Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to celebrate the centennial of the Women's Institute with my colleagues in the House. Over the last 100 years the work of the Women's Institute has become well known and respected across Canada and around the world.
The movement began with one woman, Adelaide Hoodless, and her response to the death of her 18-month old son from drinking impure milk. Impelled by her personal loss, Mrs. Hoodless became an activist campaigning for clean milk. On February 19, 1897 at Stoney Creek, Ontario the Women's Institute began, creating a movement to educate women in the home sciences.
The local movement spread quickly to become the pre-eminent women's organization in Canada. At the turn of the century the concept spread to Britain and throughout Europe. In 1933 the organizations joined forces and the Association of Country Women of the World was formed.
Over the years, issues have changed and the WI continues to make a difference. I am honoured to acknowledge those who continue that important community based work which was started a century ago.