Mr. Speaker, on October 18 the inauguration of the Women are Persons monument was an unique opportunity to stage a nationally significant event to commemorate the important contribution of the Famous Five and Canadian women as nation builders.
More than 71 years ago, groups had repeatedly requested that a woman be appointed to the Senate, naming Judge Emily Murphy as their candidate. Three consecutive prime ministers were advised not to appoint her on the basis that women were not persons within the meaning of the British North America Act.
Judge Murphy invited four Alberta leaders, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Nellie McClung and Irene Parlby, to join her and petition the supreme court for clarification of section 24. The Persons case of 1929 was a celebrated and landmark victory in the struggle for equality of Canadian women.
Today, to mark this historic date on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Status of Women, I am pleased to declare October 18 Persons Day.