Join award-winning historian, author and member of the Order of Canada, Dr. Veronica Strong-Boag for a presentation and conversation on her latest book, “A Liberal Labour Lady.”

The book restores British Columbia’s first female MLA and the British Empire and Commonwealth’s first female cabinet minister to history. An imperial settler, liberal-labour activist, and mainstream suffragist, Mary Ellen Smith was the daughter and wife of miners and emigrated to Nanaimo, BC, in 1892.

A Liberal-Labour Lady sheds light on a Canadian suffragist undeservedly neglected by scholars and forgotten by posterity. It also illuminates a half a century of political history, first-wave feminism, immigration, and labour history set in a broad context of shifting ideas, ideologies, and strategies. Although simultaneously intrepid and flawed, Mary Ellen Smith is revealed to be a key figure in early Canada’s compromised struggle for greater justice, who helped set the contours of a modern Canada. — UBC Press

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