January 28 is a special date in the story of The Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, a “Woman of Firsts”

It was on this date in 1984 that Madame Sauvé was appointed the first woman Governor General of Canada by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Throughout her distinguished career, the Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé achieved a number of notable ‘firsts’. In the House of Commons, she was the first female Cabinet member from Quebec, she was the first woman elected as Speaker of the House of Commons, she opened the first daycare on Parliament Hill, and she was the first woman to serve as Governor General.

Mme Sauvé was a staunch advocate of issues surrounding youth and world peace, and the dove of peace is one of the elements incorporated into Madame Sauvé’s coat-of-arms. Long before her vice-regal mandate, she worked as assistant to the Director of the Youth Secretariat of UNESCO, served as Secretary of the Canadian Committee for the World Assembly of Youth, and initiated and hosted a discussion show for youth. At Rideau Hall, she established two awards for students wishing to enter the field of special education for exceptional children. And at the end of her mandate, she established the Jeanne Sauvé Youth Foundation, dedicated to the cause of youth excellence in Canada.

Read more from the Archives of the Government of Canada

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