Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case

October 18, 2017

Governor General to Present Awards
in Commemoration of the Persons Case  

OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will present the Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case to six laureates during a ceremony at Rideau Hall, on Thursday, October 19, 2017, at 10:30 a.m.

Below is the list of the 2017 laureates:

  • Betsy Bury,of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is recognized for her social justice initiatives in the areas of women’s rights and access to health care services.
  • Micheline Dumont,of Sherbrooke, Quebec, is a distinguished feminist scholar, historian and social activist whose historical research and writings illuminate the early realities of women’s lives and also highlight the work that remains to achieve gender equality.
  • Dr. Ramona Lumpkin,of Halifax, Nova Scotia, is a distinguished feminist scholar and university administrator whose work as president and vice-chancellor of Mount Saint Vincent University has guided the institution towards greater equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Elizabeth Sheehy,of Ottawa, Ontario, is a distinguished Canadian legal scholar and expert on legal responses to violence against women whose research has helped to transform Canada’s criminal justice system.
  • Linda Slanina,of Kitimat, British Columbia, has devoted the greater part of her life to ensuring the safety of women and children in her community. For more than two decades, she has worked tirelessly to empower women and girls and end gender-based violence in her hometown.
  • Melissa Sariffodeen (youth recipient),of Toronto, Ontario, is the co-founder and CEO of Ladies Learning Code, a national, non-profit organization that provides technical education and training to 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 awards or the laureates, visit the Status of Women Canada website at


Members of the media wishing to cover the ceremony are asked to confirm their attendance in advance with the Rideau Hall Press Office. They must arrive at the Princess Anne Entrance no later than 10:15 a.m. on the day of the ceremony. 

Media information:

Josephine Laframboise
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-668-1929 (cell)

Nanci-Jean Waugh
Status of Women Canada

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