1980 AD to 1989 AD
Copenhagen, Denmark hosts the 2nd International Conference on
1980 - Dr Lois Miriam Wilson (1927- ) is elected as the 1st woman moderator of the United Church of Canada.
1980 - The Canadian Supreme Court recognizes the equal distribution of assets in failed common-law relationships.
February 18, 1980 - In the federal election only 14 women were elected to fill 282 seats in the House of Commons.
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 Sauvé (1922- 1993) 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.
July 22, 1980 - Judy LaMarsh (1924-1980) is presented with the Order of Canada at her hospital bed.
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.
October 23, 1981 - Pearl McGonigal (1929- ) becomes the 1st woman Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba.
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
Mosher, Nora Bottomley, and Dee Brasseur graduate as the 1st Canadian female military
1981 - 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)
February 14, 1981 - some 1,300 women from across Canada marched into the Parliament buildings and held their own Ad Hoc Women and the Constitution Conference to debate the proposed Canadian Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
1981 - Second-Lieutenant Inge Plug
is the 1st woman helicopter pilot in the Canadian
Source "Women throughout Canadian military
history." in Canadian Forces Personnel Newsletter Issue 2/05 23
January 11, 1982 - CBC television debuts The Journal, a
show case for full features on daily news happenings with hosts
Barbara From (1937-1992) and
Mary Lou Finlay (1947- )
1982 - 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||1983 - The Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits
1983 - Bill C-127 becomes law making it illegal for a man to sexually assault his wife.
March 30, 1983 - Bertha Wilson (1923- ) is sworn in as Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada.
1983 - Elsie Wayne (1932-2016) becomes the 1st woman to be Mayor of Saint John , New Brunswick. In 1993 she would be elected as a Member of Parliament.
December 1983- Dr. Roberta Lynn Bondar (1945- ) is selected as one of the original 6 , and the 1st woman Canadian astronaut.
1983 - Bill C-127 abolished the offences of rape, attempted rape and indecent assault and introduced a three-tiered structure for sexual assault offences. The Bill also eased the circumstances under which police could lay charges in incidents of sexual and non-sexual assault.
1983 - Herizon, Canada's Feminist magazine publishes its 1st Magazine edition. Source: Herizon.ca (accessed July 2011)
1983 - Joy Logan is the 1st 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 (1935- ) 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 1st 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 renowned author and winner of Governor's General Award.
July 17, 1983 - Died Evelyn Sybil Mary Eaton (1902-1983) poet
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 ( - 1983), Hodgins an award winning law student.
January 13, 1984 - Anne Cools (1943-
) became the 1st Black woman to be appointed to the Canadian
February 8-19, 1984 - Olympic Games Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. Canadian women did not show in the medals at these games.
May 14, 1984 - Jeanne Sauvé (1922-1999.) is sworn in as 23rd Governor General of Canada. She is the 1st woman to hold this position.
June 1, 1984 - Betty Hughes is appointed Chair of the Canadian National Railways becoming the 1st Canadian woman to head a crown corporation.
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 - Federal unemployment Insurance Benefits included 17 weeks maternity leave for woman at 93% pay plus 10 weeks parenting leave Unemployment Insurance Benefits.
July 28-August 12, 1984 - Olympic Games Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. In response to the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, 14 Eastern Bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, Cuba and East Germany, boycotted the Games; only Romania elected to attend. For differing reasons, Iran and Libya also boycotted.
Women are allowed to compete in the Marathon. Previously it had been considered to strenuous.
Canada. Gold Medals: Sylvie Bernier (1964- ) in women's 3 meter springboard diving; Lori Fung (1963- ) in women's individual all-round rhythmic gymnastics; Linda Thom, (1943- ) in women's 25 meter pistol shooting; Anne Ottenbrite (1966- ) in women's 200 meter breaststroke swimming. Silver Medals; Angela Bailey (1962- ) , Marita Payne (1960- ), Angela Taylor-Issajenko (1958- ) and France Gareau (1967- ) in women's 4X100 meter running relay; Charmaine Crooks (1962- ), Jillian Richardson (1965- ), Molly Killingbeck (1959- ) and Marita Payne (1960- ) in the women's 4X400 meter running relay; Alexandra Barre (1958- ) and Susan Holloway (1955- ) in women's k-2 500 meter canoeing; Marilyn Brain (1959- ), Angela Schneider (1959- ), Barbara Armbrust (1963- ), Jane Tregunno (1962- ) and Lesley Thompson (1959- ), in women's four with coxswain rowing; Elizabeth Craig (1957- ) and Tricia Smith (1957- ) in women's pairs rowing; Anne Ottenbrite (1966- ) in women's 100 meter breastbone swimming; Sharon Hambrook (1963- ) and Kelly Kryczka (1961- ) in women's synchronized swimming; Carolyn Waldo (1964- ) in women's solo synchronized swimming; Bronze Medals; Lynn Williams (1960- ) in women's 3000 meter run; Alexandra Barre (1958- ), Lucie Guay (1958- ), Susan Holloway (1955- ) and Barbara Olmsted (1959- ) in women's K-4 500 meter kayak; Silken Laumann (1964- ) and Daniele Laumann (1961- ) in woman's double sculls rowing; Reema Abdo (1963- ), Anne Ottenbrite, (1966- ) Michelle MacPherson (1966- )and Pamela Rai (1966- ) in women's X 100 meter swimming medley relay; Source: Canadian Olympic Committee.
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)
August 1984 - Lisa Buscombe becomes Canada's 1st 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 Florence Scott (1928- ) is the 1st woman to be appointed as National Librarian, at the level of a deputy minister in the federal government.
1984 - Ursula Martius Franklin ( 1921- ) becomes the 1st woman to be named a university professor at the University of Toronto.
1984 - Pat Messner (1954- ) national, international and olympic medalist in water skiing is inducted into the Greater Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.
February 10, 1984 - Born Stephanie Dixon (1984- ) born with only one leg, she is a highly decorated Paralympic athlete
September 27, 1984 - Born Avril Lavigne (1984- ) contemporary singer and son writer who rose quickly as an entertainer and star.
1984 - Died - Nora Hendrix (1883-1984) Black pioneer of Vancouver, British Columbia & 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 & actor on the west coast.
May 7, 1984 - Died Helen Kalvak (1901-1984) Inuit artist who helped found the Holman Eskimo Co-operative. 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 ( - 1984) renowned organist & 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 – Nairobi Hosts the 3rd International Conference on Women’s Issues.
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.
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, 1986 - Vancouver, British Columbia hosts a world exposition called 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 1st 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.)
Sports Canada issues a Policy on Women in Sport, calling for equal
opportunities for women and men to compete, coach, officiate and
administer sport at all levels.
Source: Status of Women Canada.
Adult fact Sheet Women and sports in Canada: an historical overview.
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 (1943- ) is the 1st 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 - Colonel 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 Mary Louise Northway (1909-1987) psychologist, businesswoman and philanthropist
1987 - Died Lillian Alice Chase ( -1987) medical doctor
1987 - Died Gladys "Gladdy" Balsillie (1919-1987) businesswoman who was a burlesque agent.
1987 - Died Christine Hamilton (1921-1987) social activist in Hamilton, Ontario
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 7, 1987 - Died Georgette Vachon (1900-1987), author
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 6, 1987 - Died Simone Routier (1901-1987) poet.
November 24, 1987 - Died Jehane Benoit (1904-1987), rebound chef and author who was an officer in the Order of Canada.
November 29, 1987 - Died Gwendolyn MacEwen (1941-1987) renowned poet.
|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)
1988 - Carol Anne Letheren (1942-2001) becomes the 1st woman appointed Chef de Mission for the Olympic Games.
February 15 - 28, 1988 - Olympic Games, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Silver Medals; Elizabeth Manley (1965- ) in women's singles figure skating. Bronze Medals: Karen Percy (1966- ) in women's downhill alpine skiing and women's super-G alpine skiing; Tracy Wilson (1961- ) and Robert McCall ice dancing. Source: Canadian Olympic Committee.
September 17 - October 2, 1988 - Olympic Games Seoul, Korea:
Gold medals; Carolyn Waldo (1964- ) in synchronized swimming and a second in the duet synchronized swimming with Michelle Cameron (1962- ). Waldo is the 1st Canadian woman to win two gold medals at a Summer Olympics.
Bronze Medals; Gina Smith (1957- ), Cynthia Ishoy (1952- ), Ashley Nicoll (1963- ) and Eva-Maria Pracht (1937- ) in equestrian dressage team; Andrea Nugent (1968- ), Allison Higson (1973- ), Jane Kerr (1968- ) and Lori Melien (1972- ) in women's 4X100 meters swimming medley relay. Source: Canadian Olympic Committee
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 Blondwin (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 - Debbie Palmer (1955- ) escapes with her 8 children from the polygamous community of Bountiful, British Columbia bringing the spotlight on polygamous Mormon marriages in Canada.
1988 - Bonnie and Fred Cappuccino (1935- ) 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.:
1988 - For the 1st time at the University of British Columbia women law students outnumber men
1989 - Heather
Erxleben (1966- ) becomes
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 (1953- ) pass course to become Canada's 1st two female fighter pilots certified to fly fighter aircraft and available for combat roles...possible they are the 1st 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)
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 (1966- ) of Banff , Alberta wins a Silver Medal in women's alpine skiing.
September 15, 1989 - Joan Pennefather is the 1st woman appointed as Government Film Commissioner and Cahirperson of the National Film Board of Canada.
December 2, 1989 - Audrey McLaughlin, (1936- ) of the New Democratic Party, is the 1st woman federal leader of a Canadian political party.
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 - Ingrid Hall is the 1st woman from any country to become an ambassador to Indonesia. Sources: Margaret K. Weiers, Envoys Extraordinary: Women of the Canadian Foreign Service. (Toronto; Dundurn, 1995);
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