Thursday, October 2, 2008

Charlotte Whitton

First woman mayor of a large city in Canada (1951)

1896-1975; born in Renfrew; moved to Ottawa in 1922.

"Whatever women must do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult." - Charlotte Whitton

Social worker, politician and feminist, she was a relentless crusader for professional standards of juvenile immigrants and neglected children in the 1920s.

Founder of the Canadian Council on Child Welfare (now the Canadian Council on Social Development).

Lectured across North America on social programs.

Entered Ottawa City politics in 1950. When the elected mayor died the next year she succeeded him (1951). Elected mayor of Ottawa in 1952, 1954, 1960 and 1961 and served as an alderman until 1972.

Historical note on the first woman mayor in Canada: Barbara McCallum Hanley, born in Magnetawan, Ontario was the first woman to be elected mayor in Canada. She was elected mayor of Webbwood, (west of Sudbury) on January 6, 1936 and served the community as mayor for eight years. Charlotte Whitton was the first mayor of a large city in Canada.

No comments: