Tories Unveil Their Plan To Establish A Nellie McClung Foundation

May 11, 2003
For Immediate Release

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 Assembly."

"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!" asserted Murray.

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.



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 blood donor.

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 business.

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 Election Campaign.

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 Awards.

Betty Green, Interlake
Betty and her husband Robert have a cattle and grain operation in Fisher Branch where they raised their five children.

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 and Manitoba.

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 in Italy.

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 classrooms.

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 Hospital Foundation.

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 Centre.

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 school.

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 1996-2000.

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 Manitoba.

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 Administration.

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 media.

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 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.

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

For more information please contact:
Tish Best, PC Manitoba Campaign Headquarters
(204) 926-8393 or (204) 771-5659 Toll-free: 1-800-663-8679