Montreal, July 28, 2014
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Dear Prime Minister Harper,
On behalf of the Conseil provincial du Québec des femmes diplômées des universities/Quebec Provincial Council of University Women’s Clubs affiliated with the Canadian Federation of University Women, I wish to express our shock and dismay upon hearing of the removal of the name of Thérèse Casgrain, a feminist icon and Quebec heroine, from a national honour to be replaced by a volunteer award bearing the prime minister’s banner as well as other evidence of Mme. Casgrain’s image and accomplishments being erased from the public sphere.
The Thérèse Casgrain Volunteer Award was and should be a fitting tribute to the woman who fought successfully for the right of Quebec women to vote, who became the first female leader of a political party in Canada, heading the CCF in Quebec, served as an independent Senator, was named Companion of the Order of Canada and who all her life served Canada with distinction.
We call upon the Prime Minister to reverse this decision and return the name and image of Mme Casgrain to the national volunteer award and other areas of the public sphere so that she can continue to serve as an inspiration to all Canadians, women and men alike.
Brenda Shanahan, President,
Conseil provincial du Québec des femmes diplômées des universities/Quebec Provincial Council of University Women’s Clubs