Entering the Governor General’s residence four years ago for the Persons Case award ceremony, I bumped into Kim Pate, the indefatigable head of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies. Familiar with Kim’s history as an outspoken advocate on behalf of marginalized women in conflict with the law, I was certain she must be attending as a past recipient. As it turned out, her work hadn’t then been recognized with the award. But this week, that changed.
Yesterday’s Ottawa Citizen provides a brief glimpse into why Kim so richly deserves the honour. And – typically – she’s working hard to ensure the spotlight is shared by the women for whom she advocates: in prisons, in courtrooms and in the pages of newspapers.
Informed Opinions is proud to call her an alumnus and supporter of the project. And we’re proud to live in a country that recognizes her contribution. You can read two of the commentary she’s written over the past year on the results page of our website. One addresses the incapacity of prisons to support people with mental illness; the other shines a light on the unacceptability of police brutality.
Also being honoured are longtime women’s health advocate, Madeline Boscoe; Nancy Hartling, who has campaigned against domestic violence and poverty; Lucie Joyal, an anti-violence advocate; and Sharon Donna McIvor, tireless champion of equality for Aboriginal women.