(1890 – 1954)
Agnes Macphail was a political activist, reformer and the first woman elected to the House of Commons. Born in Grey County, Ontario, she was an organizer with the United Farmers of Ontario when she was encouraged to run for federal office. The timing was right for the skilled orator. It was 1921, two years after the law was changed to permit women in Canada to run in federal elections, and the same year in which women had been granted the right to vote. Macphail won her seat and served until 1940. She went on to be one of the first two women elected to the Ontario Legislative Assembly, where she introduced Ontario's first equal pay legislation. Macphail also fought for the family allowance, prison reform, and women's equal access to divorce.
“I do not want to be the angel of any home: I want for myself what I want for other women, absolute equality. After that is secured, then men and women can take turns being angels.”