photographs and attached them to her trip reports. Those photos were the first images we at HQ saw of the camps in Malaysia and Thailand, and they were always rushed up the chain of command to the minister. Her reporting itself was amazingly descriptive. In one case, she reported arriving at a camp that seemed to be close to the mainland but was cut off by a shallow body of water. She described her revulsion at the state of the water but said there was nothing for it but to roll up her pant legs, put her shoes and her briefcase on her head and wade though the muck to the island so that she could get on with her interviews. Sadly a search of the holdings at the National Archives of Canada has not located any copies of her reports. Source: Malloy, Mike “Tove Bording” in  CIHS (Canadian Immigration Historical Society) Bulletin Issue #71 October 2014. ; Obituary. Calgary Herald, August 14, 2014.
 

Marianne Bossen Born October 16, 1918, Willemstad, Curacao, Dutch Antilles.  Died  March 1, 2008, Winnipeg, Manitoba. After  high school in the Netherlands in 1937, she earned  a nursing diploma in nursing World War ll. In the 1940s she worked as a social worker at Unilever. She immigrated to Canada in 1951 and worked in Toronto and northern Ontario with the Canadian Red Cross. In 1957 she earned a BA from the University of Montreal and a MA degree in Economics, University of Toronto, 1964. She served as assistant professor of economics at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario and at the University of Winnipeg, 1966 to 1968. In 1962, she began working for the Government of Canada in various capacities with the Civil Service Commission, the Department of Industry, and with the Department of Manpower and Immigration as a research economist. She was a consultant for the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, 1967 to 1969. In 1972 she established a private practice as a consulting economist on manpower and social policy. In 1977, she was a recipient of the YWCA Woman of the Year Awards in the Business Category. In 1982 she began years of advisory service with the city and the province to develop transportation services for those with physical disabilities. In 1994 she was recognized by Winnipeg Transit for her contribution to the Task Force to Review Handi-Transit Issues. She served on the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, the YWCA and YWCA Boards, the Manitoba Board of the Canadian Paraplegic Association, and the Provincial Council of the Manitoba League of the Physically Handicapped. During her retirement, she lived in White Rock, BC for three years before returning to Winnipeg. Sources: Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 8 March 2008; Memorable Manitobans. Online (Accessed December 2011)
 
Phyllis Marion Boyd. Born March 26, 1946. She was elected to the Ontario Legislative Assembly in 1990. She has held several cabinet posts including Minister responsible for Women's Issues and Attorney-General for the Province of Ontario.  She is the first woman and the first non lawyer to have been Ontario's Attorney General.  She has been honoured many times for her work on behalf of battered women, an area in which  she still serves with great zeal. 
 
Claudette Boyer Born January 9, 1938, Ottawa, Ontario. Died February 16, 2013. She attended the University of Ottawa earning her BA and then her teacher’s Certificate. She would teach in area schools for 30 years. She married Jean-Robert Boyer and the couple raised three children. She was an active member of the Association des enseignants et des enseignants franco-Ontariens, the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and the Canadian Teacher’s Federation. In 1982 she was elected as trustee to the Ottawa Board of Education where she served until 1986. With the establishment of a French Language School Board she joined the L ‘Association Canadienne-Francaise de l ‘Ontario. In 1990 through 1994 she served as President of the Ottawa –Vanier riding Association for the Liberal Party of Ontario. She ran unsuccessfully for provincial legislature in 1994. In 1999 she was successful and became Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa Vanier. She was the 1st woman francophone MPP in the Ontario Legislature. She was appointed by the Premier as Liberal Critic for Francophone Affairs. In 2001 she was removed from the Liberal Party and was forced to sit in the legislature as an independent after she became convicted of meddling in an accident case involving her husband. She retired from Politics in 2003.
 
Lois Boyle Born June 8, 1932 Sherlock, Saskatchewan. Died January 5, 2012. As a ten year old with a sick father she took care of the house and her younger brother while her mother and older brother worked. After Business College she married and settled out of the province but returned with two daughters  when the marriage broke down. She began to work a Canadian Forces Base in Moose Jaw advancing to the base commander’s secretary. In 1967 she received the Centennial Medal for recognition of her work. She is credited with naming the newer flying group in 1971, the Snowbirds, and became the keeper of the Snowbirds culture and traditions. She had even accompanied her boss, to Ottawa to help fight to maintain this rather expensive “frill” of the forces. She was there when the Snowbirds became a squadron. She moved to private industry then the Saskatchewan Water Corporation as executive assistant but she still remained loyal to her Snowbirds.  She was among the first “Honourary Snowbird” when the group was formed at the 25th anniversary of the flying group. Uniformed and Honorary Snowbirds formed an honour guard at her funeral and a line of sever Snowbird Jets, smoke on, performed a flyby. Source: Mother of the Snowbirds helped team take flight by Chris Ewing Weisz Globe and Mail January 17, 2010. Suggested by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
 
Charlotte Boyer

Born January 9, 1938. After her studies at the University of Ottawa she earned her teaching certificate and taught for many years. She was actively involved in the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-Ontariens, as well as both the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and the Canadian Teacher’s Federation. She has served as president of the Liberal Party of Canada and the Ontario Liberal party. On June 3, 1999 she was the first Franco-Ontarian woman to be elected to Queen’s Park (riding of Ottawa-Vanier). She served from June to September as a Liberal and from 2001-2003 as an Independent. In 2004 she was awarded the Prix anniversaire by the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-Ontariens for her service to the community. In 2006 she was included as one of the 100 personnalites franco-Ontariennes Sources: Women in Ottawa; Mentors and Milestones http://womeninottawa.blogspot.com accessed June 2011.
 

Joyce Marguerite Brennan

née Parsons. Born September 4, 1929. Died Smith Falls, Ontario August 30, 2011.Joyce Married Lou Brennan and the couple had one son. In 1977 she was the first woman elected to the Smith Falls, Ontario Town Council. She continued to be elected and served on council for 17 years. She was also a founding member of the Smith Falls Heritage House Museum and the Rideau Canal Museum. Sources: Obituaries, The Ottawa Citizen September 2011. ; Blair and Son Funeral Home, Smith Falls Ontario. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa.
 

Edythe M. Brown In 1936 she earned her B. Sc. degree in Home Economics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. She then worked for the Extension Service of the Manitoba Department of Agriculture and was active working with community youth in local 4H groups. She also taught school on permit at Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba and Kenora, Northern  Ontario. She served as Mayor of Lac du Bonnet from 1953 to 1957 and was said to be Manitoba’s first female Mayor. After the completion of her term, and the death of her husband Frank in 1959, she attended the University of Manitoba, served as Don of the Women’s Residence, and received a teaching certificate. She then returned to Lac du Bonnet as a High school teacher. Sources: Memorable Manitobans. Profile by Gordon Goldsborough. Online (Accessed December 2011)
 
Rosemary Brown Born 1930, Kingston, Jamaica. Died April 26, 2003. She believed in justice for all and worked tirelessly to ease violence and poverty in Canada and internationally. In 1972 she became the first Canadian Black women to be elected to public office when she was elected to the British Columbia Legislature. In 1975 she was the first woman to run for the head of a Canadian political party. On the last ballot she was second to Ed Broadbent of the New Democratic Party. She served as President of MATCH International, an international organization that supports women in the third world. She was a founding mother of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Among her many awards are 15 honorary degrees from universities! Dr Brown was an officer in the Order of Canada. In 1989 she wrote her autobiography. There is a biography for youth to read by Lynette Roy, Brown girl in the ring: Rosemary Brown [Toronto: Sister Vision, 1992]
 
Helen Lawrence Buckley Born February 3, 1923 Winnipeg, Manitoba. She earned her B.A. from the University of Manitoba. She began working for the federal government as an economist in the 1940's and worked with various departments including, statistics Canada, Manpower and Immigration and Finance. She had a profound interest in aboriginal culture and economics and was author of: From wooden ploughs to welfare: why Indian policy failed the Prairie provinces.
Alexandra Bugailiskis Born January 9, 1956 Hamilton, Ontario. After earning her BA at Carleton University, Ottawa Alexandra earned her master’s degree at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Ottawa. She became a Foreign Service Officer and in 1990 she was the 1st person to receive the Canadian Foreign Service Officer of the Year Award. In 2001 she organized the summit of the Americas for which in 2002 she received the Minister of Foreign Affairs Merit Award. That same year she became Executive Director of the International Policy Framework Task Force at the Privy Council Office. From 2003-07 she served as Ambassador to Cuba followed by working with the  Executive Co-ordinator of the Americas Strategy  as Deputy Minister for Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2010 she served as Clerk of the Privy Council and in 2011 she was chief negotiator for the Canadian-European Union strategic Partnership Agreement. In September 2014 Alexandra concluded negotiations and signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement with the European Union.
 
Evelyn Jane Tanner Burns

Born May 1890 County Donegal, Ireland in May 1890. Died February 15, 1961 Rosser, Manitoba.   She emigrated to Canada in 1906 with her husband James Burns, and took up farming south of Carberry, Manitoba. The couple had one daughter in 1907. In  1911, she divorced her husband and moved to Rosser, where she became employed as Assistant Secretary-Treasurer in the office of the Rural Municipality of Rosser. In 1926, when Secretary-Treasurer Walter Beachell passed away, she took his job, becoming one of the first female municipal officers in the province. She died at her desk, having worked for the municipality for a total of 48 years. A member of the Rosser Anglican Church, she was known to be always ready to give a helping hand when needed. Sources: Memorable Manitobans. Profile by Gordon Goldsborough. Online (Accessed December 2011)

Pearl Calhasen . Born December 5, 1952. After studies for her Masters in Education she worked to develop Cree language for elementary and adult education. She was the first woman to teach at a minimum security prison in Alberta. Her desire to improve education and social policy have led her to political positions such as Alberta Human Rights Commissioner, Member of the World Congress on Education , the Métis Nation of Alberta and Alberta Minister Without Portfolio, Responsible for Children's Services. Her political achievements have earned her the privilege of being addressed as the Honourable Pearl Calhasen.
 
Catherine Callbeck. Born July 26, 1939 Central Bedeque, Prince Edward Island.  A politician and businesswoman, she succeeded Joe Ghz as Premier of her home province in 1993.  She was defeated in the election of 1997. She was appointed to the Senate of Canada in September 1997. 
 
Iona Campagnolo. Born October 18, 1932 Galiano Island, British Columbia. She began her working career as a broadcaster in her native British Columbia in 1965. She became very involved in her community, being head of the local school board, and alderman and finally elected as a Member of Parliament for Skeena from 1974 to 1979. In 1976 she came to the national spotlight when she became Minister of Fitness and Amateur Sport. She returned to politics as the first woman President of the Liberal Party of Canada from 1982 to 1986. Now a private citizen she retains her interest in politics and can be seen and heard making political comment on major current topics.
 
Avril  'Kim' Phaedra Campbell. Born March 10, 1947 Port Alberni, British Columbia. Known as “Kim” since a teen, she attended the University of British Columbia and went on to earn a PhD at the London School of Economics, London England. Entering politics as a member of the Vancouver School Board from 1980-4. She moved to the British Columbia Provincial Legislature, 1986-88 and was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 1988. In 1989 she was appointed Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.  The 1st woman to serve as Minister of Justice, February 1990, by January 1993, she also became the 1st woman Minister of Defense of a NATO country.   In June 1993 she became the 1st woman elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and the 1st woman Prime Minister of Canada. She resigned after election defeat in, November 1993. Appointed Consul General to Los Angeles, California from 1996-2000, she was also chair, 1999 – 2003, for the Council of Women World Leaders. Working with a group of national leaders to strengthen democracy in the world, she was founder and acting President of the Club de Madrid, and was appointed Secretary General in 2004.  A lecturer of public policy at Harvard, she currently describes herself as a teacher and recovering politician. Sources: Canadian Encyclopedia Online (accessed 2004); Canadian Who's Who.
 
Ella Jean Canfield née Garnet. Born October 4, 1918 Westmorland, Prince Edward Island. Died December 31, 2000, Prince Edward Island. She attended school High School in in Cambridge, Massacheutts while her family lived there. She later attended Union Commercial College in Charlottetown, P.E.I. and the Lincoln School of Nursing in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. On June 30 1939 she married Parker Ellsworth Canfield. The couple had one daughter. She was chair of the management committee of the Crapaud Exhibition, a member of the Home and School Association, and secretary-treasurer of the Englewood School Board. Canfield was an organizer of the Community Schools, served as president and treasurer of the Crapaud Women's Institute, and was a secretary of the St. John's Anglican Church Women's Organization. Jean was an active member of the PEI Zonta Club, The Canadian Club, and the Chamber of Commerce of Crapaud and Victoria.  She ran in 1966 for provincial election but was not successful. She was first elected to the Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly in the May 11, 1970 provincial election as Assemblyman for First Queens becoming the 1st female member of the PEI Legislative Assembly and the 1st woman to serve on Executive Council.  In 1972 she served as Chairwoman of the Provincial Advisory Committee on the Status of Women in the Province of Prince Edward Island, 1972 to 1973. She was appointed as Minister without Portfolio and Minister Responsible for P.E.I. Housing Authority from October 10, 1972 to May 2, 1974. In 1977 she was a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. She served in the legislature until 1979. Source: Ella Jean Canfield, Prince Edward Island Legislative Documents Online. Accessed March 2016.
 
Eleanor Caplan

Born May 20, 1944. In 1963 she married Mayer Wilfred Caplan and the couple have four children. After her studies a Centennial Community College, Toronto, Eleanor worked in real estate heading Eleanor Caplan and Associate from 1973-78. In 1978 she began a professional career in Politics becoming an alderman in the City of North York (now part of Toronto). In 1985 she left municipal politics to enter the provincial legislature as a Member representing a Toronto riding. While serving at the provincial level she held several cabinet appointments. From 1997 through 2003 she was elected to the federal parliament becoming parliamentary secretary to the minister of Health then being appointed Minister of Citizenship and Immigration from 199 through 2002 and then Minister of National Revenue. She is the first Jewish woman to have served  as a member in cabinets at a provincial and federal level. In 2005 she completed a review of Ontario Home Care Procurement Policy known as the Caplan Report. Since 2007 she has taught at the Canada School of Public Service and is strategy coach for Leonard Domino & Associates. She has also served on numerous boards of directors and completed a project fo the World Health Organization (WHO) She is Chief Executive Officer of Canada Strategies Inc.  Source: Brown, Michael, Eleanor Caplan” Jewish women: a Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. March 1, 2009 Jewish Women’s Archive Accessed August 2011.
 

Sharon Carstairs Born April 26, 1942,  Halifa, Nova Scotia. She holds a B.A. in political science and History from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and a M.A. in teaching from Smith College, Massachusetts. She was firs elected to the Manitoba Provincial Legislature in 1986 and was re-elected in 1988 and 1990. She was elected leader of Official Opposition in Manitoba from 1988 to 1990 and was appointed  the Senate September 15, 1994. In 1997 she was appointed Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate in 1997. She has accomplished her successful career with the support of her husband and two children.
 
Thésèse Casgrain. née Forget. Born July 10, 1896  Montreal, Quebec. Died November 2, 1981. She is remembered for her campaign for women’s right to vote (suffrage) in the province of Québec before WW II. (Quebec, the last province to grant women the vote, passing legislation only in 1940.) She continued a career in politics becoming the first Canadian woman to lead a provincial political party. She was the leader of the Quebec C.C.F Party from 1951-1957. In 1970 she was appointed to the Senate of Canada. She is considered a leading woman of 20th century Canada.
 
Jean Casselman-Wadds Born September 16, 1920 Newton Robinson, Ontario. Died November 25, 2011 Prescott, Ontario. She Married Azra Casselman who represented the electoral district of Grenville-Dundas, Ontario from 1925-1958. Jean was elected in 1958 and served in her husband’s riding in the House of Commons for ten years. She was the third woman to be elected to the Canadian Parliament. Her father was also a Member of Parliament, Earle Rowe and the became the only father daughter ever to sit in the same session of the Canadian Parliament. She was the first woman appointed to serve as Parliamentary Secretary. In 1961 she was the first woman appointed by the Canadian Government as a delegate to the United Nations. In 1979 she was the first woman to be appointed as Canadian High Commissioner to Great Britain. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau would credit her as one of the three key women along with Queen Elizabeth and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, responsible for the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution. In 1982 she received the Order of Canada. She was a strong supported of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the St Lawrence Shakespearian Festival. Suggested Reading: Prescott 1810-2010. Sources: Obituary. Ottawa Citizen December 3, 2011. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa.
 
Thelma Chalifoux Born February 8, 1929. She did her post graduate studies at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and the Chicago School of Interior Design. She was the winner of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1995.. She is the mother of seven children and Grandmother to 30 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren! She was appointed to the Senate of Canada in November 1997. Her special interests are Aboriginal, environmental, women, Human Rights and seniors issues. 
 
Andrée Champagne. Born July 17, 1939 Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. An accomplished pianist and actor on radio and television she also worked hard for her profession and established the first Canadian retirement home for artists, Le Chez Nous des Artistes. She began a career in politics in 1984. Elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa, she was immediately appointed to Cabinet in the position of Minister of State for Youth. In 1990 she became the first woman to be appointed as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. She has now retired from active politics and returned to private life.
 
Solange Chaput-Rolland. Born Montreal, Quebec May 14,1919. A writer, editor broadcaster, and politician she served on the Federal Task Force on Canadian unity and as a member of the legislative Assembly in the province of Quebec. Her books have been written in either English or French. Don't you wish you could write books in both of our Official Languages?
 
Ione Christensen Born October 10, 1933. After graduating from High School in the Yukon she earned a business administration degree from the college of San Mateo in California. She returned home and worked for the government of the Yukon Territories. After taking a short time to care for her pre-school children she returned to serve as Justice of the Peace, a Juvenile Court Judge and chair for the City of Whitehorse Planning Board as well as two terms as Mayor of Whitehorse and was director with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities before becoming Commissioner of the Yukon in 1979. After her term as Commissioner she continued to work for her beloved Yukon and what was best for its economy. She received the Order of Canada in 1994 and was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1999.
 
Olivia Chow

née Sze. Born Hong Kong March 24, 1957. The family immigrated to Canada in the 1970’s. After learning English as a teen she attended the Ontario College of Art and earned a B.A. at the University of Guelph in 1979. In the 1980’s while working at grass roots level for the New Democratic Party she was smitten with politics. She persuaded relentlessly the need for adequate and reliable child care for families where both parents worked. In 1985 she was elected as a school trustee. She worked with the Canadian Auto workers’ Union to develop a national Children’s Agenda to promote early childhood development and care services. In 1991 she became an elected Toronto City Councilor. In 1998 she was Toronto’s firs children and Youth Advocate which created a Toronto Youth Cabinet to give young people a voice. In 1999 she was City Police Commissioner. She also supported the Toronto Cycling Committee, the Toronto Public Library Board, the Woman’s Abuse Council ,  the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Toronto Transit Commission by being a member of committees and boards. . In 2006 she was elected as Member of Parliament to Ottawa from Toronto’s Trinity Spedina Ward. She was re-elected in 2008 and in 2011. In 2010 she was voted the best MP by Now Magazine and voted seven times best Toronto councilor. She has received the Consumer Choice Award as Woman of the Year . in 1988 she married  Jack Layton, Leader of the Canadian New Democratic Party. The couple have two children.
 

Anne Cools Born August 12, 1943, Barbados. In 1957 she immigrated to Canada and settled with her family in Montreal. In the 1960’s she attended McGill University to earn her BA. In 1969 she was involved in a 10 day sit in at George Williams University (Now Concordia University) and served a 4 month imprisonment as a result. In 1974 she relocated to Toronto where she founded the 1st shelter for abused women. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s she ran unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate for a seat in the House of Commons. January 13, 1984 she was appointed by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to the senate of Canada. She was the 1st Black woman in North America to hold a Senate seat. She was always strong minded and did not always agree on party lines and was not afraid to speak her mind. In 2004 she “crossed the floor’ and joined the Progressive Conservative party. ON June 25, 2007 she was removed from the Progressive Conservative Caucus for speaking out against Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the PC budget proposal. She became an independent in the senate. 
 
Joan Cook Born October 6,1934. A business woman who served as Vice President of a family-owned automobile dealership and a member of the management team with C J O N Radio and TV, and with Robert Simpson Eastern Ltd. of Halifax, she was appointed to the Senate of Canada March 6, 1998. 
 
Sheila Maureen Copps.
Born November 27, 1952 Hamilton, Ontario. Sheila followed her father Victor Copps, a longtime Mayor of Hamilton, by choosing the profession of politics. Graduating from the University of Western Ontario in London with a degree in French and English she has been a consistent supporter of bilingualism in Canada. She studied for advanced degrees at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and the University of Rouen in France. Her 1st jobs were as a newspaper journalist in Hamilton and Ottawa. In 1981 she was elected to the Ontario Provincial legislature and in 1984 she successfully ran as a member of Parliament (Liberal) for the federal Government. She penned her autobiography entitled Nobody’s Baby in 1986. She was the 1st sitting member of Canadian Parliament to give birth in 1987 and made headlines by bringing her baby to work with her.  On November 4, 1993 she became the  1st woman Deputy Prime Minister. In 1996 she changed cabinet positions to Canadian Heritage. She had promised during the election to resign if the Liberals failed to eliminate the controversial Goods and Service Tax (GST) and kept her word resigning in May 1996 when Prime Minister Paul Martin said the tax would remain. She was re-elected on June 17, 1997 and was once again Minister of Canadian Heritage and Deputy Prime Minister. She was defeated in the March 6, 2004 election and on May14, 2004 she retired from elected politics in conflict with leader Paul Martin. After leaving politics her public appearances were on stage in Kingston Ontario in a dinner theatre production of the play, Steel Magnolias. In October 2004 she published her second autobiography Worth Fighting For which caused more controversy with Liberal Leader Paul Martin. She returned to her 1st career writing columns for the National Post and the Toronto Sun which she ceased in December 2007. Sheila also became a broadcaster with a radio talk show and later on a series for History Television. On March 23 2006 a gala tribute to her was held by the Liberals to help heal the controversial wounds. After losing her run for the president of the Liberal Party of Canada in 2012 Sheila announced her full retirement from politics. She was appointed to the Order of Canada on December 30, 2012. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (accessed 2005); Order of Canada. (Accessed 2013)
 
Dorothy Corrigan née Hennessey. Born Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island July 26, 1913. She attended the Prince of Wales College and then earned her Register Nurse from the School of Nursing at the Charlottetown School of Nursing in 1937. She married dentist, Dr. Ernest Corrigan and the couple had a son and daughter. She first ran for civic election in 1958 and ran a second time to be successful. She served as councilor and then as the first woman Mayor of Charlottetown from 1968 through 1971. During her tenure the City Hall became more open to its citizens. After 11 years in elected office she took a position in Public Relations. She continued her public duty through serving on numerous and various committees as well as three years on the Canada Council and president of the Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce. She became a member of the Order of Canada in 1978. Source: Outstanding women of Prince Edward Island Compiled by the Zonta Club of Charlottetown, 1981.
 
Coleen Leora Coupples Born Port Arthur (Thunder Bay) Ontario. Coleen attended Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. In 1971 she worked as the Manpower Student Placement Director at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (Ryerson University). She was successful in writing the Foreign Service Officer exam with the Canadian government in June 1972 she was posted to Paris, France and the following year she was in London, England. Prior to being post as Consul to Los Angeles she married an American businessman. From 1081 through 1984 her ability in Spanish served her well as she was posted to Buenos Aires, Argentina. 1985-1987 she served in Sri Lanka and 1987 she was serving as Ambassador to Burundi, Rwanda and Zaire. Source: Margaret K. Weirs, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service (Dundurn Press, 1995)
 
Nellie J. Cournoyea.
Born March 4, 1940 Aklavik, Northwest Territories.  Nellie grew up traveling and hunting in the traditional manner of her people. She married a Canadian Forces officer and the couple were posted in Halifax and Ottawa prior to heading back to the Northwest Territories with their 2 children. Shortly after the couple divorced.  In the 1960’s she worked as an announcer for the CBC radio. In 1969 she co-founded with Agnes Semmler a political association to help the people of Inuvialuit which gave her an active role in the 1984 land claim. In 1979 she was elected to the Legislature of the Northwest Territories and served on various cabinet positions prior to becoming the 1st native woman to lead a provincial territorial government in Canada. She served as Premier of the Northwest Territories from November 14, 1991 to November 2, 1995. Nellie was awarded the Woman of the Year for NWT in 1982 and in 1986 she received the Wallace Goose Award. She was recognized with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1994. In 2004 she received the Energy Person of the Year from the Energy Council of Canada. In 2008 the Governor General of Canada awarded Nellie Cournoyea the Northern Medal in recognition for her significant contributions to the evolution and reaffirmation of the Canadian North as part of our national identity. She volunteers as Director of the Ingamo Hall Friendship Center in Inuvik and is a founding member of the Northern Games Society. She is also a volunteer in Inuvialuit historical and cultural activities. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online Accessed 2006); Nellie J. Cournoyea, Collections Canada. National Library of Canada, (Accessed 2006
 
Dorothea Crittenden Born Blythe, Ontario April 30, 1915. When her father lost  his job in the Great Depression this strong young woman baby sat for 25 cents an hour to help out with family finances. As a first profession she was a teacher in Northern Ontario. She continued to support her parents and safe enough money from her teaching salary to attend the University of Toronto. In 1937 she entered the provincial public service. During World War ll, like other women of her generation, she found opportunity for advancement. She was Ontario's chief negotiator in the deliberations to create the Canadian Assistance Plan , a federal provincial shared cost program guaranteeing all Canadians equal access to social assistance. She would become the first woman appointed Deputy Minister in Ontario. In 1978 she headed Ontario's Human Rights Commission.  Carol Goar,  writing for the Toronto STAR says she is a leader who is largely forgotten because she was "too early to be a feminist and too crusty to be a beloved icon."
 
Eileen Elizabeth Dailly née Gilmore. Born February 15, 1926, Vancouver, British Columbia. At the age of 18 her political choices became evident when she joined the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) association. After high school she attended Normal School (Teacher’s college) in Vancouver and taught at elementary school. In 1951 she married James Dailly. In 1955 she gave up her classroom to stay at home with her son. The following year she was elected as a trustee of the Burnaby School Board. In 1969 she was elected to the Provincial Parliament as a C.C.F. Member from Burnaby North. Re-elected again in 1972 she found herself appointed as minister of Education and she also became the 1st woman to be named as British Columbia’s Deputy Premier.  As Minister of Education she is perhaps best remembered for her February 14, 1973 amendment to the School Act which abolished corporal punishment in BC public Schools. It was an event unprecedented in Canada and very controversial. However it has never been re-instated. She also introduced improved access to education for aboriginal children, introduced mandatory kindergarten across the province and eliminated grade twelve graduation examinations. The end of high school exams would be reinstated ten years later by the in power Social Credit government. She continued to represent North Burnaby after the C.C.F. party was no longer in power retiring in 1986. From 1988-1991 she provided a seniors program on Cable TV. Source: Yvette Drews, Eileen Dailly https://www2.vlu.ca/homeroom/content/topics/people/dailly (Accessed July 2015)
 
Marion Dewar. née Bell.  Born February 12, 1928, Montreal,, Quebec. .Died September 15, 2008. Educated as a nurse at the University of Ottawa,  she began her working career as a public health nurse. In the 1970's she turned to municipal politics in Ottawa. She was elected Mayor of Ottawa for three terms from 1978 through1985. She believed that local action could serve the global cause and she spearheaded Operation 4000 that welcomed Vietnamese boat people to settle in Ottawa. She successfully promoted increases accessibility to child care, services to the elderly and disabled. rights of minorities and equal opportunities for women. She was co-host for the Women's Constitutional Conference calling for gender equality provisions in the Canadian Charter of Rights. In 1985 she was elected president of the federal New Democratic Party and in 1997 was elected in a federal by-election  to the House of Commons.  In 1989 she was executive director of the Canadian Council on Children and Youth and in 1995 continued serving social causes when she headed up Oxfam Canada. In May 2002, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.
 
Mabel M. DeWare  Born  August 9, 1926. A politician who served as a Member of the New Brunswick Legislature, where she held several cabinet positions.  She was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 1990. Several members of her family are active in the Girl Guide movement. She attended the dedication of the new Canadian Girl Guide Flag in the halls of Parliament Hill on February 22, 2000. 
 
Mary Elizabeth "Mary Beth" Brugger Dolin Born January 25,1936,  Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, U.S.A. She attended  Webster College, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. She was married from 1957- 1966, and remarried 1966 and immigrated to Canada with her husband and family in 1968. She taught at Island Lake and Hodgson before moving to the Seven Oaks School Division in 1974 as a junior-high teacher of music and drama. Interested in what she could accomplish in politics she became involved with the New Democratic Party and ran successfully for Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba in 1981. She served as Manitoba Minister of Labour and Manpower 1982-1985, Manitoba Minister of Urban Affairs 1983-1985, and Manitoba Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, 1982-1985. She was responsible for initiated pioneering reforms to pension legislation for women and reforms to labour legislation. After her death from breast cancer her husband, Marty Dolin, was elected to sit in her former seat in the Manitoba Legislature where he served to 1988. The Mary Beth Dolin Meritorious Fire Service Medal was established in her honour in 1988. Source: Memorable Manitobans Online (Accessed February 2014)
 
Laverna Katie Dollimore

Born January 22, 1922 Toronto, Ontario. Died October 24 2011, Brighton, Ontario. . After High school she attended Western Technical Commercial School for business studies, graduating in 1938. During World War ll she enlisted in the Women’s Royal Naval Service (the Wrens) and in 1943 was posted in Halifax. She returned to Toronto at the end of the war, working clerical jobs. In 1956 after taking the Public Service exam she joined External Affairs of Canada and was headed for Cairo, and in two year stints she moved on to Poland, and a year in Kuala Lampur before returning to Ottawa. In 1965 she found herself serving in the Belgian Congo, and then Moscow , just at the height of the Cold War. She was certain that her apartment was bugged and that her housekeeper was likely KGB! In 1969 she was off to Laos as part of the Canadian delegation for the International Commission for supervision and Control to implement the terms of the Geneva Convention at the end of the Vietnam War.  She had an easier posting in London England before she found herself in Ottawa accepting a posting in Tehran. On Nov. 4, 1979, Iranian students loyal to the Ayatollah Khomeini occupied the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 54 American diplomats hostage and setting in motion the 444-day Iran hostage crisis. Six Americans evaded capture and went into hiding in the residences of Ambassador Ken Taylor and John Sheardown, the head of the embassy’s immigration section. On Jan. 28, 1980, with the help of the CIA, the Canadians abetted the escape of the six U.S. diplomats. The convert Canadian Operation known as the “Canadian Caper”. The unflappable Laverna remained in Iran as an integral part of the embassy until the Americans were safely out of the country and the embassy was closed. The staff, including Laverna received the Order of Canada in recognition of the “Canadian Caper”. She retired in 1983, settling in Brighton, Ontario near family. Source: Remembering Laverna Dollimore a woman ahead of her time by Robert Wright. Ottawa Citizen November 4, 2011; She got more adventure than she bargained for in Tehran by Nora Ryell The Globe and Mail, December 13, 2011. Page R5.  Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa.
 

Pat Duncan Born April 18, 1960, Edmonton, Alberta. She studied Political Science at Carleton University in Ottawa. She served as a special assistant to then Member of Parliament, Erik Nielsen in his home constituency and she fell in love with the Canadian Northland. She moved to be Manager of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce and also owned a small business of her own. Married with two children, she was first elected to the Yukon Legislative Assembly in 1996 and in 1998 she became Yukon Liberal Party Leader. She was Sworn in as Premier of the Yukon in 2000. She won her personal riding of Porter Creek South in the 2002 election but the Liberal Party itself was defeated.
 
Jean Edmonds Born 1921. After her studies at the University of Manitoba , Jean would spend the first twenty years of her career as a journalist for the Financial Post newspaper. In 1964 she joined the federal government public service. In 1966 she became the first woman executive in the federal government as an executive director with the Department of Manpower and Immigration. She would go on to the level of assistant Deputy Minister with the Department of Regional Economic Development. In 1988 she became chairperson of the Task Force on Barriers to Women in the Public Service and would publish the ground breaking report called Beneath the Veneer. The current Citizenship and Immigration Canada is headquartered in the Jean Edmonds Towers.
 
Joyce Fairbairn. Born Lethbridge, Alberta November 6, 1939. She studied for a B.A. in Alberta and took her degree in journalism from Carleton University in 1961. After working as a journalist in the Parliamentary Press Gallery she became Legislative Assistant to Prime Minister Trudeau for 14 years. She was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1984. She is very proud to have been inducted into the Kainai Chieftainship of the Blood Nation and given the name of Morning Bird Woman. In 1993 she was appointed to the Privy Council of Canada and was the first woman to be named Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister with Special Responsibility for Literacy.
 
Ellen Louks Fairclough Born Hamilton, Ontario January 28, 1905. Died November 13, 2004.  Her first career was as an accountant. She owned her own firm when she was elected to Hamilton City council in 1946. In 1950 she was elected as a Member of Parliament to the House of Commons in Ottawa. She was the first woman to be appointed to the post of a Cabinet Minister in the Canadian Parliament in 1957. In 1957 she became the first woman to be appointed to the federal cabinet. She was also the first woman to be acting Prime Minister and the only woman to have held the position of Postmaster General of Canada. In 1989 she was presented with the Persons Award. In 1992 the Queen invested her with the title "Right Honourable". She was made a Companion in the Order of Canada in 1995. You can read about her remarkable life in her memoirs which were published in 1995 under the title Saturday's Child.
 
Sylvia Olga Fedoruk Born May 5, 1927, Canora, Saskatchewan. Died September 26, 2012  Saskatchewan. An excellent academic achiever she established her reputation for achievement in nuclear medical research early in her career. She was instrumental in the development of the first cobalt radiation unit which is now in side use as a chemotherapy treatment for cancer. She was the 1st woman named to the position of Chancellor at the University of Saskatchewan. and 1st woman Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan  She was also the 1st  woman trustee of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and in 1973 she was the 1st  woman appointed to the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada. She was Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan from 1988 to 1994. A balanced achiever she enjoys sports and is a member of Canada’s Curling Hall of fame. She was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1986. Sources: “Ex-lieutenant-governor a cancer-care pioneer” by Jennifer Graham The Globe and Mail September 28, 2012
 
Muriel McQueen Fergusson. Born May 26, 1899, Shediac, New Brunswick. Died April 11, 1997. After her Husbands death she took over his law practice. She worked to have women recognized as possible appointees to government positions. She was one of the early women senators and is credited with pushing the government o revise the Criminal Code so women could sit on juries in criminal cases. Women could now plead rape charges with women on the jury! She was the first woman to be appointed as Speaker in the Senate. Her home province is home to a Family Violence Research Centre named in her honour
Isobel Finnerty. Born July 15, 1930. She has blazed a trail for women in the field of political activism, earning a national and international recognition and respect for her skills. She made an indelible mark in the field of political organization at the federal and provincial levels. Her talent and her reputation have seen her invited to work or train others in every province in Canada. In 1994 she was invited to Benin, Africa, as an International Trainer of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. She is a member of the Senate of Canada. 
 
Joan Fraser. Born October 12, 1944. She earned a B.A. in Modern Languages from McGill University in 1965. She began her career as a cub reporter with the Gazette in Montreal and joined the Financial Times of Canada in 1967. In 1978 she returned to The Gazette as editorial page editor and in 1993 became Editor-in-Chief. She joined the Council of Canadian Unity in 1997/98. She has won several national newspaper awards for her editorial writing and four National Newspaper Award Citations of Merit. She is a member of the Senate of Canada. 
 
Sheila Fraser Born Dundee, Quebec September 16, 1950. She studied for her Bachelor of Commerce at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. She worked as a Chartered Accountant with the company of Ernst& Young and worked her way to the level of partner in 1981. She joined the Office of the Auditor General of Canada as Deputy General, Audit Operations in 1999. She was appointed Auditor General of Canada for a ten year term beginning in 2001.
 
Myra Ava Freeman née Holtzman Born May 17, 1949. St. John New Brunswick.  As a youth she showed her potential leadership skills at school, synagogue, Y.W.C.A and in Girl Guides. She studied for her BA (1970) and her Bachelor of Education (1971) at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She began her career as a teacher with the Halifax District School System. Married to Lawrence , the couple have  three children,  She still found time to continue as an adult the commitment to community service she had learned in her youth. The List of boards and foundations she served with includes the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, the Atlantic Theatre Foundation, the Kidney Foundation, the Canadian Jewish Congress and CRB Foundation Gift of Israel Program. Her energies for serving did not stop there. In 1990 she was Festival Chair for the World Figure Skating Championships in Halifax and in 1995 she served as Manager of the Spousal Program for the Halifax G-7 Summit. She was the first woman to be appointed as Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Nova Scotia. In 2002 she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal.  In 2003 she became an Honourary Captain in the Maritime Forces and was considered on of Canada’s most powerful top 100 women by the Women’s Executive Network. In 2008 she was inducted as a member of the Order of Canada. Source: Canadian Who’s Who (University of Toronto Press) 2006 : Past Lieutenant Governors of Nova Scotia Online accessed June 2011.
 
Doris Elsie Guyatt née Woolcott. Born April 29, 1929, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Died March 14, 2012, Toronto, Ontario. She attended the University of Western Ontario, London, and the University of Toronto earning a B.A., Master of Social Work and her PhD. She married Glenn Guyatt and the couple raised 4 children. She worked for various ministries in the government of Ontario, in research and policy planning positions. She served in voluntary positions on the boards of many communities. provincial and national organizations including President of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs 1990-1992 and President of the Canadian Intelligence and Security Association and president of the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Association of Social Workers. She was a director of the Atlantic Council of Canada and a member of the Board of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center. She served for 27 years as Military Aide de Camp to 7 Lieutenant Governors of Ontario. She received Canada 125 Commemorative Medal and the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires Long Service Medal. She was awarded the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal,  Honorary Colonel of the 25th Toronto Field Ambulance, the Woman of Distinction Award from the Metro Toronto YWCA and the Arbor Award from the University of Toronto. She also received a Vice-regal Commendation, the Lieutenant Governor’s Volunteer Medal and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. Source: Obituary, Toronto Star March 16, 2012
 
Hannah 'Annie' Elizabeth Gale née Rolinson. Born December 29, 1876 West Midlands, England. Died August 7, 1970, Vancouver, British Columbia. Although she qualified to study at Oxford University she was able to attend and began working in the family business instead of going to university. In 1901 Annie, as she was known, married and engineer, William Gale. In 1912 the young couple along with their two sons immigrated to Calgary Alberta. Annie became involved in community life. She enjoyed sports and was captain of the women’s cricket team. She organized Canada’s 1st Women’s Ratepayers Association and in December 10, 1917 she ran successfully for municipal elections supported by the Women’s Ratepayers. She was the 1st women in the British Empire to become an alderman. In 1918 she was elected by fellow councilors as acting mayor and became the 1st woman mayor in the British Empire. In 1921 she was unsuccessful in her attempt to be elected to the Alberta provincial legislature. Annie retired from council after three successful terms in office in 1923. In 1925 she moved to Vancouver for her husband’s health. In 1983 a new school, the Annie Gale Junior High School was opened in Calgary. Source Merna Forster, Annie Gale (1876-1970) Heroines.ca (Accessed May 2015) ; Annie Gale, Alberta Champions Online (Accessed May 2015) Book: Judith Lishman, Alderman Mrs Annie Gale (Ottawa, 1985) Suggestion submitted by Mrs. Frances J. Welwood, Nelson, British Columbia
 
Ingrid Marianne Hall

Born Montreal  After completing her Master of Art studies at McGill University in Montreal, she wrote the Foreign Service exam and joined the federal Department of External Affairs in 1968. She was posted to New York City and then to the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. U.S.A. In 1976 she was married and unlike many Foreign Service women who married she remained at work. The couple knew that they might find themselves separated with different postings and accepted this fact.  When she became pregnant with her 1st child she also remained working even though this was not the norm. During her maternity leave she made double contributions to her pension fund and paid her own health insurance in order to make sure she would have a job to return to at the end of her leave. Foreign Service women did not return to their jobs after a birth but Ingrid chose to after the birth of both her children. In 1979 she served in the Philippines and then back to Ottawa where she worked towards obtaining her goal to be in charge of a post. She had to convince not only the powers at be in Ottawa but also the government of the place she would be posted. She wanted to serve in Indonesia and she had to convince this  Muslim, military and male dominated country. From 1989 through 1992 she was Ambassador to Indonesia in Jakarta. She was the 1st woman from any country to become ambassador to Indonesia. She set up an informal woman’s network for External Affairs and reveled in the fact that younger woman in the foreign service were having wider career opportunities. She also headed the Canadian Foreign Service Institute and worked on the domestic side of government in the Privy Council Office Machinery of Government. Ingrid  took up her current assignment as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Austria and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations Organizations in Vienna in October 2001. She is the Chair of the Board of Governors  of the International Atomic Energy Agency for 2004-2005 is the Ambassador and Permanent Representative from Canada. Sources: Margaret K. Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service. (Toronto; Dundurn, 1995);
 

Constance Easton Hamilton

Born 1862 Yorkshire, England. Died, Toronto, Ontario 1945.   Constance migrated to Canada in 1888 with her family. The family settled in Vancouver where Constance met and married  A Canadian Pacific Railroad manager, Lauchlan Alexander Hamilton (1852-1941). The couple were transferred first to Winnipeg and then in 1899 to Toronto. She was a staunch supporter of women’s suffrage and was President of the Equal Rights League of Toronto. She frequently represented Canadian Suffragists in other countries. She was an active volunteer with numerous associations including the Big Sisters  and the YWCA. She chaired the Toronto Branch of the National Refugee Committee and worked with the National Council of Women as chair of the Agricultural Committee. Once women had the right to vote and could run for municipal office she became the first woman elected to the Toronto City Council. She was sworn in on January 12, 1920 with no cameras to record the event and no mention in the mayor’s inaugural address. She was re-elected in 1921.  After two years in  public office she retired to continue her campaign work for the rights of women, underprivileged people, including immigrants and refugees to the city.  She also served on the board of Women’s Century Magazine.  In 1979 The Toronto City Council established an award in her name commemorating the Privy Council Decision of 1929 requiring the federal government to recognize women as “persons”. The women members of Toronto City Council select the recipient's) of the Constance E. Hamilton Award.  Source: City of Toronto online http://www.toronto.ca (Accessed 2010) ; “Toronto Pioneer mostly forgotten” by Mark Mahoney, Toronto Star, March 10, 2007.
 

Barbara Hanley. Died January 26, 1959. On January 6, 1936, with a margin of 13 votes, Mrs. Hanley became the first woman to be elected to the position of Mayor of a town in Canada. The town of Webwood, Ontario is located some 50 miles west of Sudbury. Mrs. Hanley would fight to ensure proper homes for the aged. Did she do a good job? She was elected to eight consecutive terms as mayor. The voters must have felt that she was a good mayor
 
Glenna Hansen Born 1956, Aklavik Northwest Territories.  In 1990 she was hired as an executive assistant by David Storr and Sons Contracting Ltd., Inuvik and by 1996 she was general manager of the firm. Glenna feels strongly about being involved in her community and has served as Chairperson of Aklavik Education Advisory Board and the Inuvik Regional Educational Board. In her business community she was a member of the boards of the Inuvik Community Corporation and Wester Artic Business Development Services. She served on the Boards of directors of the Inuvialuit Investment Corporation and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation on behalf of her people. She was unsuccessful in her run for a seat in the Northwest Territories in 1999. In April 1 2000 she was appointed the 14th Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, the 1st person of Inuvialuit descent to hold the position. She held this position until 2005.  The position is largely ceremonial akin to that of the lieutenant-governor of a province. She ran again for the legislature in 2011 but was defeated.
 
Inger Hansen Born May 11, 1929, Denmark. Died September 28, 2013. She grew up in Denmark during the German occupation of her country. After WW ll she travelled about Europe and had her first trip to Canadian 1950. She immigrated to Canada an studied law at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. After her 1960 graduation she remained in British Columbia to practice law. Later she joined the Canadian Civil Service working in the Department of Justice. She became the 1st Ombudsman for penitentiaries. In 1977 she was the 1st Canadian Privacy Commissioner working with the Human Rights Commission. Shortly after she became Canada’s 1st Information Commissioner. She was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in 1991. She was awarded the Order of Commander of Dannebrog, the highest civil honour from Denmark in 2000. She had a life long love of learning and in 1996 she earned her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. Source: Justice Inger Hansen, Obituary in the Globe and Mail, October 2, 2013. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
 
Grace Armstrong Hartman

née Armstrong. Born 1900 Markdale, Ontario. Died May 23, 1998. After graduating university she attended the Ontario College of Education for her B.Ed with the purpose of teaching languages at High School. She married George Hartman in 1938 and the pair settled in Sudbury, Ontario. On top of her teaching she supported community activities. In 1943 she was president of the Sudbury Women’s Canadian Club. In 1945 she became the first woman appointed to the Sudbury School Board. She was also on the Board of the YWCA, the Library Board, the Sudbury and District Home for the Ages, and the Sudbury Business and Professional Women’s Club. She was also president of the Ontario Municipal Association. She first ran for City Council in 1950 and served for 17 years as councilor. She was the first woman to be Deputy Mayor and October 5, 1966, after the death of the serving mayor, she was elected by her fellow Councilors as mayor presiding over the City’s Canada Centennial year. After the death of her Husband in 1960 she remarried in 1969 Arthur Grout. The couple retired to Toronto in the mid 1970’s. In 1975, International Women’s year she was designated one of Ontario’s 25 Leading Women.
 

Lynda Maureen Haverstock née Ham. Born September 16, 1948 Swift Current, Saskatchewan. She left high school as a youth and was as an adult when she completed her secondary school education. She went on to earn a BA, a Bachelor in Education, her Master of Education degree and a PhD in clinical Psychology. She taught at university in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. In 1987 she received the Triple ‘E’ Award of Excellence for her work in psychology at the University of Saskatchewan. . She Married Harley Olsen and the couple had 4 children. She established innovative education programs for disabled students and chronically truant teens. She wrote numerous articles for journals, and magazines including the handbook Fighting the Farm Crisis and he book Safety and Health in Agriculture. Interested in politics she became the forefront of the provincial Liberal becoming the 1st woman in Saskatchewan to lead a political party. In 1997 she joined the Saskatchewan Party. After retiring from politics she worked for a short time as a radio host.  She was sworn in the office as the 19th Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan on February 21, 2000 serving until July31, 2006. In 2007 she was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Saskatchewan. Lynda holds the Order of Canada (2007) and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.
 
Anna Minerva Henderson Born 1887, Saint John, New Brunswick. Died July 21, Saint John, New Brunswick. It was not common for all girls to graduate from high school let along a Black girl. After High School, Anna attended Norman School in Halifax to earn her teaching certificate. She was only allowed to teach in the Black community. She returned to school to study at business College. She then tried the Civil Service examinations and placed third over all those writing the exam. In 1912 she became the 1st Black Canadian appointed the permanent federal civil Service. She began with working at the Dominion Lands Branch of the Department of the Interior. In 1938 she was the principal clerk in the Immigration Branch of the Department of Mines and Resources. She enjoyed writing poetry in her time off work. She had her verse published in various Canadian magazines and she also  had an occasional column in the Ottawa Journal called Citadel which was dedicated to poetry. She retired from the federal Civil Service in 1945 and returned from Ottawa to Saint John, New Brunswick where she worked as a stenographer in a law firm and for awhile worked in Washington D.C. In 1967 she published a chapbook of her Citadel Columns from the newspaper and this may indeed be the 1st collection of poems published by an Afro-Canadian woman. She continued her formal learning after her retirement by taking creative writing courses at the University of New Brunswick.  Source: Herstory: The Canadian Women's calendar. 2008  (Saskatoon Women's Calendar Collective / Coteau Books, 2007)
 
Nora Frances Henderson.

Born March 9, 1897, Bicester, England. Died March 23, 1949, Hamilton, Ontario. In 1913 Nora moved with her family to Winona, Ontario. And finally to Hamilton, Ontario in 1917. Thinking she wanted to try writing as a career in 1918, she took a portfolio to the Hamilton Herald where she would work as a reporter. In 1921, she was made Womens Editor and she urged local women to take an active interest in community political affairs. As a result, for the 1st time, in 1919, women were appointed to the Hamilton Hospital Board. In 1931, she became the 1st woman elected to Hamilton's City Council. In 1934 she became the 1st woman in Canada elected to a city Board of Control. In her first year as a controller she sponsored a meeting which created Charter of Municipal Rights. She chaired the Relief Board which acted as a court of appeal to decisions handed down by relief officials and often handed out civic relief deficiencies from her own pocket.  She was elected to city council 16 consecutive times. She headed the polls for Board of Control, becoming Acting Mayor during the mayor's absence. In 1946 she caused controversy when she crossed picket lines during the Stelco strike. In 1947, she retired to become Executive Secretary of the Association of Children's Aid Societies of Ontario. She authored a book, The Citizens of Tomorrow and a play Pageant of Motherhood. Up to 2006 Hamilton’s hospital was named in her honour. In 2008 the new Juravinski for $8.00 a week.  Hospital created a Life of Service Display on the main floor for Henderson. She was inducted into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction in 1990. In 2016 the Frances Henderson Secondary High School was opened. Source: thanks to Hamilton Public Library for information supplied. February 2016.

Nancy Hodges Born 1888. Died 1969. She was 1st elected to the British Columbia Legislature in 1941. She was named Speaker of the British Columbia Provincial Legislature, as the 1st woman to hold the post of Speaker in the British Commonwealth December 12, 1949.
 
Victoria Henry Born 1945. Married and a mother of 3 children she combined a career and her love of art. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Fine Arts. She went on to earn her master’s Degree from Carleton University, Ottawa in Canadian Studies. From 1967 to 1995 she worked in India and Zambia. Returning to Ottawa in 1975 she opened the Ufundi Gallery that she operated until 1992. She was a curator and director at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Her spare time was used to produce books such as A Slice of Life: Betty Davison and through her work at the Museum From Icebergs to Ice Tea. In 1999 she was appointed as Director of the Canada Council Art Bank, a position she held until retirement in 2015. She has received the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
 
Simma Holt née Milner. Born March 27, 1922, Vegreville, Alberta. Died January 23, 2015. As a youngster she was drawn to watching the happenings of a murder trial in her home town. She declared later in life that this is when the love of the big story and the call of writing for newspapers came to her. On May 20, 1949 she married Leon Hold (d1985). While studying at the University of Manitoba in the early 1970’s she became the 1st female managing editor of the student newspaper, The Manitoban. She was a pioneer in journalism, entering the newsroom that was traditionally the strong hold for males only. She would eventually gain women colleagues to fend off the mean spiritedness and jibs of male reporters. She had a talent for front page news. She started her career in Calgary but soon found herself working as assistant city editor for the Vancouver Sun. She took up unjust causes and earned reprieve from the death penalty for 3 convicts.  On July 8, 1974 she was elected to the House of Commons, the 1st Jewish woman elected to a seat in Ottawa where she worked with fellow Liberal Party maverick, Pierre Trudeau (1919-2000). Even here she faced anti-Semitism and anti-feminism. She was unsuccessful in her bid to return to Ottawa in 1979 and gladly returned to the Vancouver Sun. From 1981-1984 she served as a member of the National Parole Board of Canada. She also penned 5 books including her auto biography: Memoires of a loose Cannon in 2008. Her most successful book was in 1964 called the Terror in the Name of God, about turbulent times in Canada with the Sons of Freedom Doukhobors. She also wrote in 1982 The Other Mrs. Diefenbaker, which was the life story of the 1st wife of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker (1895-1979). In 1996 she was inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame and the Order of Canada. Source: Bob Mickleburgh, No one messed with Simma Holt, Globe and Mail, February 20, 2015; Brian Morton, Trail-blazing reporter was afraid of no one. Ottawa Citizen February 7, 2015. Suggestion Submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario
 
Mobina Jaffer Born August 20, 1949 Kampala, Uganda. In 1972 she earned a bachelor of law at London University, London, England. After immigrating to Canada she was called to the bar in British Columbia where she opened her own practice. She is married and the couple have two children. She was appointed Queens Counsel in 1993. She ran unsuccessfully for a position in the Canadian Parliament in a Vancouver riding in 1993 and also in 1997. 1994 through 1998 she was Vice President of the Liberal Party of Canada. From 1998 to 2003 she was President of the National Women’s Liberal Commission. She was appointed the Senate of Canada on June 13, 2001 by Prime Minister Jean Creitien. She is the 1st Muslim Senator in Canada and the 1st of Asian descent. From 2002 through 2006 she was Canada’s Special Envoy in Sudan. 2002-2005 she served as Chair on the Canadian Committee on women, peace and security. 2003 and again in 2004 she was on the list of Canada’s Top 100 most powerful women. Source: Canada. Senate of Canada. Mabina Jaffer. Online accessed May 2013.
 
Janis Gudrun Johnson. Born April 27, 1946 Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1968 Janis graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts in Political science. She received the Velia Stern Outstanding Student Award when she graduated. After university she worked in the office of the Hon. Roberts Stanfield and was a political organizer in Ontario, western Canada and Newfoundland & Labrador for the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. In 1973 she married Frank Moores the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. The couple had 1 son.  In 1977 her volunteer efforts were recognized with the Queen's Jubilee Medal. By 1979 she was back in Manitoba where she was a businesswoman as head of Janis Johnson and Associates a public policy and communications group in Winnipeg. Om 1981 she was a founding member of the Manitoba Special Olympics and went on to serve as Director of Special Olympics Canada. From 1986-1991 she was the 1st woman to be appointed to the CN Board of Directors and helped establish the 1st onsite child care facility within a Canadian Crown Corporation. She also served in 1984 as the 1st woman as National Director of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. She also served and the advisory Board of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Prairie Theatre Exchange of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. On September 27, 1990 she was appointed to the Senate of Canada. In 1993 she received the Canada 125 Medal and in 1995 she received the Business and Professional Women’s Award. In 1994 the Special Olympics presented her with its Volunteer Award.  In 2000 she was a founding member and chair of the Gimli Film Festival and the country of Iceland presented her with the Order of the Falcon for working promoting Canadian-Icelandic relations.  In 2003 she received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and in 2009 she was the Outstanding Alumni of the University of Manitoba. In 2012 she was recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award.
 
Rita Margaret Johnston
née Leichert. Born April 22, 1935, Melville, Saskatchewan. Rita Married George Johnston in 1951. She was 1st elected to the city council of Surry, British Columbia in 1970. In 1983 she was elected to the British Columbia provincial assembly becoming Minister of Municipal Affairs and Transit in 1986. In 1990 Premier Bill Vander Zalm appointed her as deputy premier. In April 2, 1991 she became the first woman to serve as a provincial premier in Canada when Bill Vander Zalm resigned and she became interim leader of the Social Credit Party in British Columbia. By July 1991 she was formally elected Leader of the party.  Her term in office was short lived when her part did not win the provincial elections of October 17, 1991. She resigned as leader of the provincial Social Credit Party on January 11, 1992. Leaving politics she returned to public duties in 2009 when she became an advisor for the British Columbia Conservative Party.  Sources: The Encyclopedia of British Columbia. Online Accessed 2015)
 
Anne Jones

née MacPherson. Born Edinburgh, Scotland. Anne married the Rev. Aubrey R. Jones and the couple settled in Hamilton, Ontario in 1949. She studied and graduated from the University of Toronto. By 1962, Anne had become an independent agent for the Canada Life Assurance Company and began 22 years of political life by topping the polls in her bid for an aldermanic seat in Ward 1, Hamilton, Ontario.  She served on Hamilton's Board of Control and on July 31st, 1973, she was appointed as the 1st Chairperson of the Hamilton-Wentworth Region a position she maintained for 12 years. She stepped down in 1985. Shortly after leaving the Region's top job she became the Chairman of the Ontario Film Board. She retired after a 3 year term and went on to head a major fundraising campaign for Hamilton's YWCA. She is also a freelance writer. Anne was inducted into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction in 1994.

Mary Elizabeth Kinnear

Born April 3, 1898, Wainfleet Township, Ontario. Died December 29, 1991. She enjoyed playing hockey and sewing her own clothes all her life. Always active in her community she became an executive member of the Ontario Hospital Auxiliaries Association in the 1950’s. A liberal in politics she served as president of the National Federation of Liberal Women from 1959 through 1963. In 1967 she was appointed by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson to the Senate of Canada. She served to 1973 when she retired at 75 years of age. Source: Obituary, New York Times, December 28, 1991. ; Senate of Canada Biographies Online (accessed July 2014)
 

Marie-Claire Kirkland-Casgrain née Kirkland. Born September 8, 1924, Palmer, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Died March 24, 2016, Montreal, Quebec. After attending McGill University and, graduating in 1947, she studies law.  In 1952 she became a lawyer and practiced law in Montreal.  In the early 1960s she was  an advisor to the Young Liberals in the Jacques-Cartier riding, she was also President of the Mariana B. Jodoin Club's Constitution Committee and the Fédération des femmes libérales du Québec. She was also the founding member of the Association des femmes avocates de la province de Québec. As if were not enough she was also and contributing writer for Châtelaine magazine. She married P. Casgrain and the couple had 3 children before they divorced.  She was 1st elected to the Quebec Legislature as member for the Jacques-Cartier riding during the December 14, 1961 by-election, and later for the Marguerite-Bourgeois riding. On December 5, 1962 she became the 1st woman appointed to the Quebec provincial cabinet when she was appointed the Quebec Cabinet as minister without portfolio. On November 25, 1964 she was appointed Minister of Transportation and Communications. From May 12, 1970 to February 15, 1972 she served as Minister of Tourism, Game and Fishing and as Minister of Cultural Affairs from February 2, 1972 to February 14, 1973. She was the only female member of the Quebec provincial government from 1961-1973 and She was also the 1st woman ever appointed as interim Premier of a provincial government during the absence of its representative in 1972. She played an outstanding role in the defense of women's issues and the adoption of several laws: in 1964, the renowned Bill 16 on the legal status of married women; in 1969, the bill governing matrimonial regimes and establishing sociétées d'acquêts, and in 1973, the bill establishing the Conseil du statut de la femme. In February 14, 1973 she was appointed as a provincial court judge and president of the Minimum Wage Commission. On June 26, 1985 she became a Chevalier de l’ordre national du Quèbec. She withdrew from politics and worked as a judge in Montreal until she retired in 1991. In 1992 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. Her work for the advancement of women’s issues was recognized in 1993 when she was presented with the Governor’s General Commemorative Award for the Persons Case.  She is also a Grande dame de l’ordre de Saint-Jean-de-Jérusalem. In 2012, a statue was erected near the Quebec National Assembly to honour Marie Claire Kirkland-Casgrain as well as Idola Saint-Jean (1945-   ), Marie Gérin-Lajoie (1867-1945), and Thérèse Casgrain (1896-1981). These women were all political pioneers who fought for women’s rights and for improvements in women’s social and economic conditions to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kirkland being made the first female Cabinet minister in Quebec.
 
Francine Lalande Born August 24, 1940. Died January 17, 2014, Montreal, Quebec. In 1985 she was appointed as a non-elected Minister of the Status of Women by René Levesque however, she resigned within 6 months when she did not win a seat in elections. She became a member of the Bloc Quebecois Member of Parliament in Ottawa in 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006 and again in 2008 for ridings in Montreal. In June 2005 she introduced to the Canadian parliament a bill proposing legalization of assisted suicide. This private members bill was defeated but it did open up wide debate on the topic. She would introduce the bill again in June 2008 and in May 2009 and suffered defeat both times. She died from cancer just months prior to the Quebec provincial legislature passed a bill on this subject. Source: Stephanie Marin, Francine Lalande, former Bloc MP dies of cancer at 73. Huffington Post January 17, 2014.
 
Judy Verlyn LaMarsh. Born December 20, 1924 Chatham, Ontario. Died October 27, 1980. Like many women of her generation Judy attended Normal School to train as a teacher. Instead of teaching she joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps and served from 1943-1946. After her military service Judy attended the University of Toronto for her B.A. and then attended Osgoode Hall and was called to the bar as a lawyer in 1950. As a politician she was elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa in a by-election in the fall of 1960. In 1963 she became the second woman to be appointed to a Cabinet position in the Canadian government. This colourful, flamboyant woman, as Minister of Health and Welfare, introduced the Canada Pension Plan and supervised the drafting of what became Canada’s Medicare system. She became the 1st official in the western world government to oppose tobacco smoking publicly. As Secretary of State for Canada she presided over the 1967 Centennial Year celebrations for Canada with great flair.  She also established the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. She left politics after Canada’s Centennial Year using her time in retirement to author 3 books including her autobiography, Memoirs of a Bird in a Gilded Cage in 1969. She became a broadcaster and hosted own weekday radio program on CBC Radio. She returned to work as a lawyer and in 1974 defended the Brunswick Four in a prominent LGBT Case. In April 1975 she headed the Ontario Royal Commission on Violence in the Communications Industry.  Ill with pancreatic cancer she was inducted into the Order of Canada from her hospital bed on July 22, 1980. The Government of Canada Building in Chatham, Ontario is known as the Judy LaMarsh Building. Sources: Judy LaMarsh, Making Medicare: the history of health care in Canada 1914-2007, www.historymuseum.ca (Accessed 2007); Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed 2004)
 
Catherine Beaulieu Bouvier Lamoureaux née Beaulieu. Born 1836 Salt River Region, North West Territories. Died 1918 Fort Providence, Northwest Territories. Catherine was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church at Portage la Loche, Saskatchewan. Between 1848 and 1852 she attended the Grey Nuns’ school in St. Boniface, Red River. At 16 in 1852 she married Joseph Bouvier (d1877) and the couple had 5 children. She was known for driving her dog team 150 miles along her own trail to old Fort Rae to visit family members and deliver mail. The Mackenzie Highway now follows her travel route. She also snowshoes out in spring to gather birch sap to make her Birch syrup. In 1879 she married Jean-Baptiste Lamoureaux (d 1918) While they lived in Fort Providence, Northwest Territories she help established the Sacred Heart Hospital and worked with the Grey Nuns to establish a school. She was a strong believer of preserving her Métis culture and language. She was known as Kukum Baie which meant grandmother of us all, one who gives and sustains life. In 2011 the Canadian Sites and Monuments Board declared her a Historical Person, the 1st Métis woman of the Northwest Territories to receive this distinction.
 
Louise Marguerite Renaude Lapointe

Born January 3, 1912, Disraeli, Quebec. Died May 11, 2002 She studied music, literature, languages and sociology all preparing her to become a world class journalist. She was one of the early women to embrace her profession working in the 1940’s and 1950’s at Le Soleil in Quebec City. In 1959 she became one of the first women reporters at LaPresse in Montreal to have her name on mayor bylines not necessarily appearing on the Women’s Pages. From her interviews she wrote a book: L’histoire bouleversante de Monseigneur Charbonneau (Editions du jour, 1962) which was so popular it was the basis for a well accepted play. She was also a correspondent for Time and Life magazines as well as the CBC International Service. In 1965 she was Canadian Journalist of the year. In 1971 Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau appointed her to the Senate of Canada. She worked on Senate reform, old age security, bilingualism and the United Nations. Renaude became the frist Franco Canadian Woman to be speaker of the Senate in 1974 and only the second woman in the history of the Senate. She retired from the Senate in 1979. In 1989 she was appointed to the Order of Canada. Sources: Canada. Senate. Debates of the Senate. The Late Renaude Lapointe. Tuesday May 28, 2002. ; Women in Ottawa; Mentors and Milestones. Online Accessed August 2011.
 

Anne Leahy Born 1952, Quebec City, Quebec. Anne earned her B.A. at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and her M.A. at the University of Toronto. She entered the civil service of Canada to become a career diplomat. In 1974-1976 she worked with the European Economic Community in Brussels, Belgium. In 1980 she was posted to the Canadian Embassy in Moscow, USSR. In 1982 she was back in Europe working at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France.  In 1989 she was appointed Canada’s Ambassador in the Cameroon Central African Republic. From there she would go to Chad, Poland, Russia, Armenia, Uzbekistan and Belarus. In 1999 she was back in Canada where she was Diplomat in Residence at York University, Toronto. In 2000 to 2002 she worked as Federal Government Coordinator for World Youth Day In Toronto. It was the largest youth event ever held in Canada. From 2008 through 2012 she was Canada’s Ambassador to the Holy Sea better known as the Vatican. Returning home she began teaching at McGill University.
 
Marianne Linnell

Born 1914, Calgary, Alberta. Died June 6, 1990, Vancouver, British Columbia.  A Vancouver alderman, first elected in 1961. She served as the chair of numerous committees Which were concerned with everything from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to city sewers. In 1963 she served as the Chair of British Columbia Aviation Council. She served five terms to 1974. She was the only woman member of Canada's 1967 Centennial Commission. She worked as Director and columnist for the Vancouver Sun's Edith Adams' Cottage, an extremely popular column.  She ran unsuccessfully as a Progressive Conservative candidate for the provincial legislative Assemble in 1972 but became the PC spokesperson for small business, municipal affairs and the lowly but voting housewife. Source: The Vancouver Hall of Fame online (Accessed November 2012)
 

Rose-Marie Losier-Cool. Born June 18, 1937. A teacher by profession, she entered into politics by serving on several provincial and federal committees including the Committee on the Status of Women. She was Teacher of the Year in New Brunswick and was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 1995.
 
Daurene Lewis. Born 1943 Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Died January 26, 2013, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Daurene was proud of her maritime black history roots which reached back to USA revolutionary slaves escaping to Nova Scotia. Her family strongly believed in education for their children. Daurene studied Nursing at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. She worked for a short time in Toronto before returning home to care for her ill mother. Her mother was an accomplished weaver and Daurene learned from her making weaving her avocation and opening her own artistic studio. In 1979 she realized that in order to advocate needed change she must get involved and she became the 1st Black woman to run for Annapolis Town Council. In 1982 she was appointed town mayor.  And became the 1st Black woman in Canada to become a mayor in 1984. She did not want her ethnicity to be her legacy and worked hard to move the town ahead. After her term as mayor in 1988 she became the 1st Black woman in Nova Scotia to run in a provincial election. She was not successful in her bid for the provincial assembly and left politics. She worked in education of the arts and became principal of the two Nova Scotia Community College campuses. Helping to open a new campus in Dartmouth. She earned a masters degree in Business Administration at St. Mary’s University in Halifax and served as executive director of Mount St Vincent University Centre for Women in Business. In 2002 she was recognized for her works with the Order of Canada. She would serve on the Premier’s Council on the Economy, chair the Africville Heritage Trust where she was instrumental in building a replica of Halifax’s Africville Church. Source: “She was Canada’s 1st Black female Mayor”. by Allison Lawlor, The Globe and Mail, February 12, 2013 Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario
 
Julie Loranger Born 1937, Montreal, Quebec. She attended the Université de Paris, France for her BA and then went on to earn a degree in civil law at McGill University, Montreal. Her MA was earned in international law at the Institut des hautes etudes internationals, Paris. For her PhD she studied at the University of Navarra, Spain. She was called to the Bar in Quebec in 1960. In 1965 she was working for the Quebec Department of Education. Relocating to Ottawa in 1970 she worked in the Constitutional Review Section of the Privy Council of Canada. By 1972 she was working at External Affairs but while she would have liked a position in the Foreign Services, it would have meant a substantial cut in pay. She worked in the United States Relations Division dealing with boundary waters where she earned the nickname ‘Miss Bridges’. She also worked with the International Joint Commission Canada/U.S.A. In 1976 she was the 1st Co-ordinator for the Status of Wome while also dealing with the United Nations during the UN Decade of the Woman. In 1978 she was Canadian Consul General in Strasbourg, Germany. Reassigned in 1985 she returned Ottawa as Director of UN Social and Humanitarian Affairs Division. In 1986 she polished her Spanish language skills and served as Ambassador to Spain and in 1992 she was Ambassador to Cuba. Source: Margaret K. Weirs, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service (Dundurn Press, 1995)
 
Margarette Rae Luckock née Morrison. Born October 15, 1893 Arthur, Ontario. . Died January 24, 1972. In 1914 she married tool-and-die maker Richard Luckock and the couple settled in Toronto. A seamstress by profession she found it difficult to find work during the Depression Years. It was also during this time that her young daughter died of scarlet fever. Rae became a lifelong proponent of social programs to help the poor. In 1932 she joined the newly formed Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F. forerunner of the New Democratic Party NDP) On December 6, 1943 she and Agnes Macphail (1880-1954) became the 1st women to be elected to the Ontario Provincial Legislature. Both women were defeated in the election of 1945. In 1942-43 she served as president of the Housewives and Consumers Association and was an organizer of the HCA 1948 March of a Million Names that petitioned the Canadian Government to lower prices of consumer goods. The federal government did take some action against milling and baking companies who had artificially fixed the price of bread. In 1950 the HCA and other groups formed the Canadian Congress of Women (CCW) with Rae as the founding President.  She visited Communist China and asked Russian women to visit Canada to talk to the CCW which meant she would be denied entrance in the U.S. The last years of her life were spent fighting Parkinson’s Disease.  Source: Margarette Rae Morrison Luckock. Collections Canada. National Library of Canada (accessed 2005); Rae Luckock, MPP. Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
 
Elizabeth Pauline MacCallum Born Jun 30, 1895, Marash, Turkey. Died June 12, 1985. Elizabeth’s parents were Canadian Presbyterian missionaries serving in Turkey. The family returned to Canada when Elizabeth was a teenager. After high school she attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) in Calgary and from 1915-1917 she worked teaching at prairie schools before enrolling at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. By 1919 she had earned her Master’s Degree. She attend Columbia  University in New York City, New York, U.S.A.  From 1925 through 1931 she worked at New York’s Foreign Policy Association researching and writing reports and monographs on the Middle East. In 1931 she retreated to a 2 acre market garden in Uxbridge, Ontario to recharge her batteries and to give herself some relief for the intensity of concentration requiring the wearing of hearing aids. In 1935 she wrote the book Rivalries in Ethiopia and also gave radio talks on the subject of the Middle East.  By 1936 she was back in Ottawa working for the League of Nations and later at the Canadian Legion’s Educational Department. In 1942 she began her career at External Affairs Department, still focusing on the Middle East, her work was given the highest considerations. She proposed a division of Palestine into 2 states – one Jewish, one Arab which was sent up to Prime Minister William Lion Mackenzie King. It was in 1947 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the partitioning of Palestine and 6 months later the State of Israel was formed.  In 1947 the Canadian government ban against women serving as foreign officers was lifted and Elizabeth became the foreign officer of the unofficial Middle East Division. In 1954 -1956 Elizabeth became the 1st woman to go abroad as a head of a posting at the New Canadian Legation in Beirut, Lebanon  where she had the title of Madame Le Chargé and where she was the 1st woman to head a diplomatic mission in Lebanon. Her deafness bothered  her to the extent that in 1956 she returned to Ottawa to head the new Official Middle East Division. She officially retired for health reasons in 1958 but returned, upon request,  until June 30, 1960. Even then she occasionally worked through to 1977. At 82 she was a volunteer at the Ottawa Civic Hospital working with the hearing impaired.  In 1967 she received the Medal of Service of the Order of Canada and later she became an Officer of the Order of Canada. Sadly she never got around to writing her memoirs. Source: Margaret Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service (Toronto: Dundurn, 1995)  
 
Flora Isabel MacDonald. Born June 3, 1926, Sydney, Nova Scotia. Died July 26, 2015, Ottawa, Ontario.  After having worked several years behind the scenes of the Progressive Conservative Party she was elected  Member of Parliament for Kingston and the islands in 1972. In the Clark Government 1979-1980 she became the 1st woman to hold a major cabinet post as secretary of State for External Affairs.  She would later serve in the Mulroney Cabinet as Minister of Employment and Immigration. After retiring from the political forum she worked to help the people of Afghanistat to help theselves by providing simple training in the sues of solar energy that the people provided for themselves.
 
Mary Elizabeth Macdonald

Born in North Cobalt, Ontario, April 30, 1918. Died June 5, 2006, Ottawa, Ontario. Mary was a graduate of Ottawa University with a BA in political sciences in 1938 and a MA in 1948. She began work with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company but soon signed up to serve with the Canadian Red Cross overseas between 1942 - 1945. After the war she joined the Canadian Government Department of External Affairs and followed future Prime Minister Lester Bowles Pearson (1897-1972) into politics serving as his executive assistant. Although she did not leave Ottawa often she did accompany Mr. and Mrs Pearson when he was presented with his Nobel Peace Prize. She was highly respected by her colleagues and other Members of Parliament. She continued working with Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau as his administrative assistant until her retirement in 1979. Mary was awarded the Order of Canada in 1980. In her retirement, Mary was involved with the Salvation Army, the Bronson Home, the Women's Canadian Club and the Zonta Club among others. She also worked with the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation in its early days. Source: Jean Bannerman, Leading Ladies of Canada (Belleville, Mika Publishing, 1977); Obituary, The Ottawa Citizen June 6, 2008.
 

Mary Margaret MacDonald Born November 17, 1910, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Died February 3, 1968. She studied at Halifax Academy and Halifax Business College. She attempted a teaching career but chose to be a secretary. In 1941 she married John MacDonald and they had a family of three children. Mr. MacDonald died in 1961 while serving as a Member of Parliament. Margaret ran in the By-election May 29, 1961 and filled her husband’s seat in the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. She was the first woman to win a seat in the House of Commons for the Progressive Conservatives. She was re-elected in 1962 but failed to retain her seat in the April 8, election 1963. Sadly she was killed in an automobile accident. Source: Outstanding women of Prince Edward Island Compiled by the Zonta Club of Charlottetown, 1981.
 
Grace Winona MacInnis. Born Winnipeg, Manitoba July 25, 1905.  Died July 10,1991. She was born into a political household as the daughter of J. S. Woodsworth, founder of the C.C.F party of Canada. She followed her home training by entering politics and being a known social activist. She served as a member of the legislative Assembly of British Columbia from 1941 to 1945 and as a Member of Parliament in Ottawa from 1965 to 1974.
 
Jean Ethel MacLachlan Born 1875 Nova Scotia. Died 1963 Vancouver, British Columbia. She worked as a school teacher in Nova Scotia for 15 years before moving to Saskatchewan. In her new home in 1909 she was a social worker , an inspector of foster homes and by 1916 was the superintendent of neglected children. In 1917 she was appointed Juvenile Court Judge for Saskatchewan, the first person, male or female to hold this position. She was also appointed a Justice of the Peace, the first woman in Canada to hold such a position. She would hear over 5,000 cases with only 13 appeals and in that only 6 reversals.  During her tenure she travelled, much of the time by horse and buggy, 25,000 miles annually . She enjoyed playing golf, tennis and badminton. She would donate a cup for the Girls’ uner-18 tournament at the Lakeshore Tennis Club in Regina. She worked with her United Church, the women’s Canadian Club, the Regina Orchestral Society, the Saskatchewan Social Service Council and the Canadian Association of Child Protection Agencies. Regina commemorated her achievements by naming MacLachlan Crescent in her honour. Source: City of Regina. Heritage & History Online. (Accessed January 2012.
 
Agnes Campbell Macphail.
Born March 24, 1890  Preston Township, Grey County, Ontario. Died February 13, 1954 Toronto, Ontario. Like many young women of her era she attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) after high school. She taught in numerous schools in Ontario and Alberta. She was the 1st and only woman elected to the Canadian parliament in 1921 when women finally had the right to vote. A pacifist she was a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and in 1929 she became the 1st woman nominated to the Canadian delegation to the League of Nations (forerunner to the United Nations). As the 1st woman to inspect Kingston Penitentiary, it left her a lifelong advocate for better conditions of women in prison. In 1935 the Royal Commission to Investigate the Penal System in Canada and the 1939 Penitentiary Bill with 88 recommendations for change were no doubt influenced by her efforts. She became a founding member of the C.C.F., Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (forerunner of the National Democratic Party). Losing her federal seat in the 1940 election, she toured giving lectures and wrote for the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper before turning her attention to provincial politics. In 1943 she was 1 of 2 women elected to the Ontario Legislative Assemble where she continued to support farmers, industrial workers, prison inmates and women’s rights.  In 1951 she saw the passage of the 1st equal pay legislation in the province. She was also the founder of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Canada which even today works to give help to women in need. She died just prior to have been offered a seat in the Canadian senate. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online Accessed 2001); Agnes Macphail website Online (accessed 2003)
 
Marion Adams Macpherson Born Moos Jaw, Saskatchewan May 16, 1924. After her studies at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Toronto she joined the federal Department of External Affairs. She would work in Washington, D.C., Ottawa and New York to begin her career. She went on as Counselor to the Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations 1963-1968, High Commissioner to Sri Lanka ( 1973-1976), Ambassador to Denmark ( 1979-1983) , Deputy Commandant of the National Defense College from 1983-1985 and High Commissioner to Zambia from 1985- 1987.
 
Judy Marsales Born Winnipeg, Manitoba. As a pre-teen she borrowed a paper piano keyboard from the Public Library to teach herself music. Judy moved to Hamilton, Ontario in 1972.  She began a career in real estate in 1974 and has been president of her own real estate company since January 1988. In 1991 she became the 1st woman president of the Metropolitan Hamilton Real Estate Board. In 1996 she was elected president of the Hamilton and District Chamber of Commerce. In 2001 she was the 1st Hamiltonian recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Athena Award which recognizes excellence, community service and active assistance to women in developing their leadership skills Marsales was elected as a Member of the Provincial Parliament (MPP) for Hamilton West from 2003 to 2007, when the riding was dissolved. She supports countless community projects including being an advisor for the Dundas Valley Museum and being a board member of  An Instrument For Every Child. She also hosts and sponsors her own radio show and sings in a choir and at several annual fundraisers. Judy was inducted into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction in 2011
 
Yonah Martin

Born April 11, 1965 Seoul, Korea. Yonah immigrated to Canada with her family in 1972. In 1986 she had earned her B.A. at the University of British Columbia followed the next year with her Masters in Education. She proudly worked over twenty years as an educator. In 1990 she married Doug Martin and the couple have one daughter. In 2003 she co-founded a non-profit organization Korean Canadian C3, a community organization of volunteers who embrace cultural diversity and bridge Korean Canadian communities by providing cultural education and volunteer resources. She has also served on numerous boards and committees including: the Multicultural Advisory Council of British Columbia and the Canadian Paralympics Foundation. As an educator she is interested in mentoring youth and is actively involved with the Executive Mentorship Program of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. In 12004 she received the Spirit of Community Award for Cultural Harmony and in 2009 she received the Order of Civil Merit Moran Medal from the Republic of Korea. She is the fire Korean Canadian Parliamentarian, appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  Sources: C3Society.corg (accessed December 2011) ; Senate of Canada online (accessed December 2011)
 

Kathryn Elizabeth McCallion Born 1945, Toronto, Ontario. Died June 1, 2014, Ottawa, Ontario. Kathryn earned her B.A. from the university and was excited to work for the Ontario Government at the Canadian centennial Expo ’67. In 1972 she was working for the Canadian department of Trade and Commerce as a trade commissioner posted to the Canadian Embassy 1st in Mexico and in 1975 to Boston, Massacheutts, U.S.A. The diplomatic corps was an ‘old boys club’ and women had to work hard for success. In 1980 she was the President of the Professional Association of the Foreign Service Organization. By 1987 she had worked to earn the position as High Commissioner to Jamaica. Back in Ottawa by 1991 she was Director General of the Western Europe Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs. She retired from the Government of Canada in 2009.  Sources: Margaret K. Weirs, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service. Dundurn Press, 1995. ; Obituary, Ottawa Citizen, June, 2014.
 
Kathryn Agnes McCloskey Born 1883, Chesterville, Ontario. Died 1975.  After high school she attended the Ottawa Normal School (Teacher’s College) but decided that teaching was not for her. In 1909, she wrote the Civil Service exam from the Government of Canada even though she knew that only men were ever allowed into foreign service jobs. On December 27, 1909 she arrived at the Department of Foreign Affairs as a ‘typewriter’. She had managed to pass the simple typing test even though she had never taken any typing classes.  She was soon signing memos with K.A. McCloskey purposely making the signature ambiguous as to her being a woman. She drafted letters for the Department head, Joseph Pope to sign, was in charge of supplies for the department as well as for the passport office. The Prime Minister’s office as well as  offices in Paris, London and Washington. On April 1, 1921 she was appointed departmental accountant with a raise in pay. In 1931 she became the departmental Chief Accountant and had the reputation of being a penny pincher even keeping track of the number of pencils used.  In 1937 she was a member of the Canadian delegation to the imperial Conference in London, England. World War ll saw enormous growth in the Foreign Affairs department and Agnes was posted to work in Washington D.C., U.S.A. until her retirement. Source: Margaret Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service (Toronto: Dundurn, 1995) 
 
Nellie Letitia McClung.
née Mooney. Born October 20, 1873 Chatsworth, Ontario. Died September 1, 1951. At 16 she attended Normal School (Teacher’s college) in Winnipeg, Manitoba. While teaching, she was introduced to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union by her future Mother-in-law. Marrying Wes McClung, 1896 they raised five children. As an accomplished writer, she joined the Canadian Women’s Press Club. In 1912, a founding member of the Political Equity League, she helped female wage earners. She imitated Manitoba Provincial Premier Roblin in the 1914 “Women’s Parliament” mocking the idea of giving votes to men! She was the only woman delegate at the Canadian War Conference of 1918 and was a Methodist delegate to the world ecumenical Congress of 1921, where she advocated women as clergy. She represented her ideas as a member of Alberta’s legislature 1921-1925 and in 1927 she was one of the “Famous Five”, who forced the courts to recognize women as “Persons” in 1929.  The 1st woman to be appointed to the Board of Directors, Canadian Broadcasting Network, 1936 she was also a Canadian representative to the League of Nations, 1938. A popular author, she wrote newspaper and magazine articles, columns, short stories and published 16 books and 2 autobiographies.

 
Alexa McDonough. Born Ottawa, Ontario August 11, 1944. Alexa studied at Dalhousie University and the Maritime School of Social work. In 1980 she became the first woman to lead a recognized political part in Canada. As a social worker she had chosen politics as her avenue to improve her community by leading the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party (NDP) . In 1995 she was elected as leader of the national NDP. She stepped down from her leadership position in January 2003 but retained her seat in the House of Commons to continue to serve her constituents.
 
Barbara Jean McDougall. née Leamen. Born Toronto, Ontario November 12, 1937.  After graduating from the University of Toronto she became an investment manager.  She expanded her career to include being a business journalist in print and television.  In 1984 her interest in politics led to her being elected to the Federal Parliament.  She served as Minister of State for Finance and Minister of State for Privatization, a portfolio which was expanded to include women's issues and regulatory affairs.  In 1988 she was appointed Minister of Employment and Immigration and in 1991 she moved to Secretary of State for External Affairs.  In 1993 she returned to private business. 
 
Pamela Ann McDougall Born May 9, 1925, Ottawa, Ontario. She earned a Bachelor of Science at Mount Allison University,      and did post graduate studies at the University of Toronto for her Master’s in 1946. She began to work as a clerk at the federal Department of External Affairs in the Consular Division. By 1952 she had written the Foreign Service exam and became a Foreign Service Officer working 1st at the United Nations in New York City, U.S.A.  and then she was off to Germany serving there from 1953-57 before returning to Ottawa where she worked on  the International Supervisory Commission for Vietnam. Her job included extensive traveling before being assigned in 1961-1963  to Delhi, India as 1st secretary and later counselor. Once again back in Ottawa she served as Deputy Head of the Far Eastern Division before she was posted to Warsaw, Poland where she was the second Canadian woman to become an Ambassador in January 1968. In 1979 she was appointed as Deputy Minister for Health and Welfare Canada, the 1st Foreign Service Officer to be promoted to this level. On August 27 1980 the Prime Minister named her Commissioner of the Royal Commission on Conditions in the Foreign Service mandated to inquire into changes in the conditions of foreign service and to report on steps that the government might take to accommodate them in the context of its approach to the legal, administrative and operational frameworks of the foreign service. She retired from the Government of Canada in 1981. In retirement she served as a member of the Board of Governors at Carleton University, Ottawa and was a Trustee of the Royal Ottawa Hospital for 5 years. In 1987 she married Lieutenant  Colonel Paul Mayer. Source: Margaret Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service (Toronto: Dundurn, 1995) 
 
Pauline Emily McGibbon
née Mills. Born October 20, 1910 Sarnia, Ontario. Died December 14, 2001 Toronto, Ontario. Pauline graduated from the University of Toronto in 1933. In 1935 she married her high school sweetheart Donald Walker McGibbon and the couple settled in Sarnia, Ontario. A long time volunteer for various charities and groups she served as president of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire from 1963-1965. Pauline was also the 1st woman chancellor at the University of Toronto and at the same time 1st woman Governor of Upper Canada College 1971-1974She was appointed Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Ontario from 1974-1980, the 1st woman in the British Empire to obtain such a position. She was also the 1st woman President of the Canadian Conference of the Arts in 1972 and 1st woman Director of 4 major Canadian companies: George Weston, IBM, Imasco and Mercedes Benz. Pauline was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1967 and promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada in 1980. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed 1999). In 1988 she was inducted into the Order of Ontario. On October 5, 2006 the Ontario Heritage Trust and Sarnia Kiwanis Foundation unveiled a provincial plaque commemorating Pauline in Sarnia, Ontario. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (accessed 1999): The Ontario Trust Foundation (accessed 2006); The Hon. Pauline M. McGibbon , Collections Canada. National Library of Canada (accessed 2009)
 
Marjorie McKenzie Born 1895, North Bay, Ontario. Died November 1957. After high schools Marjorie attended Normal School (teacher’s College) and began teaching in Northern Ontario. While she was still teaching she took external courses from Queen’s University , Kingston, Ontario. In 1919 she became a full time university student supplementing her income by being a tutor.  She took a job as a clerk typist and did some writing for the Kingston Whig Standard while she worked on her Master’s Degree. In 1923 she was hired by O.D. Skelton (1878-1941) then Dean of Arts at Queen’s and when he moved to Ottawa to work at External Affairs in 1924 she also began working at the department working with Skelton until his death and then with his successors. On October 1 1947, since the ban on women not working in the Foreign Service had been lifter she was promoted to being a Foreign Service Officer. She had actually written the Foreign Service exam in 1930 and had tied for 1st in the results but as a woman she could not be hired as a Foreign Service Officer. All through her work years she worked at a much higher level than her position attested to on paper. In 1926, 1928 and again in 1937 she accompanied Prime Minister William Lion Mackenzie King  to the Imperial Conferences as part of the Canadian Delegation. She kept working files, summarized British documents, prepared memorandum for signatures for males in higher positions than herself. In  1943 and again in 1943 she aced as host for the Quebec Wartime Conferences with U.S. President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. In 1954 she became the 1st woman in External Affairs department to be appointed as a division head of Historical Research and Reports Division. Source: Margaret Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service (Toronto: Dundurn, 1995) 
 
Audrey McLaughlin
née Brown. Born November 7, 1936 Dutton, Ontario. Audrey became the 1st woman in her family to earn a BA graduating from the University of Western Ontario. She earned her degree by correspondence from a mink farm that she and her husband ran north of London. The Couple have 2 children. She taught at a private college in Ghana, West Africa from 1964 through 1967 returning home to attend graduate studies in Social work at the University of Toronto. After graduating with her MA she worked for the Metropolitan Toronto Children’s Aid Society. She divorced in 1972 and remained in the work force and  by 1975 she was the executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Moving to Whitehorse in 1979 she worked as a business consultant and supervisor of social services. She ran and won a by election in 1987 and became the 1st New Democratic Party MP elected in the Yukon. She was the 1st woman chair of the Parliamentary caucus of any federal party in Canada in 1988. On December 2, 1989 she was chosen leader of the NDP, becoming the 1st woman in Canadian history to lead a federal political party. The 1993 federal election saw a reduction of support for the NDP and the following year she stepped down as party leader but remained in parliament to represent the people of the Yukon until 1997. In 1992 she published her autobiography, A woman’s Place. In 1996 she was elected president of Socialist International Women, an organization which promotes activities amongst various women's socialist and labour party organizations. Her efforts toward social justice saw her inducted into the Order of Canada in 2004. Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed 2005); Audrey McLaughlin, Political Heros Online, (Accessed  2009)
 
Mary McNulty

Born 1895, Ottawa, Ontario. Died May 2, 1972. At 16, she and a friend founded the Equal Franchise Association, working to achieve the vote for women. Mary went on to study Law and was the 1st woman on the debating team at Osgoode Hall Law School. She was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1918. She became the 1st woman to practice law in the city of Ottawa. She was however disillusioned when she did not receive worthwhile cases  and she opened the Cloverleaf Dress ship and went on to be a retail buyer of clothing for a large Department store. The second woman lawyer in Ottawa arrived only in 1950. She married Albert Alphonse Fix in 1931. After her husband’s death in 1945 Mary began to show an interest in politics. She was an alderman in the Township of Toronto and in 1953 served as Deputy Reeve, then acting Reeve and from 1955 through 1958 she served as Mayor. In 1959 she became Warden of Peel County only to return to run successfully as Reeve in 1961. A park named in her honour was established in what is now Mississauga. Mary was also a founding member of the Toronto Township Historical Society, now Mississauga Heritage Foundation.   Source: Diversifying the bar; Law Society of Upper Canada online accessed January 2013.:: Heritagemississauga.ca/page/mary-fix. Accessed March 2003.
 

Dorothy Annabelle Stratton McPhedran Born June 14, 1921, Underwood, Ontario. Died January 2012. In 1942 she graduated with and honours B.A. in history from Victoria College, University of Toronto. She married and had a son but divorced in 1952 after suffering abuse. Overcoming stigma of divorce Dorothy taught in Kincardin before becoming head of the History Department of Northern and St. Clair Colleges.. In 1964 she was promoted as the first woman to be Inspector of schools for the Ontario Ministry of Education. In 1974 she married Bruce ”Alex” McPhedran and she completed course work for her PhD in Education at the University of Ottawa. In 1975 she became the first woman appointed special Assistant and Women’s Advisor for the Deputy Minister of Education. She had a love of travel and traveled to numerous countries around the world. Including going behind the Iron Curtain to Russia. She was a long time volunteer with Meals on Wheels, delivering meals to those who needed them well into her 80’s. Source: Obituary Globe and Mail January 2, 2012.  Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa Ontario.
 
Louise Crummy McKinney
Born September 22, 1868 Frankville, Ontario. Died July 10, 1931 Claresholm, Alberta. Like many young women of her era Louise attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) in Ottawa. She taught for 7 years in Ontario and then in North Dakota, U.S.A. In 1895 she married James McKinney.  By 1903 the couple and their son settled in Claresholm, Alberta.  She had joined the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.) while in the U.S. and founded a local chapter when she arrived in Claresholm. She played a prominent role at the local, provincial and national levels of the W.C.T.U. for the next 20 years. In 1931 she became acting national president and vice-president at the international level.  She was also active in the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (I.O.D.E.). She was the first women to be sworn into the Alberta Legislative Assembly. Louise and Roberta Adams (1880-1959) were the 1st women elected to a legislature in the British Empire and on June 7, 1917 Louise was sworn in before Roberta  to became the 1st woman to take her seat in the legislature. She fought for laws to aid immigrants, widows, and separated women.  Active in her Methodist Church she was the only woman from Western Canada and 1 of only 4 across Canada to sign the Basis of Union of the United Church of Canada in 1925. She was the 2nd woman to sign the famous “Persons” act which lead to women in Canada being able to be considered “persons” She is one of the group now called “The Famous Five”. In 1939 she was recognized as a Person of National Historic Significance by the Canadian government. In 2009 the Senate of Canada voted to name the Famous Five as Canada’s 1st honorary senators. A plaque commemorating this in found at the Post Office, Highway 4 south at the Canada-United States border, Claresholm, Alberta and there is an Alberta Post Secondary Scholarship offered in her honour. Sources: Louise Crummy McKinney, Collections Canada, Library and Archives Canada Online (Accessed for update 2010); The life of Louise McKinney, St Thomas University. Online Accessed 2010)
 
Audrey McLaughlin. Born Dutton, Ontario November 7, 1936. In 1989 she was elected leader of the New Democratic Party. She was the first woman in Canadian history to lead a federal political party. After moving to the Yukon, she worked on various projects such as improving child welfare legislation, research on land claims and aboriginal self-government.
 
Blanche Margaret Meagher.

Born January 27 1911, Halifax Nova Scotia. Died February 25, 1999, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Margaret attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) and taught school from 1932 through 1942. She took the Foreign Service exam and became a pioneer Foreign Service Officer with the federal department of External Affairs. She served in Mexico and London England. October 22, 1958 she was the 1st woman appointed as a Canadian Ambassador and served in Israel. While serving as Ambassador to Austria in Vienna she became the 1st woman to chair a Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency. From 1969 through 1973 she served as ambassador to Sweden. In Kenya she became the 1st female Canadian High Commissioner and the 1st Canadian diplomat to live in Nairobi. 1973-4 she was the 1st woman from External Affairs to serve as Foreign Service Visitor at Dalhousie University, Halifax. In 1974 she received the Order of Canada. From 1984-1989 she was a trustee for the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She was a true pioneer in the Canadian Foreign Service and a valuable mentor for those who followed in the profession. Sources: Margaret K. Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service. (Toronto; Dundurn, 1995); Blanche Margaret Meagher, Canadian Encyclopedia online (Accessed July 2015)
 

Melanie Mark Born 1976, Mount Pleasant, British Columbia. Melanie is Nisqu’a Gitxson Cree and Ojibway by heritage. Her family was abandoned by her father and Melanie and her family knew true hardship growing up. However Melanie learned that she had to do something to move forward with her live. She studied at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. She is the mother of two daughters. She has been a facilitator and served as president of the Urban Native Youth Association in Vancouver. She has also been a coordinator with the National Aboriginal Youth and Save the Children Canada in Vancouver. She is co-founder of Vancouver’s’ Aboriginal Policing Community Centre. In February2, 2016 she ran in a provincial by-election and became the 1st First Nations woman to be elected to the Legislature of British Columbia.
 
Margaret Mitchell née Learoyd. Born July 17, 1925 Brockville, Ontario. Margaret earned her B.A. in 1947 from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. From 1952 through 1955 she worked and toured for the Red Cross in Post war Japan and Korea before she took time off work and went hiking in the Australian outback. She met her husband in Australia and in the 1960’s the couple settled in Vancouver, British Columbia. She worked for Neighbourhood Services Association until 1974. She had an interest in politics which she felt was in her blood since she was a descendant of former Canadian Prime Minister Sir John Thompson (d 1894) she was elected as the New Democratic Party Member of Parliament for Vancouver East in 1979. While in parliament she voted against a pay raise for Members of Parliament and when the bill passed she donated her raise in pay to the Margaret Mitchell Foundation for Women. In 1980 she brought up in the House of Commons that 1 in 10 husbands regularly beat their husbands. These comments were met with uproarious laughter from the House but opened the issue of violence against women. In 1984 she was the 1st MP to bring forth the issue of the Chinese Head Tax. In 2000 she became a Member of the Order of British Columbia. In 2008 she published her autobiography No Laughing Matter: Adventure, activism and Politics.
 
Rita Laroque Morel  Born 1911, Ottawa, Ontario. . Died Ottawa, July 2011. A Franco-Ontarian she became a valuable translator using her two languages interchangeably. She attended the University of Ottawa and earned a degree in general arts and was one of only two women in her class. She worked as a civil servant for the government of Canada as well as the Turkish Embassy . In her late 1920’s she married Paul Morel and the couple had one daughter. Her bilingual translation abilities garnered her a job at the House of Commons were she became chief of interpretation, this suited her political junkie personality. She also travelled working wherever her skills were required including working for the Colombo Plan in Pakistan. Rita also worked with former Ottawa mayor Marion Dewar to help refugees from Vietnam in the Ottawa Project to take in 4000 refugees. After she retired she worked as a freelance translator well into her 80’s. Source; A feminist before Steinem of Friedan by Louisa Taylor  The Ottawa Citizen November 6, 2011. Submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa. 
 
Aideen Nicholson Born April 29, 1927, Dublin, Ireland. She studied Trinity College, Dublin and then at the London School of Economics. When she came to Canada she worked at the Hospital for Sick Kids, Toronto as a social worker and also taught at both the University of Toronto and George Brown College, Toronto. She took a position at the Ontario Department of Corrections. She also became a founding member of the Ontario Commission on the Status of Women. In 1974 she was the successful Liberal candidate as Member of Parliament in the riding of Trinity, Toronto. She would be re-elected in three succeeding elections. In 1988 she lost her seat in parliament to Conservative candidate Barbara McDougall. After leaving parliament she was appointed to the Canadian Immigration Review Board. In 2003 she was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Former Parliamentarians Association.  Source: Jean Bannerman, Leading Ladies of Canada (Belleville, Mika Publishing, 1977);
 
Bev Oda Born Thunder Bay, Ontario July 7, 1944. After earning her BA from the University of Toronto she began her working career as a teacher but soon switched to broadcasting. She worked with TV Ontario, City TV and the Global Television Network and retired in 1999 from the position of VP with CTV and Baton Broadcasting. She also served on the Canadian Radio and Television Commission. In November 2003 she was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  Her retirement was short lived as she ran successfully as a member of Parliament in the Ontario riding of Durham in 2004 and became Canada's first Japanese - Canadian MP.
 
Doris Geraldine Ogilivie Born February 14, 1919, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Died April 9, 2012, Fredericton Junction, New Brunswick. Doris earned her bachelors in Secretarial Sciences. In 1942 she married Robert Ogilvie, a dentist. The couple had four daughters. When her last daughter started school Doris resumed her own education and earned a Bachelor in Civil Law at the University of New Brunswick in 1960. She held office as a deputy judge in juvenile and provincial courts by 1965. In 1967 she served on the Royal Commission for the Status of Women. Always respected for her work with juveniles she was appointed Chairperson for the International Year of the Child in 1979. Source: Lives Lived, Globe and Mail, May 30, 2012 : Inmemorium.ca (accessed November 2012. Suggestion from June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario
 
Mary Irene Parlby née Marryat. Born London, England January 9, 1868. Died July 12, 1965. She was one of the "Famous Five" who put focus on the Persons Case in 1929. which lead to women being legally declared "persons". She was a Canadian delegate to the League of Nations in 1930. She had moved up through the United Far Women of Alberta and had been the first woman elected to the Alberta Legislature.
 
Lise Payette. Born August 29, 1931 Montreal, Quebec. In the 1960's she hosted a popular Radio Canada morning program "Place aux Femmes". She turned politician and joined the "Parti Quebecois". in 1976 she was elected to the Quebec Provincial legislature  where she was appointed provincial Minister of Consumer Affairs. She was not reelected in the 1980 election and  her political career ended. 
 
Elizabeth Magdalena 'Lena' Pederson Born 1940, Greenland. Lena moved to the Canadian North West Territories in 1959. She lived in Coppermine, Pangnirtung and Rae before settling for 4 years in Cape Dorset working for the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative which was founded in the late 1950’s to sell works of art. She returned to Coppermine where she worked for CBC Radio. In 1970, the Northwest Territories' centennial year, she became the first woman and the first Inuit woman to be elected to the Northwest Territories Council on December 21. She represented the Central Arctic District until her term of office ended on March 10, 1975
 
Gladys Muriel Porter Born August, 1894 Sydney, Nova Scotia. Died April 30, 1967 Kentville, Nova Scotia. She became an active member of several social service organizations and supporter of several charitable causes, taking on a leading role as executive member of many of them at the community, county and provincial level. Much of her work was with hospitals and health care organizations. She was active in her United Baptist church and a founding member and first president of the local chapter of the Business and Professional Women's Club and served also as provincial president. In 1946 she was inducted into the Order of the British Empire in honour of her contribution to the civilian defense and war effort in both World Wars.  In 1943 she became a town councilor in Kentville and in 1946 won the election for mayor, making her the 1st woman in the Maritimes to do so. She was re-elected mayor for a total of 11 years resigning only after winning a seat in Kings North for the Progressive Conservative party in the provincial legislature in the election of 1960. She was the 1st woman to be elected to the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly. She served as a representative in the legislature until her death in 1967
 
Vivienne Poy. Born May 15, 1941. A fashion designer, entrepreneur and author, Vivienne is the first Canadian of Chinese descent to be appointed to the Senate of Canada. She was educated in her native Hong Kong and England and holds a B.A. from McGill University in Montreal. She also holds a M.A. in history from the University of Toronto where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in History. Among her extensive community endeavors she is Governor of McGill University, Honorary Patron of the Chinese Cultural Center of Greater Toronto. She has received an International Women's Day Award in 1996 and the Arbor Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service to the University of Toronto in 1997.
 
Marion Loretta Reid Born January 2, 1929, North Rustico, Prince Edward Island. She attended Prince of Wales College in P.E.I> and earned a 1st class teacher’s license when she was only 17. On Jun 29, 1949 she married Lee P. Reid and the couple had 8 children. She taught for 21 years while bringing up her family. In 1979 she was elected to the P.E.I. legislature and was appointed Deputy Speaker. Winning re- election in 1982 she became speaker of the Legislature. In 1982 she was again elected but this time she found herself in the role of Leader of the Opposition. From 1990 through 1995 she served as the 37th Lieutenant Governor of the province of Prince Edward Island.  She was active in her community service as well as in politics. She served on various boards including the Board of Governors of the PEI Teacher’s Federation and the Board for the Status of Women.  She was an active member or the Sterling Women’s Institute, The Catholic Women’s League and a charter member of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation as well as the Zonta Club. In 1996  she was inducted into the Order of Prince Edward Island. Source: Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island. Online (Accessed February 2014)
 
Margaret Isabel Rideout née Saunders. Born June 16, 1923 Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.  Died May 12, 2010, Moncton, New Brunswick. Margaret Married Sherwood Rideout and the couple had 3 sons.  In 1964, Margaret Rideout entered Parliament after successfully winning a by-election in the riding of Westmorland (now Moncton), following the death of her Liberal MP husband. She was the first N.B. woman elected in a federal election. Reelected in 1965, Margaret sat as an MP until her electoral defeat in 1968. During her time in office, she rose to be Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of National Health and Welfare. When she returned to Moncton, she was appointed a judge of the Federal Citizenship Court, and would become Chief Judge. She served on the Board of Governors of Acadia University, the Board of the Atlantic Baptist Senior Citizens Home, the Salvation Army, the Canadian Bible Society, The Business and Professional Women’s Association and was an active member of the Board of the Moncton Hospital. She was a recipient of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Award. . Source: New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Celebrating Achievers; Behind Every Successful Woman Are All the Women Who Came Before Her., September 2002. Online (accessed January 2016)
 
Brenda Mary Robertson

Born May 23, 1929, Sussex, New Brunswick. Brenda was a home economist and businesswoman with an interest in politics. In 1967, Brenda became the1rst woman elected to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. She was re-elected in 1970, 1974, 1978 and 1982. In 1970, this home economist from Riverview became the 1st woman appointed to the New Brunswick Cabinet. She served 1st as Minister of Youth, and later as Minister of Social Welfare, Minister of Social Services, Minister of Health, and Minister of Social Program Reform. She remained a Progressive Conservative MLA until her appointment to the Canadian Senate on December 21, 1984.She retired on May 23, 2004 with almost 20 years of federal service.  That same year she was made a Member of the Order of New Brunswick. In 2008 she was induced into the Order of Canada. Source: New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Celebrating Achievers; Behind Every Successful Woman Are All the Women Who Came Before Her., September 2002. Online (accessed January 2016)
 

Edith MacTavish Rogers Born April 26, 1876, Norway House, Rupert’s Land (Now Manitoba). Died April 19, 1947, Colborne, Ontario. Edith was a Métis born into a family of Hudson Bay Company Officers, Edith spent her youth living in Montreal. She attended Sacred Heart School of Montreal and the Trafalgar School for Girls. Moving back to her home in Manitoba she married businessman Rupert Rogers on June 1, 1898. The couple have 4 children. During World War l she played a leadership role in Winnipeg’s efforts on behalf of soldiers’ families with needs. She continued her efforts at the end of the war helping families of returning soldiers. In 1920 she was the 1st woman elected to the Manitoba Provincial Legislature. She was a member of the Liberal Party and elected to her seat in the legislature 3 times before she retired in 1932. She was an advocate for reforming the Child Welfare Act of Manitoba making it easier for women to access financial support to care for their children. She was also the 1st female member of the Board of the Winnipeg General Hospital. Edith moved to Colborne, Ontario in 1942.
 
Tilly Jean Rolston

Born February. 23, 1887, Vancouver British Columbia. Died October 12, 1953, Vancouver, British Columbia. She attended the University of British Columbia when it was connected to McGill University, Montreal. She left teaching to marry Frederick James Rolston in 1909 and raised a family of three children. Tilly worked closely with many associations and clubs including being  a director of the Vancouver-based Pacific National Exhibition, an Honorary President of the Women's Canadian Club, president of the Oratorio Society, Quota Club, and the Travel Women's Club. She was also the founding chairman of the Theatre Under the Stars, board member of the YWCA auxiliary and of the Vancouver Symphony Society. While a homemaker she continued her interest in politics and actually entered politics as an elected Progressive Conservative Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in1941. In 1951 she sat as an Independent for the remainder of the session. She became a supporter of W.A.C. Bennett and in the 1952 B.C. election in Vancouver-Port Grey, she was elected as a Social Credit candidate and named education minister. She was the second woman in British Columbia to be appointed to the cabinet and the first woman in all of Canada to hold a specific portfolio. She was a staunch advocate education for every child. Source: http://www.viu.ca/homeroom/content/topics/people/rolston.htm (Accessed December 2012.
 

Jeanne Mathilde Sauvé

née Benoit. Born April 26, 1922, Howell, Saskatchewan. Died January 26, 1993, Montreal, Quebec. The Benoit family moved to Ottawa when Jeanne was just a toddler. She attended the University of Ottawa earning her tuition by working as a government translator. While working in Montreal  Jeanne met Maurice Sauvé. The two were married on September 24, 1948. The couple would have one son. The young newly weds headed first to London England and then to Paris where Jeanne worked at the Youth Secretariat of UNESCO. In 1951 she attended university at the Sorbonne earning a degree in French Civilization. In 1952, while living in St Hyacinthe, Quebec Jeanne helped found the Institute of Political Research and began working as a broadcast journalist for the CBC. She earned a position in the male bastion of political journalism and from 1956-1963 she hosted her own television show, Opinions. In 1972 she ran for a seat in the House of Commons and became the 1st Quebec woman in a federal cabinet with the position of Minister of State for Science and Technology. She would later serve in cabinet positions in the environment and Communications. On April 14, 1980 she was appointed as 1st woman to be Speaker to the House of Commons. When television camera first came to record proceedings of the house, Sauvé was asked to put some blue colouring in her dazzling white hair which was too bright for television filming. Her time as Speaker was known for its cuts in expenses and for starting the 1st daycare for Parliament Hill. On May 14, 1984 Jeanne Sauvé was sworn in as the 23rd Governor General of Canada since confederation. She was the 1st woman to receive this position. She served in this position until 1993 fostering youth peace programs, creating the Governor General’s Award for Safety in the workplace and supporting nationalism. Upon retirement she established the Sauvé Foundation where she worked until her death. The Jeanne Sauvé Trophy is presented in World Cup Women’s Field Hockey. In 1994 Canada Post issued a postage stamp in her honour.
 

Martha Scarrow née Nagel. Born November 12, 1912. Died Sarnia, Ontario, February 14,1971.Raised on the family homestead near Mossbank, Saskatchewan. He father died at a young age leaving her mother to raise 7 children. Te young family experienced many hardships in the 1920’s and 1930’s. attended Normal School (Teacher’s College) in Regina in 1930and was introduced to the C.C.F. (Commonwealth Co-operative Party). She married Edgar Scarrow (1912-1985) in 1936 and continued to teach in Saskatchewan. In 1938 the couple moved to Kirkland Lake Ontario where they were both active in the political and labour movements. Martha always active in her local C.C.F. riding association, was elected delegate to the Regina  In 1943 they moved the family, now with tow children, to Sarnia. In 1948 she was the first woman to run as a C.C.F candidate in West Lambton. The family enjoyed the honour and privilege of sharing their home with Tommy Douglas, David Lewis, Ken Bryden and other prominent C.C.F. activists over the years. Martha spent many years teaching leather craft at He Hope School in Sarnia, where she was recognized for her long time dedication to the students. Source: emails from Shirley Scarrow.
 
Sandelle D. Scrimshaw Born Hamilton, Ontario. She spent a year at the Universite de Besancon, France, before attending the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario to earn her BA in 1973. She worked as administrative trainer. In 1974 through 1979 she worked with the National Museums on the Discovery Train and took courses in political science at Carleton University. In 1979 she worked for the Canada International Development Agency. By 1984 she was posted to Abidjan, Ivory Coast. In 1987 she was the 1st woman to serve as Canada’s High Commissioner to Ghana and was also accredited as ambassador to Togo, Benin and Liberia. In 1990 she was back in Ottawa and the following year she became a single parent. From 1997 through 2000 she served as Director General of the African Bureau of the Department of Foreign Affairs. From 2003 to 2006 she was Commissioner to South Africa, Mauritius, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland. Source: Wiers, Margaret K Envoys Extraordinary women of Canadian Foreign Service. Dundurn Press, 1995.
 
Sarah Ramsland Scythes née McEwen. Born July 19,1882 Minnesota, U.S.A. Died Regina, Saskatchewan April 4, 1964.  In 1906 she married Magnus Ramsland. The couple settled in Saskatchewan and raised a family of three children. When her husband died of the Spanish flu in 1918, family convinced her to run for his vacant seat  in a Saskatchewan by-election. She became the first woman elected to the Saskatchewan legislature. The law had been changed only in 1917 which allowed women to run. She would serve a Pelly area member of the legislative Assembly until 1925. She was a staunch defender of her constituents’ need and was the first MLA to suggest marking sites of historical interest in the province. Upon leaving politics Sarah she became a librarian establishing Saskatchewan’s traveling library program. After marrying William George Franklin Scythes in 1942 she turned her energies into community activities and volunteer work. Source: City of Regina. Heritage & History Online. (Accessed January 2012.; Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan online (Accessed January 2012)
 
Glenda Simms Born Jamaica, 1939. Glenda was a teacher in her home of Jamaica but was encouraged by a Canadian teach working in Jamaica Glenda accepted a teaching position in Northern Alberta at the Fort Chipewyan reserve in 1966. Her students had never seen a black person before and Glenda had never seen aboriginal children. It did not take long for her to accept the warm and openness of the community. In 1967 she was joined by her husband in Canada and in 1968 her 3 children arrived. Glenda earned her Master’s degree in 1976 at the University of Alberta, Edmonton in Educational Psychology and her PhD in 1985 taught at various universities. From 1977 to 1980 she taught Native Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta; she was Head of the Native Education Department at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, University of Regina, from 1980 to 1985 and she served as the Supervisor of Inter-cultural Education, Race and Ethnic Relations for the Regina Public School Board from 1985 to 1987, Head of the Native Education program at the Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario 1987-1989. Her volunteer commitments have seen her in the role as President of the Congress of Black Women in Canada, Vice-president of Match International, being a member of the Native Curriculum Review Committee, treasurer of the Institute of Public Administrators of Canada in Regina.  She is a founding member and Director of the National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada and a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Housing Corporation.  She became President of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of women in January 1990, the 1st Black woman to be appointed to this level of the Federal government in Canada. In 1988 she was amongst the first group of Canadians to receive the Citizenship Citation, awarded by the Secretary of State for outstanding contribution to Canadian society. In 1988 she also received an Award of Excellence from the Canadian Association of Principals and in 1989 an Appreciation Award from the Organizers of the Junior Black Achievement Awards. She has been the recipient of the 1990 National Award from the Canadian Council for Multicultural and Intercultural Education. In 1991 she was one of the first two people inducted into the North Bay Human Rights Hall of Fame, In 1992 she was awarded the Inter-Amicus Human Rights Award by McGill University for her contribution to the rights of Aboriginal peoples, women and racial minorities; and in 1993 the Ryerson Fellowship Award by Ryerson Polytechnic University and the Distinguished Alumna Award by the University of Alberta. Also in 1993 she was made an Honorary Member of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada. In 2009 she launched St. Elizabeth Women (SEW) Ltd. A social action organization aimed at empowering women to deal with economic and social stress in Jamaica.
 
Mary Ellen Smith née Spear. Born  October 11, 1863, Tavistock, England. Died May 3, 1933, Vancouver, British Columbia . She taught for awhile and then married Ralph Smith a widower and a coal miner by profession. The couple settled in British Columbia and Ralph was elected to serve in  the Provincial and federal governments.  Mary Ellen supported her husband political career and even gave speeches on his behalf. She was a member of the suffrage League of Canada, president of the Women’s Canadian Club  of the Women’s Forum. She served as a regent of the Imperial Order of the Daughter’s of the Empire, and was an executive member of the Canadian Red Cross. When her husband died in 1917 she entered politics herself and successfully won her husband’s former seat in a by election in January 1918. She was re-elected in 1920 and again in 1924. She was the 1st female Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia , and the first woman cabinet minister in the British Empire, and the first woman speaker of the House in the British Empire, serving as minister without portfolio, March to November 1921. An advocate of British Columbia's first mothers' pensions and Female Minimum Wage acts. In 1929, she was appointed Canada's delegate to the International Labour Organization conference in Geneva, Switzerland. She served as president of the BC Liberal Party in the early 1930s Sources: Vancouver Hall of Fame Online (Accessed November 2012. : The Canadian Encyclopedia online (Accessed November 2012)
 
Monique Smith Born North Bay, Ontario. She earned her B.A. at the University of Toronto and then attended Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario for her law degree. She also attended the Rotman School of Management at Queen’s University. She worked as a lawyer prior to entering politics. From 2003 through 2011 she represented the riding of Nipissing in Northern Ontario in the Ontario Provincial legislature. On October 30, 2007 she was appointed Minister of Revenue. September 18, 2008 she changed portfolios to become Minister of Tourism and on February 4, 2009 she was also appointed Government House Leader. In January 2010 she was appointed Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. She did not run in the election of 2011. In 2013 she was chose as leader of the transition team to bring in the new Kathleen Wynn Liberal government of Ontario. Source: Ontario Legislature Online. Accessed June 2013.
 
Anna Ethel Sprott

Born 1879(?) Norwood, Ontario. Died October 9, 1961, Vancouver British Columbia. She studied at the University of Toronto. Married she quickly found herself a widow and moved to Vancouver in 1911. Seeking practical training she attended Sprott-Shaw Schools of Commerce, Radio and Telegraphy. In 1918 she married the school’s founder, Robert James Sprott. After his death in 1943, she became president of the school and went on to become the founder of West Coast Radio School. She was elected as a Vancouver alderman in December 1949. She was elected for additional terms serving the city until 1959. She was the 1st woman elected for three terms making her the longest serving woman council member in city history. She was also the 1st  woman to serve as acting mayor in September 1953. The Vancouver Hall of Fame reports that upon retirement she admitted to writing secret letters on council's behalf to those celebrating 50th and 60th anniversaries and 90th or 100th birthdays Source: Vancouver Hall of Fame online (Accessed November 2012)
 

Lady Helena E. Squires née Strong. Born 1879 Little Bay Islands, Newfoundland. The strong twin sisters were educated at a boarding school in St John’s and later at Mount Allison University. You would think that being the wife of the Premier of the Province and mother of seven children would have been enough work for anyone. However Lady Squires was a social activist who worked to found a teachers college and a maternity hospital. She was the first woman elected to the Newfoundland House of Assembly. When Newfoundland entered Confederation in 1949 she was elected the first president of the provincial Liberal Association.
 
Diane Rose Stratus

Born Saskatoon Saskatchewan December 28, 1932. A professional businesswoman, Diane was elected to Canadian Parliament in Joe Clark Government of May 1979 – February 1980, where she was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to Secretary of State, David MacDonald. She was the first woman of Greek-Canadian heritage elected to the House of Commons and the one of two women, the other was the Hon. Flora MacDonald, to sit in the Clark government. In 1992 Diane received the 125th Anniversary of Confederation of Canada Medal and in 1994 she was recognized with a Lifetime Women’s Achievement Award by the Toronto Greek Community. In 2009 she was proud to see her second son, David appointed a judge of the Federal Court of Appeal. Source: Canada Parliament. House of Commons.
 

Gladys Grace May Strum

Born Saskatchewan February 4, 1906. Died British Columbia August 15, 2005A mother and a farmers wife she understood issues facing rural Saskatchewan. When her husband became ill her interest in Politics reached fulfillment. At 16 she was teaching a rural one room schoolhouse. She would later not only attend teachers college but she would , as a mature student, earn her B.A. and B. Ed. At the University of Saskatchewan. While teaching she met and married Warner Strum on November 16, 1929. The had one daughter. At one time she travelled to New Zealand to see if it would provide a better living condition for her ill husband. The family remained in Saskatchewan. Gladys ran unsuccessfully to be a member of the provincial parliament in 1938 and 1944.. She did however go on to become the first woman president of the co-operative Commonwealth Federation C.C.F. party making her the first Canadian woman to be president of a political party in Canada. In 1945 she was elected Member of Parliament in Ottawa for Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, where she sat in the House of Commons with 244 male members. She was the first woman of the CCF. elected to the Canadian Parliament. She was defeated in the 1949 election and returned to teach in Saskatchewan. In 1952 the family moved to British Columbia in the hops of easing Warner’s health. In 1953 she ran for parliament but6 was again defeated. The family returned to Saskatchewan and Gladys became principal of a school in Uranium City. By 1960 she was an elected member of Provincial Parliament where she would vote on the famous Saskatchewan medical Act in 1962. She and her husband returned once again to British Columbia to be near their daughter and grandchildren in retirement.
 

Grace Jean Sutherland Boggs SEE under Boggs
Anna Mariana Terana

Born March 31, 1937 Torino, Italy. Anna immigrated to Canada in 1966 and settled on the Canadian west coast.  She worked as an administrator of the British Columbia Police Commission prior to becoming interested to serve as a politician. From 1993 through 1997 she served as a member of the Canadian parliament representing Vancouver. She has worked as a community member of the National Parole Board and a full time member of the Immigration and Refugee Board. She was the first woman president of the Italian Cultural Society. In all she has served on over 40 boards, committees and commissions including: The United Way; Big Brother and Big sister; the Vancouver Centennial Commission; the Vancouver multicultural Society. She has served as editor of an Italian Canadian monthly newspaper and has worked aas a broadcaster on Italian television. In 1988 she received the Order of Italy. In 1992 she received the 125 Anniversary of Confederation Medal. She has been the Italian Canadian of the Year and in 2000 she received the National Canadian Italian Award. In 2007 she was awarded the Italian Cultural Centre Society’s Immigrant of the Year.
 

Lise Thibault. Born April 2, 1939 Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan, Quebec. As a young mother. Lise became involved in Local school committees. She would found Les Femmes d’aujourd’hui and was a teacher in adult education. She remained committed to community, cultural, political and social activities when she was a TV host for social and family oriented programming. She sat on various provincial government committees, was Director of the Quebec Bureau for the Handicapped, and worked with the Canadian Red Cross. In 1977 she became the first woman ever to hold the office of Lieutenant Governor of Quebec.
 
Manitok Catherine Thompson Born 1955 Coral Harbour, Northwest Territories. Manitok graduated from the Teacher Education Program in Fort Smith in 1977 and went on to teach in schools in Coral Harbour, Repulse Bay and Yellowknife until 1983. She remained in the education field for the next 12 years, holding the positions of Coordinator of Interpreter Services with the Stanton Yellowknife Hospital, Language Consultant, Inuktitut Programs Specialist and high school teacher. Manitok was also an active community volunteer, organizing the inaugural Keewatin Arts and Crafts Festival, music festivals, Rankin Inlet’s Hamlet Days and was a member of the Concerned Citizens against Drug and Alcohol Abuse. She also was a volunteer pastor for a small church in Repulse Bay. In recognition for her civic involvement she received the Volunteer Award for the Hamlet of Rankin Inlet. In 1994, she entered politics at the municipal level as a Counselor for Rankin Inlet and was appointed to the Nunavut Social Development Committee. She was 1st elected to the Northwest Territories' Legislature for the riding of Aivilik in a by-election on May 8, 1995, and re-elected in October of the same year. While holding the cabinet portfolios of Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs and Minister responsible for the Women's Directorate she was a member of the Standing Committee on Finance, the Standing Committee on Agencies, Boards and Commissions and the Special Committee on Housing. On February 15, 1999, the 1st election for the new territory, she won a seat in the Nunavut Legislature for the Rankin Inlet South/Whale Cove riding. Manitok served as Nunavut’s 1st woman cabinet minister as Minister responsible for Public Works and Services and Minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation. In 2001 she was named minister of Community Government and Transportation and Minister responsible for Sport Nunavut. . Retiring from territorial politics in 2004 she ran as an independent candidate in the federal Canadian election in 2004 where she finished in 2nd place. Manitok now works as an official with the territorial Nunavut government.  She is married to Tom Thompson and the couple have 2 children.
 
Joyce Trimmer

Born London, England  November 10, 1927. Died May 17, 2008. She and her pilot husband, Douglas moved to Canada in 1954 and lived on Toronto Island in Ontario. Many of their crated processions were destroyed when Hurricane Hazel became a welcoming event to their new country. Later they would move to the greener areas of Scarborough Township on the eastern edge of Toronto. Joyce worked originally as a secretary at a secondary school and after working for her Your University degree part time she  became a teacher of typing and business at the school. She also was an ardent supporter of green spaces . Friends urged her to run for politics and in 1974 she became a local Scarborough controller. In 1988 she became Scarborough’s first woman mayor. A devoted and ardent worker for her home town, she retired in 1994 leaving a green space legacy in the Rouge River Valley. She travelled and enjoyed genealogy embracing computers for her hobby. She had conquered breast cancer in her 40’s and remained cancer free for 35 years! In 2007 doctor’s discovered a brain tumor and her health declined rapidly. Suggested source: TheStar.com – obituary- Joyce Trimmer, 80…(Accessed August 2008)
 

Phyllis Gregory Ross Turner née Gregory. Born 1903, Rossland, British Columbia. Died April 18, 1988. She studied at the University of British Columbia and at Bryn Mawr in the U.S.A. She married Leonard Turner and the couple had three children. She became a widow in 1929. In 1934 she worked for the Dominion Tariff Board and worked her way to the position of Chief Economist. During World War ll she worked on the Wartimes Prices and Trade Board and became oils and Fats Administrator which was the most senior position in the federal public service to be held by a woman up to that time. Her wartime services were recognized with appointment of the Order of the British Empire. In 1945 she married Frank Ross, and industrialist and later Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia form 1955-1960. In 1961 Phyllis became the 1st woman to hold the position of Chancellor of the University of British Columbia. In 1966 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. It is easy to see, which such and introduction to political life how her son, John Napier Turner could have found his interest in Politics. He would serve as the 17th Prime Minister of Canada. Source: The Collins Dictionary of Canadian History 1867 to present by David Bercuson and J. L. Granastein. (Collins, 1988) : Obituary. University of British Columbia. Online. (Accessed February 2014)
 
Mabel Margaret Van Camp Born 1920, Blackstock, Ontario. Died April 19, 2012 Toronto, Ontario. She finished high school at 16 and was the first person from Blackstock to attend university. After graduating from the University of Toronto she studied at Osgoode Law school and was called to the bar in 1947.  Women were not well accepted in the profession and it took her awhile to find a firm that would hire her. Soon she was leading the firm when the boss was off sick. The firm became Beaudoin, Pepper and Van Camp. In 1965 she was appointed to the Queen’s Bench. In 1971 she was appointed as the first woman to the Ontario Supreme Court by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. A proper title was finally accepted when she became Madam Justice. She was also the 1st woman member of the Royal Canadian Military Institute. A true pioneer and mentor for women in the profession.  Her charities included the I.O.D.E, the YWCA for which she was President in Toronto in the 1960’s. In 2003 she was awarded the Order of Ontario. Source; ”I am the damn judge” by William Illsey Atkinson. The Globe and Mail. August 9, 2012.  Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa.
 
Helena Walker née Masters. Born 1867 Wolfeville, Nova Scotia. Died 1963, Regina, Saskatchewan. She earned her masters degree from the Nova Scotia, University, Halifax and in 1912 moved to the Saskatchewan to teach school. She attended Regina Normal School (Teachers college) in 1914. In 1920 she married Ashley Walker. The couple would have two children. Since married women could not work as teachers she had to find other places to use her energies. In 1925 she was elected to the Regina Public School Board and became chair in 1927. In 1932 she became the first woman to not only run but win the elected position of elected alderman for the City of Regina. She was always known as Alderman Mrs. Ashley Walker, she never used her own first name. She served the city in this position for 9 years. She insisted the city hire women police officers and was president of the Women’s Voluntary Services for World War ll. She also served in the 1930’s and 1940’s on the Regina Public Library Board and the welfare services Board. She was president of the Local Council of Women, the University Women’s Club and the Women’s Canadian Club. Upon her death the citizens of Regina learned that her first name was Helena. Source: City of Regina. Heritage & History. Online. (Accessed January 2012.)
 
Charlotte Whitton. Born Renfrew, Ontario March 8, 1896. Died January 25, 1975. This social worker, politician, and feminist was a colourful, energetic, outspoken, flamboyant individual. In the 1920’s she was a relentless crusader for professional standards of juvenile immigrants and neglected children. She was the spark that ignited the Canadian Council on Child Welfare. She was in demand across North America as a lecturer on social programs. When she became mayor of Ottawa in 1951 she was the first woman in Canada to be a mayor of a major metropolitan area. In November 1950 , Whitton entered Ottawa City politics when she won a seat on what was then called the board of control. When the elected mayor died the next year she succeeded him. She was elected mayor in 1952, 1954, 1960 and 1964 and later served as an alderman until 1972.
 
Cairine Reay Wilson née Mackay. Born Montreal, Quebec February 4, 1885.Died March 3, 1962. A mother of 8 children. she was Canada’s first woman to be appointed to the Senate. She would prefer to be remembered for her work to serve refugees and for being outspoken against anti-Semitism in Canada.  She was chair of the Canadian National Committee on Refugees 1938-1948, and was Canada’s first woman delegate to the new United Nations in 1949. Appointed to the Senate in 1930 she served for 32 years until her death
 
Public Servants
Phyllis Marion Boyd. Born March 26, 1946. She was elected to the Ontario Legislative Assembly in 1990. She has held several cabinet posts including Minister responsible for Women's Issues and Attorney-General for the Province of Ontario. She is the first woman and the first non lawyer to have been Ontario's Attorney General. She has been honoured many times for her work on behalf of battered women, an area in which she still serves with great zeal.
 
Jean Edmonds. Born 1921. After her studies at the University of Manitoba, Jean would spend the first twenty years of her career as a journalist for the Financial Post newspaper. In 1964 she joined the federal government public service. In 1966 she became the first woman executive in the federal government as an executive director with the Department of Manpower and Immigration. She would go on to the level of assistant Deputy Minister with the Department of Regional Economic Development. In 1988 she became chairperson of the Task Force on Barriers to Women in the Public Service and would publish the ground breaking report called Beneath the Veneer. The current Citizenship and Immigration Canada is headquartered in the Jean Edmonds Towers
 
Maryann Elizabeth Francis

Born Sydney, Nova Scotia. From 1966 through 1970 Maryann practiced her profession as a registered x-ray technologist. She then decided to earn her BA at St. Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1972 she became a Human Rights Officer with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. In 1974 she received the Silver Plaque from the NSHRC for outstanding contribution to her chosen filed. She took time to earn her Masters of Public Administration from New York University in 1984. From August 1999 through July 2006 she served as the firs woman permanent director of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. In 2000 she became the first woman appointed as Nova Scotia’s Ombudsman. She was the first African Canadian woman to head the Ontario Woman’s Directorate, a government organization supporting and celebrating the achievement of women. She served in this position from 1994 through July 1997. In 2006 Maryann Frances was appointed the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia. Source: Office of Nova Scotia Lieutenant-Governor online. Accessed June 2011.
 

Louise Frechette Born July 16, 1946 Montreal, Quebec. In 1970 she earned her BA from Université de Montréal. In 1978 she earned an advanced Master’s Degree from the College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium. In 1971 she began her career at the Canadian Department of External Affairs. Her 1st posting as a diplomat was in Athens, Greece and in 1978 she joined the Canadian delegation at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1985 she was a three point Canadian Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. The government of Canada was impressed by her secret mission to Cuba in 1989 that she was named as the 1st female Canadian ambassador to the United Nations in 1992. Leaving the diplomatic corps in 1995 she became assistant Deputy Minister of National Defense, again the 1st woman to hold such a position. March 2, 1998, she was the 1st person to be appointed to the position of Deputy Secretary General, a position she held until March 31, 2006. That same year she was inducted into the Order of Canada. She is a member of the Global Leadership Foundation and the International Advisory Board at the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. Source: Former Deputy-Secretary-General, www.un.org (accessed September 2010.); Margaret Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service (Toronto: Dundurn, 1995)  
 
Elizabeth Pauline MacCallum. Born June 20, 1895. She joined the Department of External Affairs in 1942 and was an advisor in 1945 and the founding of the United Nations. In 1954 she was chargé d’affairs in Beirut, the first woman to head a Canadian foreign mission. Upon retirement she began to write on the Middle East.
 
Pamela Ann McDougal. Born May 9, 1925.  A diplomat and public servant she joined the Department of Externals Affaires in 1949.  She served in Germany, Vietnam, India, and Poland.  She headed the Royal Commission on Condition of the Foreign Service in 1981.
 
Blanche Margaret Meagher Born Halifax, Nova Scotia January 27, 1911.  Died February 25, 1999. This diplomat was one of 4 pioneering women in the administration of the Canadian federal government where she worked at the Department of External Affairs. She served in Mexico and London and then in 1958 she was the first woman to become appointed as an ambassador for Canada. She served as Canadian ambassador to Israel, Austria Sweden.
 
Sylvia Ostry née Knelman Born Winnipeg, Manitoba June 3, 1927. She started her university studies at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, earning a BA, MA and PhD. She has studied and worked with many other universities in Canada, U.S.A. and England. She has had a strong three decade career as a civil servant holding administrative and political positions in various Canadian government departments, including being Chief Statistician 1972-1975. She would be the first woman to hold the rank of Deputy Minister in the government of Canada February 18, 1976.
 
Veena Rowat

Born India. She moved to Ottawa, Ontario in 1968. She is the firs woman PhD graduate in electrical engineering and the only woman in her 1973 graduating class at Queens University, Kingston, Ontario. In 1974 she joined the Canada Department of Communications (forerunner of Industry Canada) . Her 36 year public service career has been studded with recognition. She has received the Public Service Award of Excellence in 2011 for her contribution to telecommunications and to women in leadership. 1n 2003 she received the Queen Elizabeth ll Golden Jubilee Award as well as the Excellence in Leadership Award from Industry Canada. 2004 saw her as Canadian Woman of the Year in Communications for the Canadian Women In Communications. In 2005 she was included in too listing of Canada’s most Powerful Women as expressed by Canada’s Executive Women’s Network. That same year she was Professional Woman of the Year for the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce. In 2008 she won the Sara Kirke Award recognizing her as Canada’s leading woman high Tech Entrepreneur from the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance. In 2004 she was the first woman president of the Communications Research Centre which is an internationally-renowned agency of Industry Canada. She retained this position until her retirement in June 2011.  Always a mentor for women in the 1990’s she worked with groups concerned with violence against women and with high school girls sports teams. She is also a volunteer mentor with the Women’s Executive Network. Source: Canadian Women in Technology http://www.catawit.ca/mission_vision/ambassadorscircle... accessed June 2011; Women in Ottawa: Mentors and milestone http://womeninorttawa.blogspot.com accessed June 2011. 
 

Mary J. May Simon

Aboriginal Canadian

Born Kangiqsaulujjuaq, Nunuvik, Quebec August 21, 1947. She was a member of a family of eight children brought up in Canada’s arctic region. Since her father was white, she and her siblings, by law, could not attend school after grade 6 so their became schooled at home by their father. All would graduate high school. May became an announcer and producer of Inuktitut radio and television programs for CBC Northern Services. She left the CBC to become Vice President and later President of the Makivik Corporation which was established to oversee proper implementation of provided resources for the Inuit peoples. In 1994 she became Canada’s first ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs and from 1999 to 2000 she was Ambassador to Denmark, the first Inuit woman in this type of diplomatic role. In 2005 she received an honourary degree from Trent University. In 1991 she became a member of the Order of Canada and in 2005 an officer of the order. In 1992 she received the Order of Quebec. She also holds the Gold Order of Greenland. In 2011 she became special advisor to the Labrador Inuit Association. She is also the founding Chair of the Arctic Children’s and Youth Foundation to ensuring access to higher education for all who seek it. Source: Mary May Simon; Canada’s first Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs by Sierra Bacquie. Section15.ca accessed June 2011. ; Order of Canada website. Accessed June 2011.
 

Janice L. Sutton Born Ponoka, Alberta. In grade 9 high school she won the Gorvernor’s General Medal. She attended university for a year but dropped out to work as a secretary in Edmonton. She saw an advertisement for secretaries needed in the federal Department of Extern Affairs so she packed her bags and left for Ottawa in the fall of 1956. She began working at External Affairs in Ottawa and then was posted to New York City, New York for 4 years before being re-assigned to Bogota, Columbia. She was still working as a secretary but in the small offices she completed duties beyond her rank. Back in Ottawa she attended night classes at the University of Ottawa and passed the administrative Officers exam at External. She was posted to Saigon, Vietnam in 1968. Returning to Ottawa she was in charge of the secretaries in the Personnel Division. When she graduated University in 1974 her position was converted to that of a Foreign Service Officer. She was the 1st woman to sit on the Board of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers. In the mid 1970’s she married a fellow Foreign Service Officer, Franklin Wiebe. She maintained her own name and refused to leave her career because she was married. The couple found positions together in Jakarta. In 1978 they were back in Ottawa where Janice worked in the Middle East Division traveling to Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Sryia and Kuwait. She created the Briefing Book for Prime Minister Trudeau’s trip to Saudi Arabia. In 1982 the couple were assigned to Delhi, India where during her tenure there Franklin retired. From 1985-1987 in Ottawa she worked with the Canadian International Development Agency where she often was forced to put cracks in the glass ceiling to be accepted. She retired to be with her husband and became a freelance writer. She has sat on the Board for Interval House and the Lennox Addington Historical Society. Source: Margaret Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service (Toronto: Dundurn, 1995) 
 
Lise Thibault. née Trudel Born Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan, Quebec April 2, 1939. As Lieutenant Governor of Quebec she has earned the right to use the title The Honourable Lise Thibault. She has worked with many public and community organizations. She has  served as an adult education teacher, worker for Health and Safety Board, the Canadian Red Cross, she served for disabled person for the Quebecers NO Committee, the Liberal Party of Canada, and founded journals and associations to promote women in Canada. Among her many awards is the Personality of the year award from Chatelaine Magazine. 
 
Elsie Eleanor Wayne née Fairweather. Born April 30 1932, Shediac, New Brunswick. Died August 30, 2016, Saint John, New Brunswick. Elsie married Richard Wayne and the couple had two sons. In 1977 she won election to the Saint John City Council and in 1983 she became the 1st woman mayor of Saint John. In 1998  she was successful in running for a seat as a Progressive Conservative member in the Canadian federal parliament. It was an all-time low for the PC party as only Elsie and Jean Charet were elected party members. In 1998 she was appointed PC Party interim Leader until Prime Minister Joe Clark was elected that year. She served as deputy leader under Clark. She was a “Straight Shooter’ when it came to speaking her mind. She was flamboyant and had flare and a great sense of humour even wearing reindeer antlers in the House of Commons. She stood up for recognition of the war effort of the Merchant Marines and for other veterans although she did not see  why veterans should have free viagra!. She retired from politics in 2004. Health problems flared when she had a stroke in 2009.
 
Cairine Reay Wilson née Mackay Born February 4, 1885, Montreal, Quebec. Died March 3, 1962, Ottawa Ontario.  A child of an influential and wealthy family in Montreal, Cairine grew up bilingual with a keen interest in keeping informed with life. She often travelled with her father to Ottawa and admired a family friend, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. In 1909 she married Norman Wilson (   1956) and the young couple moved to Cumberland Township near Ottawa to have their family of 8 children. In 1918 they retained their Cumberland property but moved to downtown Ottawa. While her family was at home Cairine was active in her church and the local Red cross. Once her family was growing she become more interested in the life in Ottawa Politics and she became co-president of the Eastern Ontario Liberal Association. On February 15, 1930,  Prime Minister William Lion Mackenzie, appointed her as Canada’s 1st woman in the Senate. She would prefer to be remembered for her work to serve refugees and for being outspoken against anti-Semitism in Canada. She did not pull punches and spoke up for what she believed. At the beginning of the upheaval in Europe in World War ll William Lion Mackenzie King was reluctant to accept Jewish refugees as immigrants to Canada. Cairine worked to accept 100 orphans into Canada. A Television Historical Minute telecast shows viewed in the 1990’s shows Wilson arguing the case for refugees.  She served as chair of the Canadian National Committee on Refugees 1938-1948, and was Canada’s 1st woman delegate to the new United Nations in 1949. In 1950 she was presented with the Knight of the Legion of Honour, the highest civilian honour from France, for her work on behalf of  child refugees. In 1955 she became the 1st woman Deputy Speaker in the Canadian Senate. A secondary School in Orleans, located not far from the Wilson family farm in Cumberland Township, is named in her honour. She is buried in Dale Cemetery near her former farm and her tombstone simply reads “Appointed to the Senate 1930” Sources First Person, Valerie Knowles (Toronto, Dundurn Press, 1988 ; Heroines.ca online . ; personal knowledge
 

Cornelia Lucinda Wood

née Railey. Born April 14, 1892, St Joseph, Missouri, U.S.A. Died December 26, 1985 Stony Plain, Alberta. Her family relocated 1st to Oklahoma City and in 1904 to a farm in Stony Plain, Alberta. She attended high school in Edmonton, Alberta and then attended Normal School (Teachers College) in Calgary where she graduated when she was 16 years old. She taught until she married Russell Edgerton Wood on December 24, 1912. Cornelia was a charter member of the Stony Plain Women’s Institute where she served on the executive. In 1931-1935 she was Provincial Supervisor of the Women’s Institute Girl’s Club. In 1937-1941 she served as provincial secretary for the organization. She worked with the Department of Agriculture in the Women’s Bureau Branch as a demonstrator and lecturer. She was also politically active campaigning 1st for the Liberals before converting to the Social Credit Party. In 1940 she was a successful candidate for Stony Plain for the Social Credits and held her seat until 1955 and again from 1958 till 1967. She always wore a new hat for the start of the new Legislature. (Some of her hats are preserved in the Alberta Museum Association Multicultural Heritage Centre) After 1941 she served as chair of the Social Welfare Subcommittee of the Alberta Post War Reconstruction Committee. From 1955 through 1960 when she was not in the provincial parliament she served as chair of the Alberta division of the Community Planning Association of Canada. Locally she also served on the Library Board and the School Board. In 1953-1954 she was the Mayor of Stony Plain. Sources: Cornelia Woods Fonds, Provincial Archives of Alberta. Online Accessed July 2015; Kay Sanderson, 200 remarkable Alberta Women. Online Accessed July 2015.  
 
Viola Wyse

Aboriginal Canadian, Chief of the Snuneymuxu
Born August 29, 1947 near Campbell River Reserve, British Columbia. Died August 17, 2009.
In the 1960’s through 1960’s she worked for the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs. She moved to Vancouver in 1994 where she joined the Snuneymuxu Band Office where she worked through to 2001. The following year she served on the Band Council. A strong administrator she understood politics and she earned funding for new homes, new water and sewer infrastructure and increased the standard of living for all her people. In 2006 she became the first woman Chief of the Snuneymuxu encouraging other women to come to the forefront. Her sudden death was a shock but her people moved forward working with her powerful vision.
Source: Viola Wyse by Derek Spalding Daily News, August 19, 2009.
 
   
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