Manitoba Tories push for suffragette Nellie McClung on banknote

Manitoba Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister has written to the governor of the Bank of Canada to advocate for having Nellie McClung’s picture on a banknote.
Nellie McClung's famous mock women's parliament in Winnipeg, in 1914, showed the absurdity of the arguments made by those opposed to giving the vote to women. Two years later, Manitoba became the first province in Canada to grant voting privileges to women. (

Brian Pallister wants to see feminist, politician, author and social activist Nellie McClung's image on a Canadian banknote.

The leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba has written to the governor of the Bank of Canada to advocate for McClung, in recognition of her success in getting the right to vote for most women in Manitoba.

"I feel strongly that Manitoba's own Nellie McClung is a most fitting choice for an honour like this," Pallister said Thursday, the 100th anniversary of Manitoba becoming the first province to allow women to vote.

"Nellie McClung was the driving force behind this milestone."

Pallister's letter to Governor Stephen Poloz, sent Thursday, and reads in part:

"I can see no better representation of a female pioneer and democratic icon on a Canadian banknote than Nellie McClung's image. This would be a vivid visual reminder to all Canadians, young and old, of how we hold democracy dear and everyone's place in it.

"There is a commemorative coin in the works, honouring most women getting the right to vote.… But that's temporary, and doesn't single out Nellie McClung herself. Her leadership and perseverance warrant something more lasting." 

The Bank of Canada recently invited Canadians to comment on the principles guiding the design of banknotes.

When asked what considerations should factor into banknote design, respondents most frequently cited gender equality and inclusion of more women.

Canadian history was also cited as an important factor.


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