[ July 20, 2019] -- Shortly after Canada Day an important monument moved to a more prominent place near Parliament Hill. Installed in 2000, 'We Are Persons!' relocated from the Senate-side of the Centre Block to the temporary Senate building due to renovations of the Centre Block. Tourists and passers-by can now interact with the monument on the Plaza Bridge across from the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.
This monument is a tribute to the Famous 5: Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney, Nellie McClung, Emily Murphy, and Henrietta Muir Edwards, democratic champions from Alberta. The Famous 5 Foundation hired sculptor Barbara Paterson of Edmonton to create the monuments for both Parliament Hill and for the Olympic Plaza in Calgary. The back of the $50 bill featured this sculpture for the 70th anniversary of the ‘Persons’ Case,
When the Supreme Court of Canada ruled women could not be appointed to our Senate because they were not ‘qualified persons’, the Famous 5 persuaded the Government of Canada to appeal this dreadful decision to the highest court in the British Empire at that time. On October 18, 1929, the Privy Council reversed this decision and currently 54 of the 105 Senators are female.
On October 18, Canada celebrates the 90th Anniversary of this remarkable event. Please visit famous5.ca for events and how to organize your own Pink Tea in commemoration. Pink Teas developed as a subversive way for women to gather and discuss various issues of importance, including suffrage.