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

  • Early agreement reached in dispute over Suez Canal ship

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO -- The owners and insurers of the giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week earlier this year have reached an agreement in principle over their dispute with canal authorities, representatives from both sides said Wednesday. Source
  • Canadian women's soccer team wants to climb further up the Olympic podium

    Canada News CBC News
    With the official announcement of the Canadian women's Olympic soccer roster revealed by Canadian coach Bev Priestman Wednesday, the team can now concentrate on a loftier goal. Winners of back-to-back bronze medals, the Canadian players have aspirations of reaching the medal podium for an unprecedented third consecutive time at the Tokyo Olympics. Source
  • Israel's new government OKs first settlement construction

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- An Israeli defense ministry body advanced plans for 31 West Bank settlement construction projects Wednesday, the first such move under the country's new government. The plans approved by the Civil Administration include a shopping center, a special needs school and a number of infrastructure projects and zoning changes in existing West Bank settlements, Israeli media reported. Source
  • About 50 people forced from their homes as wildfire west of Edmonton keeps growing

    Canada News CBC News
    A wildfire west of Edmonton that triggered evacuation orders in parts of Yellowhead County on Tuesday continues to burn out of control and is expected to keep growing. "We do expect fire activity to pick up today as temperatures rise," Josee St-Onge, a provincial wildfire information officer said in an interview Wednesday. Source
  • Watchdog calls rate of child sexual abuse in Nunavut a crisis

    Canada News CTV News
    Nunavut's representative for children and youth says the territory's high rate of child sexual abuse amounts to a crisis. Jane Bates testified this week before legislature members to discuss her office's 2019-2020 annual report. Source
  • Nearly $37 million needed to fix ‘critical’ deterioration at 24 Sussex Drive: NCC

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- It will cost $175 million over 10 years to restore Canada’s six official residences to good condition, according to a new report from the National Capital Commission. The homes—including the prime minister’s residence at 24 Sussex Drive—have deteriorated due to years of underfunding. Source
  • Japanese court says married couples must stick to single surname

    World News CBC News
    Japan's Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that laws requiring married couples to have the same surname are constitutional, dismissing a challenge by three couples seeking to keep separate names. The decision to affirm a 2015 Supreme Court ruling was a disappointment for rights activists who say the laws violate the constitution's guarantee of gender equality, since women almost always sacrifice their surnames. Source
  • Airstrike in Ethiopia's Tigray kills more than 50: witnesses

    World News CTV News
    NAIROBI, KENYA -- An airstrike hit a busy market in Ethiopia's northern Tigray village of Togoga on Tuesday and killed at least 51 people, according to health workers who said soldiers blocked medical teams from traveling to the scene. Source
  • 'It was a hoot': Owl with broken wing that was coaxed into a dog kennel set free in B.C. after recovery

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- An owl with a broken wing that was rescued by highway patrol officers last fall has been set free after its recovery. Last September, a BC Highway Patrol officer spotted an injured owl on Highway 7 near Ruby Creek between Agassiz and Hope. Source
  • Nova Scotia reports no new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday; active cases drop to 60

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, as well as 14 recoveries, as the active number of cases in the province drops to 60 - the lowest number of active cases reported in the province since April 18. Source