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Volunteer Award in Feminist's Name Killed Off

And replaced with an award in the Prime Minister's name.

In 1982, then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau created an award to honour Canadian activists. It was named after Therese Casgrain, who "fought for the right of Quebec women to vote, which they finally won in 1940. She also became the first female leader of a political party in Canada, heading the CCF in Quebec, and was appointed to the Senate in 1970 by Trudeau."


This award was essentially discontinued and replaced with the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards, created in 2011. The Casgrain family was given no notice that the award in Therese's name would be abruptly discontinued.

There's something to be said about keeping things tidy, except that when it comes to awards, Canada has no shortage of them provincially or nationally.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper in particular has a terrible track record when it comes to cutting resources to human rights groups, specifically women's groups. In 2011 Harper also watched as the only women to ever be on Canadian currency besides the Queen we were removed. The Famous Five women, not without their own issues, were replaced with the image of an icebreaker ship.


When the changes to the bill were announced, Bank of Canada spokesperson Phuong Anh Ho Huu said "the [new]theme is great Canadian accomplishments – in the country, in the world and in space." The former bill also quoted the 1948 UN Declaration on Human Rights: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and human rights."

Needless to say, this comes as a insult to Canadian women and anyone interested in equal rights. There's a chance that the next federal government will reinstate the award - if the government is Liberal, it will be headed by Trudeau's son, Justin.

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