Author Tags: Biography, Politics, Women
By 2012, only 87 women had been elected to the BC Legislature. Dorothy Steeves was the first woman to be elected as an MLA for the CCF in British Columbia, in a 1934 bye-election.
The first female MLA in B.C. was Mary Ellen Smith who was elected in a by-election in 1918 and went on to become the first women speaker in the British Commonwealth and the first women Cabinet minister in the British Empire.
In a by-election in 1939 the fourth woman to be elected (and the third in a by-election) was the CCF’s Laura Jamieson, in 1939, followed by Margaret Hobbs in a 1962 by-election. In two by-elections nine months apart in 1989, the NDP’s Elizabeth Cull and Jan Pullinger were elected, followed by the 2008 by-election victory of the NDP’s Jenn McGinn.
Other NDP female MLAs in B.C. have included Joy MacPhail, Dawn Black, Penny Priddy, Carole James, Rosemary Brown, Sue Hammell, Karen Sanford, Eileen Dailly and Gretchen Brewin.
Dorothy Steeves wrote:
The Compassionate Rebel: Ernest Winch and the Growth of Socialism in Western Canada. Introduction by Tommy Douglas. (Evergreen Press Ltd., 1960; Vancouver: J.J. Douglas, 1977)
[BCBW 2003] "Biography" "Politics"