Parks Canada

Parks Canada

November 09, 2011 13:00 ET

The Government of Canada Commemorates Women Workers in Canada's Military Munitions Industry as a National Historic Event

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 9, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

On behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member of Parliament for Lévis-Bellechasse, today highlighted the national historic significance of women workers in Canada's military munitions industry. The ceremony was held at the Arsenal Foundry of the Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site of Canada.

"I am proud to participate in the commemoration of the admirable work these thousands of women have done," said Minister Blaney. "Wars have always had their heroes, but we tend to display more moderation when it comes to recognizing the hundreds of thousands of workers who have supported these heroes. Ten hours a day, six days a week, women workers in the ammunitions industry have supported in their own way those who fought at the frontline," he added while unveiling a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque.

Thousands of women made a significant contribution to the military ammunitions industry, notably at the Dominion Arsenal, in the heart of the historic city of Québec, where they began working in 1882. In keeping with contemporary beliefs about women's innate abilities, they were assigned tasks requiring meticulous and patient work. They skilfully performed the dangerous operations of filling, assembling, and inspecting ammunitions in privately-owned and state-run plants across the country. During the Second World War, over 7,000 women worked at the Arsenal alone, testifying to the indispensable labour women provided in the defence of Canada.

"Women workers in Canada's military ammunitions industry now stand alongside the outstanding women of Canada, such as La Bolduc or Idola St-Jean," mentioned Minister Kent. "If before, they were carrying out their work in the shadows, they can now enjoy the same recognition as their noted fellow Canadians. This shows the importance of their contribution to our country's history, the same history our Government, through Parks Canada endeavours to promote. A history where women occupy their rightful place," concluded the Minister.

Created in 1919, and supported by Parks Canada, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of the Environment regarding the national historic significance of places, persons and events that have marked Canada's history. Parks Canada manages a nation-wide network of national historic sites that make up a rich tapestry of Canada's cultural heritage and which offers visitors the opportunity for real and inspiring discoveries.

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