Five Remarkable Canadian Women honoured with Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case

Oct 03, 2012, 10:00 ET from Status of Women Canada

OTTAWA, Oct. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women today congratulated the 2012 recipients of the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case. These five outstanding women are:

Caroline Andrew of Ottawa is a professor emeritus, Director of the Centre on Governance and former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa;

Saara Bhanji (youth recipient) of Vancouver is a passionate leader and tireless advocate for change in the lives of girls and young women;

Joanne Cave (youth recipient) of Edmonton is a proponent of equality for women and girls. She was named one of Alberta's 50 most influential people;

Corinne Gallant of Dieppe, New Brunswick, is a professor emeritus at the University of Moncton, an Acadian advocate and an icon in the Canadian women's movement; and

Régine Alende Tshombokongo of Montréal is a dedicated community advocate who works tirelessly to improve the lives of immigrant women in Quebec.

"I congratulate this year's Persons Awards recipients for their exceptional leadership and their valuable contributions to Canadian society," said Minister Ambrose. "They are creating lasting, positive change for women, their families and their communities."

The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada will present the awards during a ceremony at Rideau Hall on Persons Day, October 18, 2012.

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About the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case:

In 1929, after two years of legal debate, Canada's highest court of appeal declared that the word "person" included both women and men. The decision by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of Great Britain made it possible for women to serve in the Senate. It also paved the way for women's increased participation in public and political life. The case had been brought before the courts by five Alberta women, who were soon to become known as the "Famous Five": Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Emily Murphy and Irene Parlby. The case became known as the Persons Case.

The Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case were created in 1979 to mark the 50th anniversary of this groundbreaking case, which changed the course of history for women in Canada.

An official call for nominations for the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case is made every spring. Nomination forms and brochures outlining selection criteria are available on Status of Women Canada's web site and may be submitted at any time.

About Women's History Month:

October is Women's History Month in Canada. Proclaimed in 1992 by the Government of Canada, Women's History Month provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn about the important contributions of women and girls to our society - and to the quality of our lives today. Women's History Month 2012's theme, Strong Girls, Strong Canada: Leaders from the Start, recognizes girl's roles and achievements in Canada's history and development, as well as the challenges and opportunities they have experienced over time.


SOURCE Status of Women Canada