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Jeanne Sauve

When describing Jeanne Sauvé, it's hard not to think of the word "first." She was the first woman MP from Quebec to become a cabinet minister, Canada's first female Speaker of the House, and the first female governor general. As she moved from broadcast journalist to high-profile political figure, Sauvé undoubtedly had her share of challenges and controversies. But through it all, the woman of "firsts" never lost her characteristic elegance and grace.
— Jeanne Sauvé, a Woman of Firsts (CBC)

The Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé was a woman of strength and vision. A formidable intellect and inspired communicator, her passionate commitment to her country, her ideals and to public life was graciously tempered by her warmth, elegance and irrepressible sense of humour. Throughout her distinguished career, she remained at the forefront of the most socially progressive issues of her day. As a fervent nationalist, she held firm to her belief in the integrity of Canada as the product of two predominant cultures, French and English, and strove tirelessly to promote the cause of national unity. Lauded as "a woman of firsts" for the many traditionally male roles she held, Madame Sauvé felt the most valuable contribution she could make to the progress of women in society was to perform her duties in the most competent and professional manner possible, demonstrating through example the innate capacity of women to participate fully and actively in the affairs of the nation and the world. Read more