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Archives | 1993: Sheila Copps breaks a glass ceiling Ottawa

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Sheila Copps was the first woman to become Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and the first MP sitting in the House of Commons to have a baby.


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On November 4, 1993, Sheila Copps becomes the first woman to be appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Canada. As our archives recall, the MP for Hamilton East accomplished several firsts in federal politics and also became a darling for many Canadian feminists.

On November 4, 1993, the federal Prime Minister-elect, Jean Chrétien, invited to the residence of the Governor General of Canada Ray Hnatyshyn the members of the Liberal Party of Canada invited to become ministers in his cabinet.

Ah there, there, she must be very happy. Madame Copps, another representative from Ontario.

A quote from Bernard Derome

Anchorman Bernard Derome describes the swearing-in of Sheila Copps in the office of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.

On November 4, 1993, anchor Bernard Derome hosted a special program, Swearing-in Ceremony, which, live from Ottawa, presented the swearing-in ceremony of Jean Chrétien's cabinet.

A woman stands up.

It's the Member of Parliament for Hamilton East in the House of Commons, Sheila Copps.

She is preparing to achieve a major first in Canadian federal politics.

Sheila Copps is sworn in as Minister of the Environment.

She also becomes the first female deputy prime minister in Canadian history.

She will occupy this high ministerial function until June 1997.

October 25, 1993: the Liberals return to power in Ottawa

The unusual journey of Ruth Ellen Brosseau

The place of women in politics with Catherine Ethier

Make your place, and break the glass ceilings that prevent women from access to the highest political offices, characterizes the career of Sheila Copps.

It was in 1981 that she became a member of the Ontario Parliament.

In September 1984, Sheila Copps joined the federal arena by being elected MP for Hamilton East to the House of Commons.

< p class="StyledImageCaptionLegend-sc-57496c44-2 sbxsP">Biographical report by journalist Daniel Lessard on Sheila Copps

In June 1985, she was one of the protagonists of a famous incident in the House of Commons evoked in this biographical report by journalist Daniel Lessard dated January 27, 1999.

Sheila Copps then received an extremely sexist comment in the face during an exchange in English from the Minister of Justice of Canada, John Crosbie.

The latter has just ordered him to calm down by calling him 'my baby'.

Furious, the MP retorts to the Minister of Justice “that she is a duly elected member of the Parliament of Canada”, that she is no one’s baby, and that she demands an apology.

She even confronted John Crosbie in the foyer of the House of Commons, explaining to him that his comments were deeply degrading to her and all women.

This altercation – and other spectacular gestures by Sheila Copps against male ministers in Brian Mulroney’s government – ​​earned her the darling of several Canadian feminists.

I think there are a lot of women who don't enter into politics because they think that they should choose between a family and being in politics […] I hope to demonstrate that it is possible, as many women do, to have two careers.< /p>A quote from Sheila Copps, 1987

It was in 1987 that Sheila Copps broke what was then her first glass ceiling in the House of Commons.

Report by journalist Michelle Simard with Sheila Copps who has just become the first MP sitting in the House of Commons to give birth to a child.

On March 27, 1987, a report by journalist Michelle Simard filmed in an Ottawa hospital presents the MP who had just given birth the previous day , of a little girl.

Sheila Copps intends to make this birth proof that women can combine the roles of both mother and parliamentarian.

Moreover, the new mother returned to the House of Commons after an absence of six weeks.

She then gets into the habit of bringing her newborn to her office at the Parliament of Canada to feed her.

Later in her career, Sheila Copps broke another glass ceiling in federal politics.

In 1990, she became the first woman to run for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada after the announcement of John Turner's departure.

She finished third after Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin.

In 2004, Sheila Copps did it again and tried to succeed Jean Chrétien as Liberal leader.

She was, however, defeated by Paul Martin.

On May 19, 2004, after 19 years as a federal MP, Sheila Copps announced that she was retiring from political life.

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