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Biography of the Day

DUNCOMBE, CHARLES – Volume IX (1861-1870)

d. 1 Oct. 1867 at Hicksville, Calif.


Responsible Government

Sir John A. Macdonald

From the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Sir George-Étienne Cartier


The Fenians

Women in the DCB/DBC

The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864

Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBC

The Acadians

For Educators

The War of 1812 

Canada’s Wartime Prime Ministers

The First World War

The Right to Vote in Federal Elections

Source: Link



Eligibility Criteria 

20 September 1917

– Wives, widows, mothers, sisters, and daughters of members of the armed forces who were British subjects and met age, race, and residency qualifications

– British subjects in active military service

24 May 1918

British subjects, 21 years or older, who satisfied the criteria of property ownership in their province of residence

1 July 1920

British subjects, 21 years or older


In the middle of the national debate on conscription in 1917, the government of Sir Robert Laird BORDEN (prime minister from 1911 to 1920) granted certain women the right to vote in federal elections. Less than a year later, his government extended the eligibility criteria for female suffrage:

The enfranchisement of women, partially granted in 1917 as a partisan political ploy, was extended [in 1918] to include all eligible females for the purposes of national elections.”


Suffragists such as Marie LACOSTE (Gérin-Lajoie) saw to it that women took advantage of the right at the earliest opportunity:

[In 1921], for the first time, Canadian women would be called to the polls. Understanding the importance of the moment, Marie organized various events to raise awareness, such as a ‘civics course’ for women at the Université de Montréal, where lecturers outlined the major principles of public action and gave practical explanations about the vote. This huge effort to inform, which also included a press campaign, produced concrete results: a great many women cast ballots without incident.”


To learn more about winning the right to vote in federal elections, we invite you to consult the following lists of biographies:

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