Thérèse Forget Casgrain
Thérèse Forget Casgrain, c. 1942
|Senator for Mille Isles, Quebec|
October 7, 1970 –July 10, 1971
|Appointed by||Pierre Trudeau|
|Preceded by||Gustave Monette|
|Succeeded by||Renaude Lapointe|
|Leader of the Parti social démocratique du Québec|
|Preceded by||Romuald-Joseph Lamoureux|
|Succeeded by||Michel Chartrand|
|Born||July 10, 1896|
Saint-Irénée-les-Bains, Quebec, Canada
|Died||November 3, 1981 85) (aged|
|Political party|| Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (1945-1961),|
Parti social démocratique du Québec,
New Democratic Party (1961-1970),
|Relations||Rodolphe Forget, father|
Thérèse Casgrain,LL.D. (10 July 1896 – 3 November 1981) was a French Canadian feminist, reformer, politician and senator.
Born in Saint-Irénée-les-Bains,Quebec, she was raised in a wealthy family, the daughter of Blanche (MacDonald), Lady Forget, and Sir Rodolphe Forget. She married Pierre-François Casgrain, a wealthy Liberal politician with whom she raised four children.
In 1905, at 8 years old, she became a boarder at the Dames du Sacré-Coeur, at Sault-au-Récollet. She hoped to further her studies at university, but her father opposed the notion of not seeing its use. According to him, she should rather learn how to manage a household, a quality that is befitting of a future spouse of her stature.
Thérèse accompanied her husband in Ottawa for the opening of the parliamentary session in the spring of 1918. It is in the federal capital that she takes conscience of the importance of the question of the right to vote for women. During the last federal election, a certain number of women were allowed to vote. The governor Borden would later adopt the Women's Suffrage Act , a project of law that would allow the right to vote at federal elections for all Canadian women of twenty-one years or older. However, in Québec, women still couldn't vote during provincial elections. The opposition for such an extension of the law was strong, notably from the clergy and the conservative elite.
Casgrain led the women's suffrage movement in Quebec prior to World War II. She founded the Provincial Franchise Committee in 1921 and campaigned for women's rights and for the right to vote in Quebec elections, a right that was not won until 1940. From 1928 to 1942, she was the leader of the League for Women's Rights. In the 1930s, she hosted a popular radio show Fémina.
In the 1942 federal by-election, she stood as an "Independent Liberal" candidate in the Charlevoix-Saguenay riding, the same seat formerly held both by her father and by her husband.
Following World War II, she left the Liberal Party and joined the social democratic Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). In 1948, she became one of the federal vice presidents of the CCF. She led the Quebec wing of the party, the Parti social démocratique du Québec, from 1951 to 1957. She was, therefore, the first female leader of a political party in Canada. She was a CCF candidate in a 1952 federal by-election and in the 1953, 1957, and 1958 federal general elections and a New Democratic Party candidate in the 1962 and 1963 federal general elections. She also used her position as a platform to campaign against the government of Maurice Duplessis.
In the 1960s, she became a campaigner against nuclear weapons, founding in February 1961 the Quebec wing of Voice of Women (VOW) and serving as the national president of VOW from 1962-1963.She also was a founder of the La Ligue des droits l'homme devenue en 1978 la Ligue des droits et libertés and the Fédération des femmes du Québec. In the 1960s, she was president of the Quebec wing of the New Democratic Party, the CCF's successor; she ran in the April 1963 Canadian federal election.
In 1969, Casgrain was elected president of the Consumers' Association of Canada Quebec section. Casgrain succeeded to an anglophone president, David Macfarlane, who considered that the Quebec section’s position was indefensible, as it was dominated by anglophone elements and used English as its primary work language. Many members of the association hoped Casgrain would fix this problem as president.
Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau appointed Casgrain to the Senate of Canada in 1970, where she sat as an independent for nine months before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75. As senator she questioned the prime minister's policy on the use of Canadian-made napalm and defoliants in Vietnam.
For the last decade of her life, she was committed to helping the rights of American Indian women. She also invested herself in charity works and consumer rights.
During the 1980 Quebec independence referendum, Casgrain campaigned for the "No" side.She was among the voices who criticized Lise Payette, then minister of the feminine condition, for saying that women who didn't back a "Yes" vote would be responsible for blocking progress, and likened them to Yvette, a fictional schoolgirl who featured in school primers.
She died in 1981.Thérèse Casgrain's body is interred in the Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges in Montreal.
In recognition of her achievements, in 1967, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, and in 1974, she was promoted to Companion. In 1968 she received an honorific PhD from the University of Montreal.
In 1979, she was named one of the first winners of the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.
In 1974, Loyola College, one of Concordia University's founding institutions, awarded her the Loyola Medal.She received an honorary doctorate from Concordia on 1980.
In 1980 she received the title of Grand Montrealer in the social category.In 1981 she received an honorary phd from the University of Windsor.
In 1982, the Thérèse Casgrain Volunteer Award was created in 1982 by the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau. It was discontinued in 1990 under the Conservative ministry of Brian Mulroney, but was begun anew in 2001 under the Liberal ministry of Jean Chrétien. In 2010, during the Conservative ministry of Stephen Harper, the award was eliminated and then repackaged as the "Prime Minister's Volunteer Award".In 2016 under the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau the award was once again renamed as the Thérèse Casgrain Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award.
In 1991-1992 She received the medal of the Bar of Montreal (a posthumous title).
In 1985, Canada Post honoured Thérèse Casgrain with a postage stamp.She also was commemorated in 2004 on the reverse of the $50 banknote of the Canadian Journey Series along with The Famous Five. This commemoration was discontinued in 2012 with the introduction of a new design on the reverse of the fifty-dollar bill.
In 2012, the Hon. Pauline Marois, first female premier of Quebec, unveiled a statue of Casgrain, Marie Lacoste Gérin-Lajoie, Idola Saint-Jean and Marie-Claire Kirkland. The statue by Jules Lasalle was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kirkland being made the first Canadian female minister.
in 2016, she became commander of the Order of Montreal (a posthumous title)
A Thérèse-Casgrain fonds is conserved in Ottawa by Library and Archives Canada.The archival reference number is R7906, former archival reference number MG32-C25. The fonds covers the date range 1818 to 1981. It consists of 2.05 meters of textual records and 534 photographs.
The Thérèse F.-Casgrain Foundation fonds is conserved at the Montreal archives center of the National Library and Archives of Quebec.
Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau, also referred to by the initials PET, was a Canadian politician who was the 15th prime minister of Canada and leader of the Liberal Party of Canada from 1968 to 1984, with a brief period instead as Leader of the Opposition between 1979 and 1980. His tenure of 15 years and 164 days makes him Canada's third longest-serving Prime Minister, behind William Lyon Mackenzie King and John A. Macdonald.
The politics of Quebec are centred on a provincial government resembling that of the other Canadian provinces, namely a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. The capital of Quebec is Quebec City, where the Lieutenant Governor, Premier, the legislature, and cabinet reside.
Claude Ryan, was a Canadian journalist and politician. He was the director of the newspaper Le Devoir from 1964 to 1978, leader of the Quebec Liberal Party from 1978 to 1982, National Assembly of Quebec member for Argenteuil from 1979 to 1994 and Minister of Education from 1985 to 1989.
Jean-Charles Lapierre was a Canadian politician and television and radio broadcaster. After retiring from the government in 2007, he served as a political analyst in a variety of venues.
Eric William Kierans was a Canadian economist and politician.
John Moody Roberts, was a Canadian politician. He was a Liberal Member of Parliament for 13 years interspersed between 1968 and 1984. He was a member of cabinet in the government of Pierre Trudeau.
William Warren Allmand, was a Canadian politician who served as a Member of Parliament in the Parliament of Canada from 1965 to 1997. A member of the Liberal Party, he represented the Montreal riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and served in the cabinet of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau from 1972 to 1979. As Solicitor General, Allmand introduced legislation that successfully abolished the death penalty in Canada in 1976.
Michel Chartrand was a Canadian trade union leader from Quebec.
Pierre-François Casgrain, was a Canadian lawyer and politician. He was Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons from 1936 to 1940.
Marc Lalonde is a Canadian retired politician and cabinet minister.
Raymonde Folco is a Canadian politician, member of the Liberal Party of Canada. She represented the Quebec riding of Laval—Les Îles in the House of Commons of Canada through 5 successive parliaments from 1997 to 2011, when she left politics.
The New Democratic Party is a social democratic federal political party in Canada. The party was founded in 1961 by the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). On the Canadian political spectrum, the party sits to the left of the Liberal Party. The federal and provincial level NDPs are more integrated than other political parties in Canada, and have shared membership.
The Ligue des droits et libertés is a not-for-profit human rights organization based in Montreal in the Canadian province of Quebec. Under the Duplessis regime, some of the founders of the League were already very active in the defense of human rights in Canada. This is particularly the case of Frank Scott, who founded the Canadian Society for Human Rights in 1937, Thérèse Casgrain, pioneer in the fight for women's suffrage and founder of the League for Women's Rights, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who participated in the creation of several groups intended to federate the opposition forces to the duplessist regime in the second half of the 1950s.
Mélanie Joly is a Canadian lawyer and politician who has served as the minister of economic development and official languages since 2019. A member of the Liberal Party, Joly represents the Montreal area riding of Ahuntsic-Cartierville in the House of Commons, taking office as member of Parliament (MP) following the 2015 federal election. She has held a number of portfolios including Canadian heritage, tourism, and La Francophonie. Joly ran for mayor of Montreal in the 2013 Montreal municipal election, placing second behind eventual winner Denis Coderre.
Léa Roback was a Canadian trade union organizer, social activist, pacifist, and feminist. She campaigned against exclusion, violence, racism and injustice. A polyglot and a suffragist, she was a pioneer of feminism in Quebec. A Syndicalist, Communist and a Marxist, she opened the first Marxist book store in Montreal.
Idola Saint-Jean was a Quebec journalist, educator and feminist. She devoted her life to the pursuit of equal rights for women in Quebec and her efforts lead to women being given the right to vote in Quebec in 1940.
The 2019 Canadian federal election was held on October 21, 2019, to elect members of the House of Commons to the 43rd Canadian Parliament. The writs of election for the 2019 election were issued by Governor General Julie Payette on September 11, 2019.
Florence Fernet-Martel was an American-born Canadian educator and feminist living in Quebec.
Caroline Dessaulles-Béique was a Canadian social activist and feminist. She was one of the founders of the Provincial Housewife's School, which later became the home economics department of the Université de Montréal, and an advocate who pressed for the founding of juvenile courts. She was a co-founder of the first national feminist organization, the National Federation of Saint John the Baptist for French-speaking Canadian women.