Mary Ellen Smith

Mary Ellen Smith, née Spear, politician (b at Tavistock, Eng 11 Oct 1863; d at Vancouver 3 May 1933). Smith was the first woman member of BC's Legislative Assembly and the first woman Cabinet minister in the British Empire.

Smith, Mary Ellen

Mary Ellen Smith, née Spear, politician (b at Tavistock, Eng 11 Oct 1863; d at Vancouver 3 May 1933). Smith was the first woman member of BC's Legislative Assembly and the first woman Cabinet minister in the British Empire. As an independent, she won a Jan 1918 Vancouver by-election called after the death of her husband Ralph SMITH, finance minister in the BC Liberal government. Re-elected as a Liberal in 1920 and 1924, she served as minister without portfolio from Mar to Nov 1921. She was an advocate of BC's first Mothers' Pensions and Female Minimum Wage Acts.