Smith, Mary Ellen Spear National Historic Person

Victoria, British Columbia
Mrs. Mary Ellen Spear Smith as president of the Vancouver Women's Canadian Club, ca. 1915. (© Public Domain, City of Vancouver Archives | Domaine public, Archives de la Ville de Vancouver)
Mary Ellen Spear Smith ca. 1915
(© Public Domain, City of Vancouver Archives | Domaine public, Archives de la Ville de Vancouver)
Address : Victoria, British Columbia

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 2007-06-08
Life Date: 1863 to 1933

Other Name(s):
  • Smith, Mary Ellen Spear  (Designation Name)
Research Report Number: 2006-029

Importance: This designation has been identified for review

Plaque(s)


Existing plaque:  Confederation Garden Court, Victoria, British Columbia

A significant figure in the campaign for the vote for women in British Columbia, Mary Ellen Smith became one of the few suffrage activists in Canada to make a successful transition to electoral politics. During three terms as a member of the provincial Legislative Assembly from 1918 to 1928, she ably represented newly enfranchised women by leading important initiatives of social legislation, notably the establishment of minimum wages and generous mothers’ pensions. By gaining a prominent role with the B.C. Liberals, Smith inspired women to find their political voice within mainstream parties. *Note: This designation has been identified for review. A review can be triggered for one of the following reasons - outdated language or terminology, absence of a significant layer of history, factual errors, controversial beliefs and behaviour, or significant new knowledge.