Persons Day – Statement by the Leader of the Liberal Party

October 18, 2019

The Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Persons Day:

“Emily Murphy. Nellie McClung. Irene Parlby. Louise McKinney. Henrietta Muir Edwards. Known as the Famous Five, this group of determined Alberta women fought for years to gain women the right to serve as senators and be recognized as ‘persons’ under the law. They came together to challenge the status quo and push for a government that reflected the country it served.

On Persons Day, we celebrate the anniversary of a landmark victory for women’s rights and a turning point for democracy in Canada. The 1929 ruling opened the door to further progress, lending momentum to future generations who would continue to push for a more equal world.

Persons Day falls during Women’s History Month – a reminder that women have fought for change in the past, and continue to do so today. Advocates are carrying this work forward, and over the last four years, our Liberal government has stood with them. Whether it’s introducing Canada’s first gender-equal Cabinet, helping more women start their own business, combatting gender-based violence, or investing in education for the world’s most vulnerable women and girls, we’ve worked to move the dial on gender equality and build a more just, equal Canada for everyone. And from breaking down barriers in the workforce by offering guaranteed paid family leave, to investing in the organizations that fight for gender equality each day, we will keep putting gender equality at the heart of everything we do.

The Famous Five’s story also teaches us that we have to keep pushing forward – especially when the going gets tough. In 2019, we’ve seen an attack on women’s rights around the world, from the legitimization of gender-based violence, to the assault on a woman’s right to choose. Even in Canada, some politicians are intent on rolling back rights and cutting access to important services like health care and sexual assault centres. We can’t afford to lose ground on gender equality – but Persons Day shows us that if we work together, we can win the hardest battles. Today, let’s come together for a more equal world, and choose forward, for all of us.”