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Nellie's place in our past is now

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Which way will Nellie McClung face?

Work has started on a statue in her memory on the legislative grounds this week.

I hope that when it's finished, she's not facing the rush-hour traffic jams on Osborne Street, but shaking her fist directly at the legislative building.

For it was her battle almost 100 years ago against people under the dome that won women the right to vote in 1916. Other provinces soon followed.

McClung's bust is in Assiniboine Park, she has a plaque in Morden, a park in the Wolseley area and a high school in Manitou , where she lived and taught, is named after her. Her family home in La Riviere is a museum.

The Nellie McClung Foundation expects a monument to be dedicated later this year.

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About Larry Kusch and Bruce Owen

Larry Kusch has been a journalist for 30 years, the last 20 with the Winnipeg Free Press. His is one of the newspaper's two legislative bureau reporters.

Raised on a Saskatchewan farm, he received an honours journalism degree from Carleton University in 1975.

At the Free Press, Larry has also worked as a general assignment reporter, business reporter, copy editor and assistant city editor.

Bruce Owen joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1990 after four years working in other media.

He's worked in a number of positions at the Freep, including pet columnist, assistant city editor and police reporter. Right now he takes up space at the Manitoba legislature.

Bruce is one of five reporters who won a National Newspaper Award for the paper’s coverage of the 1997 Flood of the Century. He's also the recipient of the 1996 Volunteer Centre of Winnipeg Media Golden Hand Award and the 1995 Canadian Federation of Humane Societies Media Commendation Award.

In a past life Bruce worked at YMCA-YWCA Camp Stephens. He has a blog where he and others write about camp and the people who worked and played there.

You can also find Bruce on Twitter where he posts and retweets all sorts of stuff.

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