July 28th, 2014

Official Opposition statement on Thérèse Casgrain

NDP Women’s Caucus Chair Mylène Freeman (Argenteuil–Papineau–Mirabel) made the following statement on Thérèse Casgrain:

“New Democrats are deeply disappointed in the Conservative government’s decision to cast aside the legacy of Thérèse Casgrain—a Canadian feminist, social justice activist and groundbreaking female politician.

“The Conservatives have also quietly done away with the Thérèse Casgrain Volunteer Award, which was created in 1982 in her honour. They recently replaced it with a new Prime Minister’s award, without making any formal announcement or informing her family. The image of Casgrain on our fifty dollar bills was also surreptitiously replaced in 2012.

“Casgrain was an important figure in the fight for equality and for women’s right to vote in Quebec.

“She was a federal vice president of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation – a party which later amalgamated with the federal New Democratic Party – and would go on to lead the Quebec branch of the party, becoming the first woman to lead a political party in Canada.

“She also ran for the New Democratic Party of Quebec in the Outremont-St-Jean riding in the 1962 and 1963 federal elections.

“Thérèse Casgrain was appointed as senator just months before her 75th birthday.

“She deserves our utmost recognition for her contributions to the progress of women in Quebec and throughout Canada.”