Century since first women's voting rights in Canada

On this day in 1916, Canadian women earned the right to vote in a provincial election, thanks to the crusading efforts of Nellie McClung and her supporters in Manitoba.

See Full Article

McClung was a prominent figure in the suffrage-focused Political Equality League of her time, and helped lead the charge against the province of Manitoba to win the right to vote. At one point, she even played the "Premier" in a mock session of Parliament, as the League sought to show how ridiculous it was to exclude women from the democratic process.

McClung was an active member of Manitoba's Liberal Party, and in 1915, the Liberals defeated the Conservatives in an election and introduced legislation to grant women the vote. The legislation became official on Jan. 28, 1916.

Other provinces soon followed suit, with Saskatchewan and Alberta granting voting rights that same year, followed by most of the other provinces and territories in the following decade. Quebec was the last province to grant women the vote, in 1940, while the Northwest Territories did not do so until 1951.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged the anniversary for women's voting rights in a statement, issued on Thursday.

"This victory played a crucial role in shaping the Canada we know and love - a Canada where acceptance, equality, and respect are integral parts of who we are and what we stand for," Trudeau said in the statement. "These brave suffragettes led by example then, and they continue to inspire us now."

Trudeau also repeated a notion he put forward during a panel on gender last week, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"All Canadians, women and men alike, should be proud to call themselves feminists," he said.

He added that Canadians "still have a lot of work to do" to become more inclusive of women in government.

Last year, Trudeau selected the first gender-equal cabinet in Canadian history. However, only 26 per cent of Canada's elected MPs are female, and the country has only had one female prime minister – Kim Campbell, who governed for less than two months.

Three of Canada's current premiers are female, with Rachel Notley leading Alberta, Christy Clark in charge in B.C. and Kathleen Wynne at the helm in Ontario.

"Together, we can, and will, continue to push for true equality between men and women, right here in Canada and around the world," Trudeau said in his statement.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 'Extreme' winter weather hits Canada

    Canada News CTV News
    An “intense winter storm” could slam parts of Quebec and Atlantic Canada this weekend, bringing with it “major” snowfall of 30 cm or higher, according to Environment Canada. “While it is difficult to give details this far in advance, all indications show a major snowfall event (for the Maritimes),” the department website reads. Source
  • Canadian kidnapped in Burkina Faso found dead

    Canada News CBC News
    A Canadian kidnapped in Burkina Faso has been found dead, says his family, two days after he was abducted. Kirk Woodman, originally from Halifax, was abducted Tuesday night by a dozen gunmen at a mining site owned by Vancouver-based Progress Minerals near the border with Niger, in an area the government says is under growing threat from armed jihadists. Source
  • Canadian kidnapped in Burkina Faso is dead

    Canada News CTV News
    CTV News has confirmed that a Canadian kidnapped in Burkina Faso has been found dead. Kirk Woodman was working for Vancouver-based Progress Mineral Mining Company. A spokesperson for Burkina Faso's security ministry said Woodman was abducted during a raid of a local mining site in the northern party of the country. Source
  • Defence to question forensics officer at Dennis Oland murder trial

    Canada News CTV News
    SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- A forensics officer is back on the stand today at the Dennis Oland murder trial, this time facing defence questions. Sgt. Mark Smith of Saint John police has recounted for the court the collection of over 500 pieces of evidence from the scene where multi-millionaire Richard Oland was bludgeoned to death, and from searches relating to his son Dennis. Source
  • Defence chief admits slower-than-expected growth in female representation

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada's top military officer admits there has been slower progress than expected to get more women into the Canadian Forces. New figures show there has been only a small increase in the number of women in the military over the last two years, but Gen. Source
  • Eskasoni grieving after multiple 'expected and unexpected' deaths

    Canada News CBC News
    Nova Scotia's largest Mi'kmaw community is grieving after what the band council calls multiple "expected and unexpected" deaths. The Eskasoni First Nation council said in a statement yesterday the community in eastern Cape Breton is going through a difficult time. Source
  • Global pushback against autocrats grows, says rights watchdog

    World News CBC News
    The world is seeing growing resistance against the abuses of autocrats as states, civic groups and popular movements all push back against populists seeking to curtail freedoms, according to a new global report released Thursday that also outlines where Canada is both advancing and falling short in its efforts. Source
  • New Hampshire toddler escapes home, found dead in freezing temperatures

    World News CTV News
    NEWPORT, N.H. -- A New Hampshire toddler, barefoot and clad only in a nightgown, was found dead early Monday in bitter cold weather just feet from her front door after she managed to get out of her house and couldn't get back in. Source
  • 3 young children die after getting trapped in chest freezer

    World News CTV News
    LIVE OAK, Fla. - Authorities in Florida say three young children playing outside climbed into an unplugged chest freezer and died when they couldn't get out. The Suwannee County Sheriff's Office says the children, ages 1, 4, and 6, couldn't be revived when they were found Sunday at a home in Live Oak in north Florida. Source
  • Kenya still hunts for explosives after deadly hotel attack

    World News CTV News
    NAIROBI, Kenya -- Kenyan bomb disposal experts on Thursday searched for explosives left over from the deadly extremist attack on a Nairobi luxury hotel complex in which 21 people, plus five attackers, were killed. The Kenyan government said its quick reaction to Tuesday's assault on the DusitD2 complex reflected improvements in its ability to respond to such brazen assaults on civilian targets. Source