A few days ago a vote was held in the Senate.
Five honourary appointments were made, five Canadians who made a contribution to Canada that has had lasting impact.
They had not just supplied the current PM with political favours....
* Emily Murphy
* Irene Marryat Parlby
* Nellie Mooney McClung
* Louise Crummy McKinney
* Henrietta Muir Edwards
Although it is definitely an appropriate honour, 80 years late....It also strikes me as a shot across the bow to PM Harper's recent statements that those who used the court challenges program are "left wing fringe" groups.....
I was also surprised to learn that Prime Minister Mackenzie King provided financial support for their appeal to the Privy Council. The government covered the legal fees of $23,368.47, of which $21,000 was for the appeal to the Privy Council.
We could almost say that his contribution was a precursor to the Court Challenges Program that, for many years, provided essential support to women determined to protect and promote their rights.
In Canada, piecemeal arrangements were made across the country so that Women could vote, but since we were not actually "persons" in the eyes of the law, women could not hold seats in the senate.
The famous five had been fighting battles for women's rights for some time.
Nellie McClung, was a real firebrand by all accounts, and had also been involved in the Women's suffrage movement....
The famous Political Equality League 'mock parliament' took place in Manitoba in 1914. Well-known author Nellie McClung, playing the part of the premier in a world where gender roles were reversed, told the audience that it would be a big mistake to give men the vote: "Politics unsettle men, and unsettled men mean unsettled bills, broken furniture, broken vows and divorce. Men's place is on the farm.
The Government in Manitoba was defeated in the 1915 election and on January 29, 1916, the women of Manitoba had the right to vote.
In 1920, women across Canada received the same rights. Sadly, exclusions were still there for some religions, Asian and Aboriginal peoples. Asian people were not granted that right until 1947. (1948 for Japanese Canadians) and not to Aboriginal peoples until 1960. (unless they gave up their treaty rights first.)
When the famous five were posthumously honoured on the 8th of October 2009, it was not simply an empty motion.....
Hon. Claudette Tardif:
I believe that we would best honour the Famous Five by reinstating funding for women's groups to engage in advocacy work, and by reinstating the Court Challenges Program that was eliminated by the current government.
In order to make all who live in Canada equal under the law, battles are still being fought. The court challenges program covered all of these "left wing fringe" groups...
The program helped fund court battles that gave seniors employment-insurance benefits, and gave deaf people the right to get sign-language service in hospitals.
It helped women win pay-equity cases, and simplified the necessary argument for a sexual-assault conviction.
It funded cases that opened schools for French-Canadians, guaranteed English-language rights in Quebec, and helped affirm religious freedoms like Sikh children's right to carry a kirpan.
It helped homosexuals win equality protection under the Charter of Rights in landmark 1990s cases that led to a slew of new legal benefits and eventually paved the path to same-sex marriage.
The REAL self loathing women's group hated the court challenges program and the rights it gave women and minorities. They even RAIL against the Famous Five appearing on Canadian money, they don't want to be persons.....That says so much right there.
It is interesting in that "article" that they use the thoughts and the beliefs that were prevalent at that time among men as well, to demonize the famous five. ( There are also many factual errors about property ownership and the like.)
“Women who set a low value on themselves make life hard for all women.” Nellie McClung.