Today’s generation celebrated the historic actions that ensured the right to vote for women in B.C. in front of an audience of more than 400 attendees at the Vancouver Law courts. Students from Killarney Secondary School created slam poetry, films, music and theatre to bring the history of women’s suffrage to life. The Royal B.C. Museum contributed a display of artefacts and photographs of the time.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Beverley McLachlin, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould and B.C.’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Suzanne Anton presented commentary and historical context.

“Many women worked tirelessly for decades to achieve the right of women to vote,” said Anton. The distinguished speakers highlighted the legal and political context of women achieving the right to vote and acknowledged that the struggle for Aboriginal women and women of Asian descent continued for several decades more.

“Achieving universal franchise would not have been possible without strong, bold, confident and caring women breaking through the glass ceiling of the day, to make further progress possible,” said Anton. “This event with its distinguished speakers and enthusiastic student participants shows just how far we’ve come in 100 years – and how the actions of a century ago inspire the next generation of young leaders.”

In B.C. passage of the April 5, 1917 amendment to the Provincial Elections Act confirmed the right of women to vote, although it was not until 1960 that First Nations people were granted the unconditional right to vote in federal elections.

Equal Voice B.C. also participated in creating the event, which was free to the public.

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