Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

She's first, but only the seventh

  • Print

DEVI Sharma is the first female Speaker in the City of Winnipeg's 140-year history, but the role of Speaker at the municipal level only goes back 24 years.

Deputy clerk Marc Lemoine said the position of speaker was created in 1987 with amendments to the City of Winnipeg Act -- before that, mayors chaired council meetings, which Lemoine said remains the typical model of civic governance.

Sharma (Old Kildonan) said her job could affect the decisions taken by other women to enter politics, but added she doesn't believe she was chosen by councillors because she is a woman.

"I'm honoured to serve as the first female Speaker (but) I don't believe my colleagues elected me because I am a woman," Sharma said Wednesday. "However, if that inspires other women and young girls to participate in the democratic process, that's a very good thing."

Mayor Sam Katz said the city made history when councillors elected Sharma as speaker.

"Coun. Sharma is a very competent individual and there is no doubt in my mind she will handle the speaker's role with the same capacity she handles everything else," Katz said. "I think it's nice to have a woman Speaker -- I can't figure out why it's taken 140 years."

The first Speaker, Jae Eadie, was appointed in 1989.

There have only been seven Speakers (including Sharma) since the position was created: Eadie, John Angus, Bill Clement, Mike O'Shaugnessy, Harry Lazarenko and Grant Nordman.

Former St. Boniface councillor Evelyne Reese was deputy speaker in 1993.

Parliament has only had one woman speaker since 1867: Jeanne Sauve, from April 1980 to January 1984.

At the Manitoba legislature, there have been three women Speakers; the first, Thelma Forbes, held the post from February 1963 to December 1966. The others were Myrna Phillips (May 1986-March 1988), and Louise Dacquay (May 1995-August 1999).

-- Aldo Santin

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 7, 2013 B1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Stuary Murray announces musical RightsFest for CMHR opening weekend

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Goslings with some size head for cover Wednesday afternoon on Commerce Drive in Tuxedo Business Park - See Bryksa 30 Goose Challenge- Day 12- May 16, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should Manitoba support the transport of nuclear waste through the province?

View Results

Ads by Google