Mr. Speaker, today we commemorate the Persons Case, and we recognize the countless women whose contributions have changed the course of the history of our democracy.
Eighty-seven years ago today, the highest court in the land recognized that women should be included in the legal definition of “persons” under the Constitution Act, 1867, thanks to the efforts of five courageous women. That was only the beginning of the fight.
My personal unsung hero is Isabel Dawson, one of the first women to graduate in law from McGill. Legally prohibited from becoming a member of the bar until 1941, her 1936 Civil Code commanded her to obey her husband, something she rarely did, and as a married woman, prevented her from entering into contracts, alongside minors and the insane.
These provisions were not fully revoked, in fact, until the mid-1960s. We have come a long way. It is thanks to the struggles of my grandmother, whom I still miss every day, that I am able to stand here and personally appreciate the work that has been done and remains to be accomplished.