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  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Persons Day

October 18, 2014 

Message from the Governor General of Canada 
on the Occasion of Persons Day

OTTAWA—On October 18, 1929, thanks to their intellectual competency and their determination, Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards won the long legal battle they had begun to ensure that Canadian women were recognized as persons. In so doing, they opened the doors to the Senate and paved the way for women to take part in all aspects of public life. 

Eighty-five years ago, those known as the Famous Five achieved a victory that was essential to the advancement of gender equality at the time. However, it is the entire country that has since benefited from their success in abolishing an injustice that tarnished Canada’s laws and image. These remarkable women truly helped to build a smarter, more caring society. Their daring and achievements remain a source of inspiration for all. 

Persons Day is an opportunity to delve into our rich, collective heritage and to learn more about this chapter in history that allowed Canada to evolve as an inclusive society. I invite all Canadians to celebrate this important date.   

David Johnston


Media information

Marie-Ève Létourneau
Rideau Hall Press Office


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