Bertha Wilson becomes the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada
In March 1982, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau appointed Bertha Wilson to the Supreme Court of Canada, making her the first female justice in Canadian history. In the same year, Canada drafted its Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which enhanced the power of Supreme Court judges to affect public policy. During the 1980s, Wilson became known for her judicial activism. She defended abortion rights and played a key role in the Supreme Court decision to strike down Criminal Code restrictions on abortion in 1988.
Each day for 150 days leading up to the opening of the Canadian History Hall, we’re presenting one moment among the many that have shaped our country. Discover more of Canada’s significant historical events in the new Canadian History Hall, opening July 1, 2017.