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AgnesProfile

The Bank of Canada wants to put a Canadian woman on our money; and it's giving the public until April 15th to nominate someone. Go here to have your say.

Well, it's about time. Don't get me wrong. I like the Queen. She's a nice lady ... been through a lot.

But she's not, you know, one of us.

So the question is who?

In our little corner of Canada, the 'who' is easy. There's Nellie McClung – one of the Famous Five women who argued that they were, counter to manly opinion at the time, "persons."

Then there's Nahweebawbeekwe – Catherine Sutton. When the Government of Upper Canada refused to let her and her Band buy back their own land after the Treaty of 1836, she took their grievance to England andput it before Queen Victoria.

There's no shortage of accomplished women in Canada -- you can see who's been nominated so far here.

But the woman I'd like to see on my money is Agnes Macphail. The same year women won the right to vote, she won a seat in the House of Commons. To do it she had to face down public scorn, opposition from her family, and two dozen male opponents in a knock-em-down, drag-em-out nomination meeting.

As an independent Progressive, Agnes represented Grey County, then Bruce-Grey, for nearly 2 decades. In that time, she championed causes that are with us still: equal pay for women, a publicly funded pension plan, support for the new Canadian Federation of Agriculture, penal reform, workers rights, and justice for disabled vets.

Prime Ministers tried to co-opt her into their Cabinets but she refused, preferring to plough her own furrow. Sounds to me like the kind of women we still have around these parts.

More on Agnes at the Grey Highlands Library website:

And on YouTube:

David McLaren

Neyaashiinigmiing, Bruce Peninsula ON

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