Louise McKinney

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Louise McKinney
Louise McKinney 1917.jpeg
Louise McKinney in 1917
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
In office
7 June 1917 (1917-06-07) – 18 July 1921 (1921-07-18)
Preceded by William Moffat
Succeeded by Thomas Milnes
Constituency Claresholm
Personal details
Born (1868-09-22)22 September 1868
Frankville, Ontario
Died 10 July 1931(1931-07-10) (aged 62)
Claresholm, Alberta
Political party Non-Partisan League
Occupation Women's rights activist and politician

Louise McKinney née Crummy (22 September 1868 – 10 July 1931) was a provincial politician and women's rights activist from Alberta, Canada. She was the first woman sworn into the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and the first woman elected to a legislature in Canada and in the British Empire. She served as MLA from 1917 to 1921, sitting with the Nonpartisan League caucus in opposition. Later she was one of the Famous Five that pursued successfully the right of Canadian women to be appointed to the Senate. A former schoolteacher and temperance organizer, she came to Alberta in 1903 as a homesteader.[1]

Political career[edit]

Full view of statue, Calgary, Alberta

McKinney ran for a seat to the Alberta Legislature in the 1917 Alberta general election. She won the electoral district of Claresholm as a candidate for the Non-Partisan League by defeating Liberal incumbent William Moffat in a hotly contested race.[2]

McKinney spoke out in favour of temperance, education, stronger liquor control, women's property rights and adoption of, and reform to, the Dower Act, and government ownership of grain elevators and flourmills. She was one of two women elected to the Alberta Legislative Assembly in 1917, the other being Roberta MacAdams.

She ran for a second term in the 1921 Alberta general election, running under the United Farmers banner. She was defeated and lost her seat to Independent Farmer candidate Thomas Milnes in a hotly contested race.[3]

McKinney was one of "The Famous Five" (also called "The Valiant Five"),[4] along with Irene Parlby, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Emily Murphy and Nellie McClung

Late life and honours[edit]

In 1939, McKinney was recognized as a Person of National Historic Significance by the government of Canada. A plaque commemorating this in found at the Post Office, Claresholm, Alberta.[5] The "Persons Case" was recognized as a Historic Event in 1997.[6] In addition, in October 2009 the Senate voted to name McKinney and the other members of the Famous Five as Canada's first "honorary senators".[7] She died at Claresholm, Alberta, in 1931, just two years after the Persons Case victory.[8]


  1. ^ Sanderson, Kay (1999). 200 Remarkable Alberta Women. Calgary: Famous Five Foundation. p. 19. 
  2. ^ "Election results for Claresholm, 1917 (Alberta general election)". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Election results for Claresholm, 1921 (Alberta general election)". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  4. ^ Kome, Penney (1985). Women of Influence: Canadian Women and Politics (1st ed.). Toronto: Doubleday Canada. pp. 31–32. ISBN 978-0-385-23140-4. 
  5. ^ McKinney, Louise National Historic Person. Directory of Federal Heritage Designations. Parks Canada.
  6. ^ Persons Case National Historic Event. Directory of Federal Heritage Designations. Parks Canada.
  7. ^ "Alberta's Famous Five named honorary senators". The Globe and Mail. 11 October 2009. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "The Famous 5 Heroes for Today: Louise McKinney". Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 

External links[edit]