September 18, 1916
|Died||October 17, 1996
|Known for||Social activist and feminist|
Born Laura Villela in Montreal, Quebec, the daughter of Italian immigrants, she played an important part, as National Chair of the Committee for the Equality of Women, in the creation of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women called by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson in February 1967. She was a founding member and, from 1969 to 1973, the first President of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. She was an alderwoman for St. Catharines City Council and wrote columns for The Toronto Sun in the 1970s and 80s.
Sabia was a two-time candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. In the 1968 general election, she finished second in the riding of St. Catharines, Ontario, losing by fewer than 4,000 votes, and came in third in a 1981 by-election in the Toronto riding of Spadina, losing by 1,005 votes.
In 1974, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada "for her devoted service to the cause of the status of women". In 1983, she was awarded the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case.
She was married to Michael Sabia and had four children: Maureen, Colleena, Mary-Michael and Michael John, former head of Bell Canada Enterprises. Michael John Sabia is married to Hilary Pearson, the granddaughter of former Prime Minister Lester Pearson.
- Michael Sabia, her son
- "Debates of the Senate (Hansard) Tribute". Retrieved March 13, 2006.
- Donn Downey (October 19, 1996). "Laura Sabia: Feminist gave women a hand up". The Globe and Mail.
- "Order of Canada citation".
- Anderson, Doris (November 6, 1996). "Lives Lived: LAURA VILLELA SABIA". p. A18.
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