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Commemoration of the Persons Case

October 25, 2013

Governor General to Present Awards
in Commemoration of the Persons Case 

OTTAWA—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present the Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case to five laureates during a ceremony at Rideau Hall, on Tuesday, October 29, 2013, at 11 a.m.

Below is the list of the 2013 laureates of the Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case:

  • Ms. Constance Backhouse, of Ottawa, is a scholar, activist, teacher, mentor and leader, committed to gender equality and social justice, and to making Canada a better place for women and girls.
  • Ms. Nahanni Fontaine, of Winnipeg, is the special advisor on Aboriginal Women’s Issues for the Aboriginal Issues Committee of Cabinet of Manitoba, with particular focus on Missing & Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls.
  • Ms. Susan Kathryn Shiner, of St. John’s, is an active campaigner for political candidates whose platforms address issues of inequality.
  • Ms. Julie Lalonde (Youth Recipient), of Ottawa, is a graduate student at Carleton University, where she studies the impact of poverty and isolation on elderly women.
  • Ms. Cherry Smiley (Youth Recipient), of Vancouver, is deeply committed to strengthening safety and social justice for women and girls.

About the Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case
In 1929, five women from Alberta won the judiciary battle to be recognized as persons, therefore making them eligible for appointment to the Senate. The Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case were established in 1979, by the Government of Canada, with the support of then-governor general the Right Honourable Edward Schreyer, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this historic decision. These awards highlight Canadian contributions to the advancement of women’s equality and celebrate Canada’s evolution as an inclusive society.For additional information about the Persons Case award or the laureates, please visit the Status of Women Canada web site at


Members of the media wishing to cover the ceremony are asked to confirm their attendance in advance with the Rideau Hall Press Office, and must present themselves at the Princess Anne Entrance by 10:45 a.m. on the day of the ceremony.

Media information:

Melanie Villeneuve
Rideau Hall Press Office

Nanci-Jean Waugh
Status of Women Canada

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