NDP Leader comments on Persons’ Day
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) is observing Persons’ Day with a pang of sadness this year.
“It is, as always, uplifting to reflect on the progress women have made since October 18, 1929, when we were first recognized as persons under Canadian Law,” said Michael. “This year, however, is our first Persons’ Day without Nancy Riche.”
The Persons’ Awards, more formally known as the Annual Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case, were established in 1979 to mark the 50th anniversary of the landmark Privy Council decision.
Every year six Canadian citizens who have helped advance the equality of women and girls are given the award. Since 2000, one award has been designated the Persons Case Youth Award to honour young people aged 15 - 30 who work to improve the quality of life for Canadian women and girls.
Nine women from Newfoundland and Labrador have received the award. This year, two of them passed away. Frances Laracy (a 1987 recipient) died in August. Nancy Riche, a long-time NDP supporter and activist who received the Persons Award in 2002, died October 1.
“To me, Nancy personified the spirit of the Persons’ Award,” said Michael. “She was unceasing in her fight for equality for all people, but particularly for women and girls. She never backed away from a challenge. She never retired from the struggle.”
“We miss her, but we know that the hundreds of women she inspired will continue the battle for equality.”