Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jean Casselman Wadds

Pioneer politician

"It was thanks to three women that we were eventually able to reform our Constitution - the Queen, who was favourable; Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister, who undertook to do everything that our Parliament asked of her; and Jean Wadds, who represented the interest of Canada so well in London." – Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Born in 1920 in Newton Robinson, Ontario; died in 2011.

Third woman to be elected to the Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa, filling the seat of her husband Arza Casselman (known as Cass), who was first elected in 1921 and held the seat from 1925 until his death in 1958.

When elected, she joined her father, the Hon. Earl Rowe, as the first ever father-daughter team to serve in the House of Commons.

First woman in Canadian history to be appointed as a parliamentary secretary.

First woman to be appointed by the Canadian government as a delegate to the United Nations in 1961.

First woman to be appointed Canadian High Commissioner to Great Britain in 1979. It was during her time in London that the Canadian Constitution was repatriated.

Was awarded the Order of Canada in 1982.

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