Browse "Reformers & Activists"

List

30 Political Leaders

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, The Canadian Encyclopedia created 30 lists of 30 things that have helped define our identity, from famous people and historic events, to iconic foods and influential artists.

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Abraham Albert Heaps

Abraham Albert Heaps, labour politician (b at Leeds, England 24 Dec 1885; d at Bournemouth, England 4 Apr 1954). An impoverished English Jew who immigrated to Canada in 1911, Heaps, an upholsterer, became a distinguished parliamentarian as member for Winnipeg North from 1925-40.

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Andrew Paull

Andrew Paull, Squamish leader, organizer, lobbyist (b at Squamish, BC 6 Feb 1892; d at Vancouver 28 July 1959). Born into a prominent family in the Durieu system at Mission Reserve No 1, Burrard Inlet, Paull was educated at the reserve school and became a longshoreman.

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Annie Buller

Annie Buller, married name Guralnick, political activist, union organizer (b in Ukraine 9 Dec 1895; d at Toronto 19 Jan 1973). Her Jewish parents immigrated to Montréal when she was a child.

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Augustin-Norbert Morin

Augustin-Norbert Morin, editor, lawyer, judge, politician, Patriote (born 13 October 1803 in Saint-Michel, Lower Canada; died 27 July 1865, Sainte-Adèle-de-Terrebonne, Canada East). Augustin-Norbert Morin studied law before he became one of the most important members of the Patriote movement; he founded La Minerve, drafted the 92 Resolutions, and acted as Louis-Joseph Papineau’s lieutenant in Québec City. After the rebellion, he was one of La Fontaine’s Reformers and on two occasions, first with Francis Hincks and then Allan Napier MacNab, led the government of the Province of Canada. Between 1859 and his death in 1865, he worked on the creation of the 1866 Civil Code of Lower Canada.

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Becky Buhay

Rebecca Buhay, "Becky," political activist, educator (b at London, Eng 11 Feb 1896; d at Toronto 16 Dec 1953). She immigrated to Canada in 1912 and became active in Montréal socialist causes during WWI.

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Bella Hall Gauld

Bella Hall Gauld, labour educator, political activist (born at Lindsay, Ont 31 Dec 1878; died at Montréal 21 Aug 1961). Raised on a farm in Manitoba, Gauld qualified as a teacher before studying piano in Germany. Back in Canada (1905), she worked with German immigrants near Brandon and then joined J.S. Woodsworth's All People's Mission in Winnipeg (1911).

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Bromley Armstrong

Bromley Lloyd Armstrong, CM, OOnt, Black trade unionist, community organizer and activist (born 9 February 1926 in Kingston, Jamaica; died 17 August 2018 in Toronto, ON). Bromley Armstrong was a pivotal figure in the early anti-discrimination campaigns in Ontario that led to Canada’s first anti-discrimination laws. A self-described “blood and guts” ally of the working poor, Armstrong demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the trade union movement and the battle against disadvantage and discrimination. For more than six decades, Armstrong worked for human rights, helping to generate civic and government support for racial equality and advocating for human rights reforms in public policy.

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Catharine Sutton (Nahneebahwequa)

Catharine Sutton (née Sonego or Sunegoo) (sometimes spelled Catherine, also known as Nahnee, Nahneebahwequa and Upright Woman), Anishinaabe (Mississauga) writer, Methodist missionary and political advocate (born 1824 in the Credit River flats, Upper Canada; died 26 September 1865 in Sarawak Township, Grey County, Canada West). Catharine Sutton was as an advocate for her people during a time when the cultural, political and economic rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada were formally eroded by assimilationist policies.

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Daniel Paul

Daniel Nicholas Paul, CM, Mi’kmaq elder, author, social justice advocate (born 5 December 1938 on Indian Brook Reserve, NS). Paul is the author of We Were Not the Savages, one of Canada’s first history books from an Indigenous perspective, and has long campaigned for the removal of Halifax’s statue to its controversial founder, Edward Cornwallis.

Macleans

Dosanjh Elected BC Leader

Ujjal Dosanjh is tired. Finding time to snatch a few hours of sleep has been difficult for British Columbia's new premier. Celebrity has struck the country's first Indo-Canadian provincial leader and everyone wants five minutes of his time. There has been a deluge of phone calls from Canadian and U.

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Elizabeth May

Elizabeth May, OC, politician, environmental activist, lawyer, author, leader of the Green Party of Canada (born 9 June 1954 in Hartford, Connecticut).

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Ella Cora Hind

Ella Cora Hind, journalist, women's rights activist (b at Toronto 18 Sept 1861; d at Winnipeg 6 Oct 1942). Denied a position on the Free Press upon arriving in Winnipeg in 1882, Hind learned to use the recently introduced

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Elsie Knott

Elsie Marie Knott (née Taylor), Ojibwe chief, community leader, entrepreneur (born 20 September 1922 on Mud Lake Reserve [now Curve Lake First Nation], ON; died there on 3 December 1995). Knott was the first elected female First Nations chief in Canada, after a 1951 amendment to the Indian Act permitted Indigenous women to vote and participate in band governments. She was also chief of her First Nation for 14 years, from 1954 to 1962 and from 1970 to 1976. Knott was dedicated to preserving the Ojibwe language and was known for her community activism and support of education.

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Emily Murphy

​Emily Murphy (née Ferguson, pen name Janey Canuck), writer, journalist, magistrate, political and legal reformer (born 14 March 1868 in Cookstown, ON; died 27 October 1933 in Edmonton, AB).

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Famous Five

Alberta's "Famous Five" were petitioners in the groundbreaking Persons Case. Led by judge Emily Murphy, the group included Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung, Louise Crummy McKinney and Irene Parlby.

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Frank Scott

Scott returned to Canada in 1923, largely ignorant of his own country. Montréal seemed to him singularly ugly, bereft of the ancient beauty of Europe. Scott settled down to teach at Lower Canada College and to write poetry. In 1924 he enrolled in the McGill law faculty, where H.A.