Mr. Speaker, I rise today because I believe in the strength, the capability and the equality of women.
This week is the anniversary of the pivotal Persons case where Canadian women against all odds finally won the basic right of equality: the recognition of women as persons in law and the equal right to vote.
I feel it is most fitting for me to encourage women of today to honour the memory of Nellie McClung and her compatriots by embracing our freedom and exercising our equality by denouncing special status. Special status is divisive. It is the very issue that Nellie McClung fought against.
Today we can honour those women whose struggle was against true inequality and who gave us all the ability to participate equally. We can recognize that they would not have sought further protectionism in the guise of affirmative action.
Our charter of rights and freedoms clearly states that we are all equal before the law and I believe that would have been enough for Nellie McClung.
I thank the women of the Persons case for their legacy. I am proud to say again, women are persons and equal today, without distinction.