Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a woman who was a pioneer in a time of change. Claire Kirkland-Casgrain was the first woman elected to the National Assembly of Quebec and became the province’s first female cabinet minister.
As a member of Jean Lesage’s Quiet Revolution government, she helped shape a new and progressive Quebec by, among other initiatives, introducing legislation to further gender equality.
Before Bill 16 was passed, a woman could not open a bank account or sign a lease in Quebec without her husband’s consent. According to Ms. Kirkland-Casgrain, the passing of this bill was her greatest achievement.
Following her very successful political career, Claire Kirkland-Casgrain was the first woman to be appointed as a judge in the Quebec provincial court.
I had the honour of knowing Claire Kirkland-Casgrain. She was a warm and compassionate person with a disarming sense of humour who loved life and people.
To her husband, Wyndham, and children, Lynne, Kirkland, and Marc, we offer our deepest condolences as we salute a remarkable woman whose determination to move society forward changed the lives of so many for the better.