The Manitoba 150 Women Trailblazers

By: The Hon. Jane Cordy

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Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, this past year has allowed many of us the time to reflect on our contributions to this world and how we choose to carve out our space in it. This can take many different forms, but I am of the opinion that our greatest hope is that we leave the world somehow better.

I am delighted once again to be able to celebrate our colleagues who have made a difference and who have been recognized as trailblazers because of the good work they have done and continue to do. Senators Bovey, Gagné, McCallum and McPhedran have all been honoured by the Nellie McClung Foundation as part of the 150 Manitoba Women Trailblazers.

This comprehensive list spans the decades to include Nellie McClung herself, who as we know, is one of Canada’s most famous suffragists, and was a driving force in Canadian politics and in securing the right to vote in 1916 for most Manitoba women.

This list, however, does not only recognize politicians, but women or a collective of women from many different fields who have contributed greatly and made an impact on the development of Manitoba. It is incredible to read through this list of recipients, not to mention the longer list still of nominees.

It is not surprising that there are so many women doing so much good work within their communities, and I am delighted to see these women recognized and lifted up because of their work.

Honourable senators, while I could share with you the accomplishments of our colleagues and those who have been named in this list, and there is quite a lot to share, but what they have done is not the most important part of having earned the title trailblazer. The most important legacy of any trailblazer is the path they leave for others.

And so, while I admire the wonderful work of these 150 Manitoba women and especially the work of Senators Bovey, Gagné, McCallum and McPhedran, I also look ahead to the next list of 150 and the one after that and the one after that. I hope that you recognize that your leadership means that because you did, others will, too. Thank you.

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