Agnes culture by supporting disadvantaged groups. She


Macphail once said, “Do not rely completely on any other human being, however
dear. We meet all life’s greatest tests alone.” Agnes Macphail was a Canadian Politian
and was the first women elected to the House of Commons. Macphail grew up in
Proton Township, Grey County until she attended school in Stratford to become a
teacher. She was born on March 24, 1980, to a Scottish family and passed away
on February 13, 1954 as a result of a heart attack. Agnes Macphail was
instrumental in influencing Canadian culture by supporting disadvantaged
groups. She was a women’s rights advocate, an advocate for the poor and she
fought for prison reforms.

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Macphail influenced Canadian culture by supporting disadvantaged groups as she
was a women’s right advocate who tirelessly fought for women’s equality.

Firstly, she overcame many extensive barriers to the democratic participation
of women. Macphail became the first women Member of Parliament and was the only
women in the House of Commons until 1935. In parliament, she fought for the
rights of many marginalized groups, including women. Agnes Macphail was also
one of the first two women elected to the Ontario legislature, where she served
as a Member of Provincial Parliament from 1943-1945 and then again from
1948-1951. Lastly, Macphail was the first Canadian women delegate to the League
of Nations, where she served on the disarmament committee. Author, Tabitha
Marshall stated that, “she went into politics for what she could do for
politics, not what politics could do for her.” This quote is explaining how Agnes
Macphail chose to fight for groups like women, not for her own benefit, but so
that she may make changes to views of the these groups in parliament. Secondly,
she was involved in many programs that assisted women. Agnes Macphail was the
founder of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Canada. This society was created to
support women who are in trouble with the law. Today, Elizabeth Fry Societies
are distributed all throughout Canada, and have helped to substantially reduce
the number of criminalized women. Macphail was also a member of the Women’s
International League of Peace and Freedom, where she collectively conversed
about and listened to the political views of women, to determine the solution
for permanent peace. Lastly, Macphail aimed to end legal discrimination against
women. In 1925, she succeeded in modifying the grounds for divorce. This
modification allowed men and women to divorce for the same reasons, and made
divorce for women more attainable. Thus, Macphail influenced the Canadian
culture by doing astounding things to fight for women’s equality. Not only did
she fight for the rights of women, but also for the poor

influenced Canadian culture by supporting disadvantaged groups as a founding
member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and an advocate for
the poor during the depression. Firstly, she fought for injustices against
farmers as a representative member of the United Farmers of Ontario. During the
Great Depression, the Canadian government put high tariffs on foreign goods,
which benefited manufacturers but not farmers. As a daughter of farmers, and
someone who grew up around farmers, Macphail felt deep sympathy for them. She
fought to have these high tariffs abolished, giving farmers the ability to buy
cheaper, American equipment. Secondly, Macphail spoke on behalf of the working
class. She fought against the poor working conditions many people suffered from
during the depression. For example, long hours, harmful carcinogens and
dangerous machinery. Macphail also campaigned against unequitable pay. She felt
that everyone, despite race, religion or gender, should receive an equitable
salary. Author, Will Ferguson stated, “Agnes Macphail was funny, took no gruff
from men, but most importantly, she had an immense impact on Canadian politics.”
Her willingness to continually fight for the working class led to positive changes
in worker treatment. As a result of MacPhail’s impact on politics, Ontario’s
first equal pay legislation was introduced in 1951. Lastly, Agnes Macphail
campaigned to introduce programs that would support all people during the
depression. She promoted the deprivatization of industries and the
establishment of a welfare state. The welfare state would see the introduction
of health insurance, unemployment insurance and common pensions. Macphail
played a monumental role in the negotiations that saw the introduction of old
age pensions during 1926. In conclusion, Agnes Macphail

Agnes Macphail
supported disadvantaged groups and influenced Canadian culture by fighting for
equal rights and fair treatment of prisoners. Firstly, Macphail pushed to have
programs available for prisoners to help improve their physical and mental
health. She promoted education for illiterate prisoners, increased exercise and
outdoor activity. She also promoted the encouragement of communication between
prisoners. Secondly, Macphail demanded improvements to the treatment of
prisoners. After witnessing the conditions prisoners endured at prisons she
concluded that their treatment was completely uncivilized. She witnessed
prisoners strapped to walls with huge welts on their skin from leather straps. Macphail
campaigned for reduced corporal punishment, as she felt the methods of torture
were entirely unnecessary. She also encouraged the instigation of prison labour.

Participation in prison labour would teach prisoners necessary skills and build
character. The money generated in prison labour would be used by the inmates to
transition back into society when they were released. Lastly, her efforts to
make changes to prison reforms encouraged the establishment of many laws and
systems outlining the rights of prisoners. Macphail said, “Give us a penal
system which reforms as well as disciples the anti-social members of society
confined in prisons.” In 1939, when the Penitentiary Bill was passed containing
eighty-eight recommendations for changes to the penal system, that fulfilled
her goals regarding the treatment of prisoners. For example, her goals of
achieving reduced corporal punishment, prison labour and education for
prisoners. Therefore, Agnes Macphail made important changes to prison reforms,
which helped to create a civilized and fair penal system.

Macphail was instrumental in influencing Canadian culture by supporting
disadvantaged groups. She fought for women equality, was an advocate for the
poor, and fought for changes in prison reforms. Agnes Macphail had an immense
impact on Canadian politics. Her acceptance towards all races, ethnicities,
religions, genders and willingness to stand up for these marginalized groups,
had a drastic impact on forming the inclusive society Canada has today.