1980 AD to 1989 AD
Miriam Wilson (1927- ) is elected as the
woman moderator of the United Church of
1980 - The Canadian Supreme Court recognizes the equal distribution of assets in failed common-law relationships.
1980 - Fishermen’s wives get jobless benefits as unemployment insurance is granted to 10,000 women working with their husbands.
1980 - 32% of graduate doctors in Canada are women.
April 14, 1980 - Jeanne Mathilde Sauvé (1922- 1999) is appointed the 1st woman Speaker of the House of Commons April 14, 1980 to January 15, 1984.Source: Parliament of Canada web site
1980 - Evelyn Hart (1956- .) is the 1st Canadian to be awarded a Gold Medal at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria.
June 27,1980 - O Canada is officially declared as the national anthem of Canada.
June 1980 - Kateri Tekakwitha is beatified (one of the major steps to become a saint within the Catholic Church).
July 4, 1980 - the Canadian Post Office issues a commemorative stamp to celebrate Dame Emma Albani (1847-1930), a celebrated international opera singer.
1980 - Alexa McDonough (1944- ) is the 1st woman to lead a recognized political party in Canada when she is leader of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party.
September 9, 1989 - Anna Ruth Lang of New Brunswick saved two people after a horrendous highway accident. Source: The Beginners Guide to Canadian Honours by Christopher McCreery
1980 - The Government of Canada , through Fitness and Amateur Sport, (Sport
Canada) creates a Women's Program.
Source: Status of Women Canada.
Adult fact Sheet Women and sports in Canada: an historical overview.
|1981||February 13, 1981 - Canadian Air Force Captains Leah
Mosher, Nora Bottomley and Dee Brasseur graduate as the 1st Canadian female military
1981 - Second Lieutenant Inge Plug becomes the 1st woman helicopter pilot. Source: National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, Fact sheet. Online (Accessed March 2014)
Lieutenant Karen McCrimmon becomes the Canadian Air Force's 1st
woman air navigator. Source:
National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, Fact sheet.
Online (Accessed March 2014)
1981 - Second-Lieutenant Inge Plug
is the first woman helicopter pilot in the Canadian
Source "Women throughout Canadian military
history." in Canadian Forces Personnel Newsletter Issue 2/05 23
- Canada enters the worst depression
since the 1930's.
4, 1982 - Bertha Wilson (1923-2007) is the
1st woman appointed to the Supreme Court of
|1983||March 30, 1983 - Bertha
Wilson (1923- )
is sworn in as Judge of the Supreme Court of
December 1983- Dr. Roberta Lynn Bondar (1945- ) is selected as one of the original 6 , and the first woman Canadian astronaut.
1983 - Herizon, Canada's Feminist magazine publishes its first Magazine edition. Source: Herizon.ca (accessed July 2011)
1983 - Joy Logan is the first woman elected as a Vice-President of the British Columbia Federation of Labour. Source: British Columbia Federation of Labour. http://bcfed.com/issues/women/history
1983- Joy Kogawa publishes her novel Obascan (Penguin Books). It is based on her experiences in a Canadian detention camp with her family in Western Canada during World War II. Source; Japanese Canadian Timeline (accessed June 2012.)
1983 - Delia Operokew is called to the bar in Alberta after having been called to the Bar in Ontario in 1979. She is one of the 1st aboriginal lawyers to be called to the Bar in both provinces. Source: Diversifying the bar; Law Society of Upper Canada online accessed January 2013.:
1983 - Laura Sky (1947- ) opens SKYWORKS, a charitable foundation that is community bases not-for-profit educational documentary production organization Sources: Herstory, the Canadian Women’s Calendar 2006 Coteau Books, 2005
June 12, 1983 - Born Christine Margaret Sinclair (1983- ) soccer player
November 19, 1983 - Born Daria Werbowy (1983- ) international Model with star on Canada's walk of fame.
1983 - Died Mona Harrigan (- 1983) one of the first women to be a Park Guide in Canada.
May 4,1983- Died Lenore Talbot Crawford (1909-1983) Journalist who maintained a weekly column in the London free press.
May 23,1983 - Died Winnifred Blair Drummie (1903-1983) the first Miss Canada, 1923.
June 12,1983 - Died Norma Shearer (1900-1983) movie star and Academy Award best actress.
June 30, 1983 - Died Mary Livingstone (born Sadie Marks 1904-1983) radio and TV commedien, wife of comedien Jack Benny.
July 13 , 1983- Died Gabrielle Roy,(1909-1983) internationally renouned author and winner of Governor's General Award.
November 4,1983 - Died Betty Lambert (1933-1983) prolific Canadian playwright.
December 2 ,1983- Died Fifi D'Orsay (1904-1983) vaudeville performer and early movie actress known as the French Bombshell.
December 21, 1983 - Died Alpha Isabella Hodgins an award winning law student.
14, 1984 - Jeanne Mathilde Sauvé
the 1st woman Governor General of
1984 - Transport Canada changes regulations to allow a pilot who is pregnant to fly "while under her doctor's supervision". Source: Rosella Bjornson, Canadian Hall of Fame inductee. Canadian Ninety-nines http://www.canadian99s.org/articles (accessed July 18, 2005)
1984 - The Canadian government, through the Secretary of State, establishes five regional chairs across the country in women's studies with and endowment fund at Mt. St Vincent University, Laval University, Ottawa Carleton Universities . University of Manitoba and Simon Fraser University. Source A Chronology of the development of women's studies in Canada. The Canadian Electronic Feminist Network http://www.unb.ca/PAR-L/chronology1.htm (accessed April 28, 2003. )
1984 - Betty Hughes is appointed Chair of the Canadian National Railways, the 1st Canadian woman to head a crown Corporation. Source: Heroines.ca Women in Canadian history. (Accessed June 9, 2007)
Summer 1984 - Linda Thom (1943- ) [shooting], Lori Fung, (1963- ) [Rhythmic Gymnastics], Sylvie Bernier (1964- ) [diving] , and Anne Ottenbrite (1966- ) [swimming] win gold medals at the Los Angeles Olympics.
August -1984 - Lisa Buscombe becomes Canada's first Archery World Field Champion in Finland. Source: Federation of Canadian Archers.
1984 - Dormer Ellis (1925 - ) is the 1st woman to receive the Ontario Professional Engineers Citizenship Award. Source The Toronto Business and Processional Women’s Club. Online Accessed February 2013.
September 11, 1984 - Mother Marie-Léonie (1840-1912) is the first to be beatified ( a step towards becoming a saint) on Canadian soil during the Papal visit to Canada.
1984 - 33% of medical school students and 50% of law school students in Canada are women.
1984 - Daurene E. Lewis is elected mayor of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. She is the 1st female black mayor in North America. ( http://www.coolwomen.ca/ )
1984 - Marianne Scott is the first woman to be appointed as National Librarian, at the level of a deputy minister in the federal government, a position she held until her retirement in 1999.
1984 - Ursula Martius Franklin ( 1921- ) became the 1st woman to be named a university professor at the University of Toronto.
September 27, 1984 - Avril Lavigne (1986- ) contemporary singer and son writer who rose quickly as an entertainer and star.
1984 - Died - Nora Hendrix (1883-1984) Black pioneer of Vancouver and grandmother to Jimi Hendrix.
1984 - Died Jane Gray (1896-1984) Early radio broadcaster.
1984 - Died Madge Edgar (1898-1984) administrative assistant
April 27, 1984 - Died Lorraine McAllister (1922-1984) Singer and actor on the West coast.
May 7, 1984 - Died Helen Kalvak (1901-1984) Inuit artist who helped found the Holman Eskimo Co-operative. holds Order of Canada.
May 24, 1984 - Died Gwendolyn Ringwood (1910-1984) Governor General Award winner or outstanding service to Canadian Drama.
May 26, 1984 - Died Mae Garnett (1875?- 1984) one of the 1st women general news reporters in western Canada.
October 8, 1984 - Died Francoise Aubut, renowned organist and educator.
The United Nations holds
an international conference on women's issues in Nairobi. It is 10
years since the UN declared the International year of the woman.
1985 - The Canadian Indian Act is changed to restore Indian status to many women and their children as well as to enfranchised native veterans. This bill ends more than 100 years of legislative discrimination against aboriginal women not having native status. The United nations Human Rights Commission high lighted this injustice with a ruling for a complaint brought before the UNHRC in 1977 by Sandra Lovelace.
1985 - The Canadian Divorce Act eliminates discrimination on the basis of sex with respect to the right to divorce or the custody of children.
1985 - The Canada Pension Act is amended to continue disability pensions at the married rate for one year after the death of a veteran.
1985 - The Association for Women's Equity in the Canadian Armed Forces is founded. Source: Lt. Col. Shirley M. Robinson, CD (Retired) – Nurse. By Carolyn Gossage, November 6, 2000 Section15.ca Online (Accessed March 2014)
The Canadian First Minister's Conference on the Economy endorses 'A
framework for Economic Equality for Canadian Women'.
Source: Progress towards equality of women in Canada
. Canada. Status of Women Canada. 1995.
14, 1986 - Canada Post issues a commemorative stamp honouring the life
of Molly Brant (1736-1796), a
renowned aboriginal leader in Canadian history.
May 2, 1986 - October 13 - Vancouver, British Columbia hosts Expo 86.
May 12, 1986 - Police Constable Kathryn Farrell is the 1st female assigned to the Toronto Police Force Mounted unit Source: Herstory: Milestones in the History of the Toronto Police Service Women Online Accessed June 2011.
1986 - Susan Ursel (1958 - ) is called to the Bar in Ontario. She is the 1st openly Lesbian lawyer in Ontario. Source: Diversifying the bar; Law Society of Upper Canada online accessed January 2013.:
1986 - 3% of judges in Canada are women. Source: Canadian Chronology Http://tdi.uregina.ca/~maguirec/chron.html (accessed April 28, 2003)
1986 - Sharon Adele Wood (1957- ) is the first woman from the Western hemisphere to stand on top of the world on Mt. Everest.
1986 - Roberta Jamieson (1953- ) is the first aboriginal and the first woman to be appointed as provincial Ombudsman for Ontario.
Source: Roberta Jamieson: Chief Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Contemporary Canadian Biographies. Thompson Gale, August 2003. (Accessed online June 2008.)
1987 - Sheila
Copps (1952- ) becomes the first member of the
Canadian Parliament to have a baby while holding office.
1987 - The Raging Grannies is first organized in Victoria British Columbia. They were looking for a different way to protest and set off a spark for a future international organization that allows older women to serve with a purpose.
1987 - Dr. Geraldine Kenney-Wallace is the first woman appointed Chair of the Science Council of Canada.
1987 - The Elektra Woman's Choir is founded by Diane Mary Loomer (1940-2012). It becomes recognized internationally. Source: “Choral conductor had a gift for getting the best from her singers” by Suzanne A Hearne, The Globe and Mail January 9, 2013.
1987 - In the Canadian Air Force, combat roles, including flying fighter aircraft like the CF-18 and tactical helicopters become open to women for the 1st time. Source Canada Women's Foundation. History of the women's movement: selected moments of importance in the history of Canadian women , 2004 http://cdnwomen.org.
1987 - Colinel Sheila A. Hellstrom, a graduate of National Defense College, becomes the 1st woman serving as a Regular Force officer to be promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General. Source: National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, Fact sheet. Online (Accessed March 2014)
1987 - The federal government's Canadian Jobs Strategy is amended to enable immigrant women to access language training in order to compete in the labour market. Source: Progress towards equality of women in Canada . Canada. Status of Women Canada. 1995.
1987 - Herizon, Canada's Feminist Magazine goes into a publishing hiatus only resurfacing in 1992. Source: Herizon.ca (accessed July 2011)
1987 - The British Columbia Coalition for Abortion Clinics ( Now the Pro-choice Action Network) is founded to establish abortion clinics in British Columbia. Source : A History of Abortion in Canada http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org/history.html (accessed July 30, 2003)
1987 - Wendy Murphy invents the world's first evacuation stretcher for infants, the WEEVACS6 after having see the destrictive earthquake rescues in Mexico in 1985. Sources: Kidsdomain.com Inventions (accessed October 2011) WEEVAC web site : personal information provided by Wendy Murphy
1987 - Died Aileen Alethea Meagher (1910-1987) medal winning track athlete
1987 - Died Lillian Alice Chase ( -1987) medical doctor
1987 - Died Gladys "Gladdy" Balsillie (1919-1987) businesswoman who was a burlesque agent.
January 1, 1989 - Died Flora Velma Abbott (1929-1987) played with the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.
January 5, 1987 - Died Margaret Lawrence, (1926-1987) award winning author.
February 2, 1987 - Died Olive Bend Little (1917-1987) member of the American Girls Professional Baseball League
February 18, 1987 - Died Lida Bell Pearson Sturdy (1895-1987) who on November 3, 1921 is the 1st woman lawyer in Preston Ontario with her own practice.
May 10, 1987 - Died Violet Keene (1883-1987) acclaimed portrait photographer.
May 31, 1987 - Died Gladys A. Bunn (1892-1987) piano teacher and artist.
August 1 , 1987- Died Evelyn Merle Nelson (1943-1987) renowned mathematician.
September 26, 1987 - Died Ethel Catherwood, (1908-1987) member of the first Canadian women's Olympic team.
November 24, 1987 - Died Jehane Benoit (1904-1987) rebound chef and author who was an officer in the Order of Canada.
|1988||1988 - United Nations Peacekeepers (including
Canadians) win the Nobel Peace Prize.
January 28, 1988 - The Supreme Court of Canada declares Canadian abortion law as unconstitutional. The law is found to violate section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it infringes upon a woman's right to life, liberty and security of the person. Source : A History of Abortion in Canada http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org/history.html (accessed July 30, 2003)
October 2, 1988 - Carolyn Waldo (1964- ) wins a gold medal in synchronized swimming and a second gold in the duet synchronized swimming with Michelle Cameron. Waldo is the first Canadian woman to win two gold medals at a Summer Olympics. Source Canadian Milestones. Canada.com (Accessed October 2, 2000)
1988 - The Canada Scholarship Program is established to encourage undergraduate studies in natural sciences and engineering. Part of the requirements of the program is that half of the recipients must be women. Source: Progress towards equality of women in Canada . Canada. Status of Women Canada. 1995.
1988 - The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation develops the Project Haven Program, creating emergency shelters for abused women and children. Source: Progress towards equality of women in Canada . Canada. Status of Women Canada. 1995.
1988 - Vicki Keith Munro. (1961- .) A superb marathon swimmer, becomes the 1st person to swim cross all five North American Great Lakes. She swims the Great Lakes to earn money for charity.
1988 - Ethel Blondin (1951- ) is the 1st Native woman to sit in the Canadian House of Commons.
1988 - Sheila Hellstrom is the 1st woman Brigadier-General in the Canadian Armed Forces. Source "Women throughout Canadian military history." in Canadian Forces Personnel Newsletter Issue 2/05 23 February 2005.
1988 - Private Shannon Wills is the 1st woman to win the Queen's Medal for Champions Shot of the Canadian Reserve Forces at Connaught Ranges, Ottawa, Ontario. Source "Women throughout Canadian military history." in Canadian Forces Personnel Newsletter Issue 2/05 23 February 2005.
1988 - Bonnie and Fred Cappuccino become the 1st Canadians presented with the UNESCO Prize for Teaching of Human Rights.
1988 - Canadian women college graduates earn an average salary of under $20,000. Canadian men with an education of Grade 8 or less received an average annual income of $22,387.
1988 - Dr Allie Vibert Douglas (1894-1988) has a planet named Vibert Douglas in her honour. Source: Historical figures in Astronomy by Carmen Rush, Royal Astronomy Society of Canada http://www.ottawa.rasc.ca/astronomy/history/av_douglas/ (accessed July 28, 2005)
1988 - Joyce Trimmer (1927-2008) is elected the first woman Mayor of Scarborough, Ontario ( now part of Toronto Greater Area)
1988 - Lawyer Laura Legg (1923-2010) is elected the 1st woman treasurer of the Ontario Law Society. The Laura Legg Award is established to honour other women who exemplify leadership in the profession. Source: Diversifying the bar; Law Society of Upper Canada online accessed January 2013.:
October 10, 1988 - Born Karen Percy, Olympic medalist in skiing.
1988 - Died Helen Grossman (1905?-1988) one of the early Jewish women lawyers in Canada.
1988 - Died Pearl Steen (1893-1988) social activist, President of National Council of Women 1964-1967.
1988 - Died Agnes Harrigan ( 1988) one of the first women park guides in Canada.
January 2, 1988 - Died Vega Dawson (1894- 1988) Order of the British Empire for war services.
January 15, 1988 - Died Audrey Burger (1912-1988) Social activist for public housing.
January 20, 1988 - Born Ethel Davis Wilson (1888-1980) novelist for who the British Columbia Literary Award is named, Order of Canada.
February 1, 1988 - Died Doris Buckingham (1910-1988) a stage and radio actress who created Vancouver's Theatre Under the Stars.
February 18, 1988 - Died Dorothy Bruce Garbutt (1897-1988) journalist & historian, host of the CBC program "Houses I have known."
March 2, 1988 - Died Sister Ethelberta (1900-1988) brought her religious order to Canada and was hospital administrator.
April 5, 1988 - Died Marjorie Brook (1898-1988) hospital administrator.
April 19, 1988 - Died Ethel Mary Bennett (1891-1988) award winning writer of historical novels.
April 26, 1988 - Died Dorothy Danzker ( -1988) Winnipeg community worker.
May 3, 1988 - Died Sheila Cantor (1939-1988) internationally renowned researcher in the field of schizophrenia.
May 17, 1988 - Died Nora Ellen Dunwoody (1899-1988) she was known for establishing gift shops as fund raisers for hospital auxiliaries
June 6, 1988 - Died Margaret Craig Eaton Dunn (1913-1988) Director General Canadian Women's Army Corp 1944.
July 2, 1988 - Died Allie Vibert Douglas (1894-1988) first woman in Canada to graduate with a PhD in astrophysics.
July 4, 1988- Died Constance Eleda Brewster (1888-1988) a well respected nursing administrator in Hamilton, Ontario.
- Died Gwendda Dorothy Owen Davies (1896-1988) concert pianist and teacher of music.
July 22, 1988 - Died Ann Conner Brimer (1940-1988) educator and promoter of books for children.
July 31, 1988 - Died Margaret Eileen Stuart Underhill (1889-1988) badminton player and member of the British Columbia Sport Hall of Fame.
August 1988 - Died Alix Goolden (1897-1988) Social activist and philanthropist.
August 10, 1988 - Died Agnes Fontaine (1912-1988) a mother of 15 who received the QE Coronation Medal for community Services.
August 22, 1988 - Died Frances Adaskin (1903-1988) award winning singer who championed the works of Canadian composers.
October 28, 1988 - Died Ethel Viola Bieber (1920-1988) national and provincial swimming champion of the 1930's.
November 1988- Died Laura Banks (1914-1988) TV broadcaster who used the name of Laura Lindsay.
November 9, 1988 - Died Phyllis Burgess (1917-1988) administrator & developer of nursing strategies for treatment of cancer patients.
November 10, 1988 - Died Margaret Bennie (1897-1988) award winning educator.
November 19, 1988 - Died Helen Birdsall (1906-1988) dance instructor and choreographer to the CNE in the 1920's and 1930's
December 19, 1988 - Died Lotta Dempsey (1905-1988) journalist known for her column in the Toronto Starr and her large hats.
December 31, 1988 - Died Eleanor Reed Townsend (1944-1988) champion Fiddler.
1989 - Heather
the 1st Canadian woman to be
a combat soldier.
She graduates from Canadian Forces Base,
Wainwright, Alberta. Source: National Defence
and the Canadian Armed Forces, Fact sheet. Online (Accessed
1989 - Jane Foster and Deanna Brasseur pass course to become Canada's first two female fighter pilots certified to fly fighter aircraft and available for combat roles...possible they are the first women in the world. Source: The Kids Book of Canadian Firsts by Valerie Wyatt (Toronto : Kids Can Press, 2001) pg. 17 Source: National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, Fact sheet. Online (Accessed March 2014)
1989 - Lorraine Francis Orthlieb is the 1st woman to hold the rank of Commodore in the Canadian Forces. Source: National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, Fact sheet. Online (Accessed March 2014)
1989 - Audrey McLaughlin, (1936- ) of the New Democratic Party, is the first woman federal leader of a Canadian political party.
January , 1989 - Kim Campbell (1947- ) is appointed Minister of State for Indian and Northern Development. . Source Club de Madrid. Kim Campbell http://www.clubmadrid.org (accessed January 2006)
February 5, 1989 - Karen Percy of Banff , Alberta wins a Silver Medal in women's alpine skiing.
December 6, 1989 - 14 young female engineering students are murdered by a gunman at Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal.
December 11, 1989 - Monique Frize , at the University of New Brunswick, is the 1st Chair of Women in Engineering (perhaps the first in the world) Her first official duty is to attend the funeral of the murdered engineering students in Montreal. Source A Chronology of the development of women's studies in Canada. The Canadian Electronic Feminist Network http://www.unb.ca/PAR-L/chronology1.htm (accessed April 28, 2003. )
1989 - Chantal Daigle of Chibougamou, Quebec has an abortion, despite her former boyfriend’s seeking of an injunction preventing the abortion which was upheld by the Quebec Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court overturned the case in favor of Daigle.
1989 - Doreen Wicks (1935-2004) is inducted into the Order of Canada. Her husband Ben was inducted in 1986, making them the 1st husband & wife to be inducted into the Order.
1989 - Dr Henry Morgentaler is arrested in Nova Scotia when he operates a clinic in the province after the provincial government passes legislation prohibition abortions at clinics. Source : A History of Abortion in Canada http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org/history.html (accessed July 30, 2003)
1989 - The federal government introduces Bill C-43, an amendment to the Criminal Code of Canada that would prohibit abortion unless a doctor finds the pregnancy is a threat to the woman's physical, mental or psychological health. Source : A History of Abortion in Canada http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org/history.html (accessed July 30, 2003)
1989 - The Canadian one dollar bill is replaced with a coin. The depiction of a common loon, a type of bird, on the coin leads to the coin being commonly called a "loonie".
1989 - Mrs. June Rowlands
the 1st woman Chairperson of the Metropolitan Toronto Board of
Commissioners of Police. Source: Herstory: Milestones
in the History of the Toronto Police Service Women Online
Accessed June 2011.