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Thérèse Casgrain (1896 - 1981)

Thérèse  Casgrain (1896 - 1981)


Thérèse Casgrain was a leading woman in Quebec politics. She was instrumental in bringing the right to vote to women in Quebec, and was the first woman to lead a provincial political party.

  • Casgrain hosted a popular feminist radio show, Femina, and was the leader of the League for Women’s Rights.
  • She was featured on the back of the 2006 Canadian $50 bill along with The Famous Five. Their photos were replaced eventually by an icebreaker, leaving Queen Elizabeth II as the only woman on our currency.
  • In 1948, she became one of the federal vice presidents of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, which would later become the New Democratic Party. Casgrain led the Quebec wing of the party, the Parti social démocratique du Québec, from 1951 to 1957. She was president of the Quebec wing of the New Democratic Party.
  • Casgrain was a campaigner against nuclear weapons. In the 1960s she created the Quebec wing of Voice of Women, an organization dedicated to promoting world peace. She was a founder of the League for Human Rights and the Fédération des femmes du Québec.
  • In 1967, she was appointed as an Officer to the Order of Canada and in 1974 she was promoted to Companion.
  • Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau appointed Casgrain to the Canadian Senate in 1970, where she sat as an independent for nine months before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.
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