The Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case – Youth Award 2008

November 12, 2008

The Hon. Helena Guergis,
Minister of State, Status of Women Canada
123 Slater St., 10th Floor,
Ottawa ON, K1P 1H9

Dear Minister Guergis:
The National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) would like to register our dismay and displeasure that the criteria this year was changed, allowing a young man to receive the Person’s Award for Youth. The Person’s Award commemorates one of the most significant events in women’s history in Canada.

The awarding of this honour to a (young) man is an affront to the many women who have contributed to the achievement of women’s equality in this country and who continue to work toward that goal. While this young man may have many redeeming qualities, which we are not disputing, we do find fault with the fact that this award was given to a man – indeed, was able to be given to a man.

Today, there are many young women who would qualify for this award, and while there are, we strongly urge you to see that they – and they alone – can lay claim to it.


Karen Dempsey
National President NCWC

cc: Clare Beckton, Coordinator, Status of Women Canada