Elizabeth Atcheson, Recipient, 2014, Governor General Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case
This is a most gracious acknowledgement in a most
gracious place of the long and bright arc of
equality for women in Canada.
An arc that connects us as individuals with the
change we create together, the past and the future,
what is done and what is unfinished.
Dora de Pédery-Hunt created more than a beautiful medal,
which I am very pleased to wear-perhaps I will be
more pleased at 11 a.m.
-she tells us why we are here.
The colours of those who supported suffrage for women
some 100 years ago were green, white and violet.
Give women the vote.
Hence the green and white of the ribbon, I think.
The women on the medal are moving forward together with
great spirit and purpose.
Women sought the right to vote and hold public office,
not primarily for themselves, but because they sought
specific changes for women.
Changes to address historic and systematic discrimination,
some of which we live with today.
And these are changes that benefit not only women but
we know benefit children, families and society.
This medal challenges us to ensure that women in all of our
diversity are influential and visible at the heart of
what we do and how we do it as a country.
Like the women on the medal, forward all of us,
we'll continue to go.
Thank you to all, upstairs, downstairs,
in the Department and the Ministry for making this day
so special for so many of us.