| May 11, 2003
For Immediate Release
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY
Tories wish moms all the best as they show off their
outstanding women candidates and their plan to establish
a Nellie McClung Foundation
PC Manitoba Leader Stuart Murray, his wife Ashleigh
Everett and several of the 14 women running as candidates
for the PC Manitoba Team joined "Nellie McClung"
to wish all Manitoba mothers a Happy Mother's Day.
"It's hard to believe there was a time when women
were not allowed to vote, let alone hold public office.
Just think of the talent, energy and ideas that we missed
out on for all of those years," said Murray. "I'm
privileged to be surrounded by such a dynamic group
of women who want to serve their communities and move
Manitoba forward as members of the Manitoba Legislative
"We know what busy people mothers are; nevertheless
they've shown they can do it all and more! Women run
households, balance their family's books, nurture children,
build careers and still find time to volunteer throughout
their communities. All Manitoba moms deserve a big hug
and an even bigger thank you for all they do!"
Holding a copy of his bill, Murray explained that last
December he introduced The Nellie McClung Foundation
Act creating a foundation empowered to raise funds for
the erection and maintenance of a sculpture of Nellie
McClung on the Manitoba Legislature grounds. He emphasized
the importance of commemorating McClung for the work
she did gaining Manitoba women the right to vote and
advance women's rights overall.
"Nellie McClung was instrumental in helping Manitoba
women gain the right to vote and we want to honour her
for the role she played in advancing women's rights
throughout Canada," said Murray. "What better
day to remember Nellie and her efforts than Mother's
day as we highlight our team of outstanding women candidates.
I'm so glad she was able to make special appearance
to join us today," said Murray thanking Paula McKenzie
for her appearance as Nellie McClung.
The Progressive Conservative Party elected its first
woman MLA in 1962, while the Liberals elected their
first woman in 1927 and the NDP did not elect a woman
to office until 1981.
BIOGRAPHIES OF 2003 WOMEN PC CANDIDATES:
Ashley Burner, Wolseley
After spending two years at McGill University in Montreal,
Ashley returned home to Winnipeg to continue working
toward a Bachelor of Commerce Degree at the University
of Manitoba. Ashley plans to obtain a Bachelor of Law
Degree from the University of Manitoba.
She is the current President of the University of Manitoba
PC Association. Ashely spent two summers working at
the Legislature for several PC MLAs, and has been working
for PC Manitoba since January.
Ashley's community involvement includes volunteering
in the St. Boniface Hospital gift shop for one year,
in addition to being selected as the Professional Development
Chair of the Commerce Students' Association for 2003-2004.
Ashley also organized the PC Party's involvement in
the CIBC Run for the Cure in October 2002, coached basketball
and debating at Balmoral Hall High School and is a regular
Lousie Dacquay, Seine River
Louise and her husband Bert have two sons, Don and Dan,
and have eight grandchildren. Louise was born and raised
in Carman and worked as a business teacher and department
head for 17 years, primarily in the Fort Garry School
Division. She also has ten years of experience in small
Louise was a Winnipeg city councillor from 1986-1989,
serving on a number of boards and committees. She was
first elected as an MLA in 1990 where she served as
Deputy Speaker from 1990 to 1995 and was later appointed
Speaker of the Legislature in 1995. Louise is currently
the PC Critic for Culture, Heritage and Tourism.
Louise's community involvement includes having served
with the National Library Board, the Federation of Canadian
Municipalities, the St. Boniface Museum Board and the
Variety Club Fundraising Board. She has been involved
in the Zoological Society of Manitoba and the Canadian
Amateur Swim Association and volunteered for the Pan
Am Games and Cancer Care Manitoba.
Myrna Driedger, Charleswood
Myrna and her husband Hal live in Charleswood with their
sons Rhys and Curtis. She has experience as a Registered
Nurse, Nurse/Patient Educator, Medical/Nursing Researcher,
Nursing Project Co-ordinator and Hospital Manager. Myrna
was also the driving force behind the successful development
of Child Find Manitoba.
First elected to the Manitoba Legislature in a 1998
by-election, Myrna served as the Legislative Assistant
to the Minister of Family Services and later to the
Minister of Health. She serves as the PC Advocate for
Family and Women's Issues, Persons with Disabilities
and Housing. Myrna is also Co-Chair of the 2003 Provincial
Myrna is involved in a variety of community organizations
including the Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce and the
Charleswood Legion Branch 100, along with being an Honorary
Rotarian. Myrna has held a number of Community Leaders
Networking Lunches and the Heart of the Community Volunteer
Betty Green, Interlake
Betty and her husband Robert have a cattle and grain
operation in Fisher Branch where they raised their five
Betty is the President of the Manitoba Cattle Producers
Association. She was a member of the Lakeshore School
Board for 14 years and was involved with the Manitoba
Association of School Trustees for six years, serving
one year as President. Betty is the Past President of
the Canadian School Boards Association, an Executive
Member for the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, Chair
of the Canadian Animal Health Emergency Management Committee.
Betty was the PC Candidate for the Interlake in 1999.
Betty has provided 17 years of leadership and commitment
to 4-H. She is also a member of the Fisherton WI and
a willing community worker.
Virginia Larsson, Rossmere
Virginia is married to internationally-acclaimed Jazz
artist Walle Larsson and is the mother of two energetic
children. She has been a resident of Winnipeg for over
20 years and has a passion for Manitobans to live and
raise their families here. Virginia has a dedication
to defend the laws that protect the young and elderly
and is outspoken about traditional institutions and
all the values that sustain them and their definition.
Virginia is a long-time advocate for justice and family
issues at the community, provincial and national levels.
She has spoken out about the current government's divested
responsibility to the traditional family and has lobbied
to sustain the integral moral laws that built Canada
Virginia contributes time and talents to such community-based
charities and organizations as the Variety Club, Trinity
Television, Canada Family Action Coalition, the Children's
Hospital and the Salvation Army. She and her family
attend the Charleswood Assiniboine Community Church.
Nansy Marsiglia, Transcona
Nansy and her husband Massimo have three children -
Isabella Maria, Aldo Gabriele and Alessandro Giuseppe.
They took over the family business, Torino Tile, from
Nansy's father in 1998. Nansy has a Bachelor of Arts
Degree from the University of Manitoba in combination
with university studies in Italy, majoring in Foreign
Languages and minoring in Psychology. Nansy's parents
have always lived in the East Kildonan area, and Nansy
is now raising her family there.
While living in Italy for four years, Nansy studied
and worked with the University of Siena as a translator
and organizer for foreign ministers during their congresses
Nancy has taught and volunteered in nursery schools
and summer camps for young children. She teaches Sunday
School at her church and has volunteered in her children's
Bonnie Mitchelson, River East
Bonnie and her husband Donald have a son, Scott and
a recently-married daughter, Michele and her husband
Paul Kisil. Bonnie's family has lived in the community
for over 35 years.
Bonnie was first elected to the Legislature in 1986
and was appointed Minister of Culture, Heritage and
Recreation in 1998. In 1990, the Status of Women was
added to her responsibilities and in 1993, was appointed
Minister of Family Services. Bonnie also served as Interim
Leader in 2000 and is currently the Deputy Leader.
Bonnie worked as a Registered Nurse. She has given
her time as a volunteer with the Kidney Foundation,
the Canadian Cancer Society, the Salvation Army, the
Manitoba Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the Concordia
Shirley Render, Riel
Shirley is the mother of two married children and has
one grandson. She holds a B.A. and M.A. and is the author
of No Place for a Lady, the Story of Canadian Women
Pilots and Double Cross, The Inside Story of James A.
Richardson and Canadian Airways. Shirley is a licensed
pilot and current Executive Director of the Western
Canadian Aviation Museum.
Shirley was the MLA for St. Vital from 1990 to 1999.
She served as the Minister of Consumer and Corporate
Affairs and as Legislative Assistant to the Premier.
Shirley was a member of the Constitutional Task Force,
Legislative Review Committee and all Legislative Committees.
She is a former Director of Manitoba Hydro and is a
member of the Board of Directors of Riverview Health
She was instrumental in the success of the Old St.
Vital Biz and has been a key player in the revitalization
of St. Vital by working closely with numerous local
organizations. She is a recipient of the YM-YWCA Women
of Distinction Award in the Arts and Culture category,
the Governor General of Canada 125 Year Award, the Prix
Manitoba Award for Heritage and the International Northwest
Aviation Council President's 2001 Award. Shirley established
the first ever Home Help Program in Manitoba with the
VON, initiated a Keeping Our Community Safe public forum
and started the St. Vital Heart of the Community Awards.
Kirsty Reilly, St. Vital
Kirsty and her husband Mike are the parents of three
children. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
from the University of Victoria. Kirsty has done research
in the fields of gerontology and marriage & families,
as well as providing recommendations on improving the
Victim's Service of a police department. She is currently
establishing a career as an author of children's stories,
adult fiction novels and her first screenplay.
Kirsty was campaign manager for Mike Reilly in the
2000 federal election and worked on Mike Reilly's campaign
in St. Boniface in the 2002 federal by-election. She
is currently involved as a volunteer for the federal
PC leadership campaign. Kirsty taught fitness to a variety
of age groups and is an active volunteer in her children's
Leanne Rowat, Minnedosa
Leanne and her husband Brad live in Souris where they
are raising their two children.
Leanne spent several years working as the Constituency
Assistant to Minnedosa MLA Harold Gilleshammer. Prior
to that she worked as the Legislative Assistant to the
Minister of Education and Training. She is also a former
Member of the Board of Directors for the South West
Regional Health Authority.
Leanne is an Economic Development Officer for the Souris-Glenwood
Community Development Corporation. She is Chair of the
Souris-Glenwood: A Healthy Community Committee, Public
Relations Chair for the Manitoba Winter Games 2006 Bid
Committee and the Former Secretary-Treasurer of the
South West Regional Round Table.
Joy Smith, Fort Garry
Joy and her husband Barton have six children. She holds
a Bachelor and Masters of Education from the University
of Manitoba and is a national best-selling author.
Joy was an educator for 22 years and was employed with
Manitoba Education and Training as the Co-ordinator
for Parental and Community Involvement and the Liaison
Officer for non-funded independent schools and homeschoolers.
Joy was first elected to the Manitoba Legislature in
1999. Her critic portfolios have included Education,
Justice, Intergovernmental Affairs (Urban) and Seniors.
Joy has been instrumental in initiating a number of
programs in Fort Garry such as a mall-walking program
for seniors and the Del Mar Meal Program. She also founded
the Fort Garry Business Association. Joy is an ongoing
supporter of the Guild of the Victoria General Hospital
and the Fort Garry Legion. In 1996, Joy was nominated
Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.
Heather Stefanson, Tuxedo
Heather and her husband Jason are the proud parents
of 1 ½ year old Victoria. Heather worked as an
Investment Advisor for six years prior to running for
political office. Heather graduated from the University
of Western Ontario in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree
in Political Science.
Heather has served as the MLA for Tuxedo since elected
to the Manitoba Legislature in a November 2000 by-election.
She currently serves as the Advanced Education Critic.
Heather was the Campaign Co-Chair of the 1999 Provincial
Election Campaign, is a Past Member of the Board, PC
Manitoba Fund. She also worked as a Special Assistant
in the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada.
Heather established the Community Leaders Group for
Tuxedo and the established Tuxedo Volunteer of the Year
Award. She has volunteered with the Variety Club, and
is a Volunteer Fundraiser for the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Art and Soul Committee. She has also been a guest speaker
at various seniors homes in the Tuxedo constituency.
Mavis Taillieau, Morris
Mavis and her husband Wilf reside in Headingley. She
is the mother of two grown sons. Mavis is a registered
Laboratory Technologist with 15 years of experience
in health care and was a successful business owner from
Mavis served on the executive of the Headingley &
District Chamber of Commerce. She was a campaign worker
for PC MLAs Myrna Driedger and Jim Ernst. Mavis served
as a board member of the Licensed Practical Nurses of
She is the founder and former owner/publisher of the
Headingley Headliner, a local newspaper. Mavis also
received recipient of a Community Business Award in
1996 and a Community Volunteer Award in 1993.
Linda West, Radisson
Linda and her husband Dave adopted 3 children 18 years
ago after their birth mother passed away. She holds
an RN, BA in Psychology, MBA, CHE and PhD in Health
Linda has spent over 25 years in the health care industry.
She presently teaches courses on labour relations, human
resources and health leadership at the University of
Manitoba. Linda has extensive experience in health administration,
most recently as the Executive Director for Health Labour
Relations where she managed a $425 million budget and
Executive Director of the Winnipeg River Health District.
She authored a book on health policy -- Trends and Issues
in Health Care -- published by McGraw-Hill and several
Focus articles in the Free Press. Linda presented at
both the Kirby and Romanow Commissions and is a frequent
commentator on health care policy in the local and national
Linda received the Order of Sport Excellence in the
Province of Manitoba in 1996 and is a marathon runner
and tri-athlete. She is also an active Rotarian and
holds membership in the Administrative Sciences Association
of Canada, The Canadian Club, Provincial Council of
Women of Manitoba and the Bishop Grandin Greenway.
THE NELLIE McCLUNG FOUNDATION ACT
The Bill creates a Foundation charged with raising funds
to pay for the cost of designing, manufacturing, erecting
and maintaining a statue of Nellie McClung on the grounds
of the Manitoba Legislature.
The foundation will be managed by a board of trustees
consisting of not fewer than five members appointed
by the Manitou-Pembina Cultural and Heritage Committee.
Frank Pitura has been working with his contact, Mrs.
Bette Mueller, of the Manitou-Pembina Cultural and Heritage
Committee, who will be the point person for the foundation.
The foundation is given the same powers of fundraising
accorded to any foundation and is expected to manage
and invest the funds it solicits in the best interests
of the foundation.
Although the bill was introduced in December 2002 Gary
Doer's NDP chose neither to debate it in the legislature
nor to support it.
BRIEF HISTORY OF MCCLUNG'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Born Helen Lelita Mooney in Chatsworth Ontario on 1873,
Nellie McClung moved to Manitoba in 1880. Nellie attended
school in Brandon from age 10 to 15. Upon completion
of Normal School (teacher training), McClung took a
teaching position in 1890 in Manitou. It is here that
she met her husband, pharmacist, Robert Welsely McClung.
They were married in 1896.
In 1911 the McClungs moved to Winnipeg where Nellie
joined the Women's Press Club.
McClung was one of the five founding members of the
Political Equality League, which began the lobby for
women's suffrage. She was active in the speaker's bureau
travelling across Canada, the US and Great Britain lecturing
at rallies in support of social changes such as women's
suffrage, prohibition, property rights for wives and
widows, access to education and careers and better laws
to regulate safety and working conditions.
In Manitoba she was perhaps best know for her role
in the 1914 women's mock parliament where disenfranchised
men petitioned women law-makers. Nellie's portrayal
of then-Premier Sir Rodman Robin was said to have brought
down the house.
McClung and her family moved to Alberta in 1915, one
year before women's suffrage became law in Manitoba
- making Manitoba the first province to give women the
right to vote and hold provincial office. She served
as an Alberta MLA from 1921 to 1926.
In 1929 the 'famous five' won their petition to have
the government expanded the legal definition of 'person'
to include women. In 1933 she retired to Victoria where
she continued to write. Throughout her lifetime McClung
penned 16 books. She was also a political activist,
teacher, legislator and columnist. In 1938 she was named
Canada's delegate to the League of Nations.
"Never retreat; never explain; never apologize;
get the thing done and let them howl." Nellie McClung