Edmonton, Alberta, October 21, 2011 -- On behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Canada’s Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, announced the commemoration of the Persons Case as a National Historic Event. The ceremony was held at the Faculty of Women’s Studies of the University of Alberta.“Eighty-two years ago, a group of trail-blazing Albertan women, now known as the Famous Five challenged the status quo, creating lasting and positive change for every Canadian woman," said Minister Ambrose. "As a proud Albertan, I am thrilled to be here today to recognize the Persons Case as an event of national historic significance and commemorate the courage and dedication of the Famous Five.”
Canada’s Famous Five were Emily Murphy, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney, Nellie McClung, and Henrietta Edwards. Together they initiated the petition to the Supreme Court of Canada that began the Persons Case. Their purpose was to close one of the legal gaps that permitted women to be treated as second-class citizens. They did obtain the right for women to serve in the Senate and also paved the way for women to participate in other aspects of public life.“The Persons Case is one of the most significant human rights decisions made in the course of Canada’s history,” said Minister Kent. “As Canadians we have a rich and diverse history, and the Government of Canada is pleased to commemorate an event that honours that legacy.”
October is also Women's History Month in Canada. Proclaimed in 1992 by the Government of Canada, Women's History Month provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn about the important contributions of women and girls to our history. Women's History Month 2011 recognizes the invaluable contributions of women to the military in Canada over the years with this year’s theme: Women in Canadian Military Forces: A Proud Legacy.Created in 1919, and supported by Parks Canada, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Government of Canada through the Minister of the Environment regarding the national historic significance of places, persons and events that have marked Canada’s history. Parks Canada manages a nation-wide network of national historic sites that make up a rich tapestry of Canada’s historical heritage and which offers visitors the opportunity for real and inspiring discoveries.
For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room