Agnes Macphail | Politician

From: Proton Township, Grey County, Ontario (now Dundalk, Ontario)

The face from the new $10 bank note

Agnes Campbell Macphail was the first Canadian woman elected to the parliament.
  • Born in 1890 in Proton Township, Grey County, Ontario (now Dundalk, Ontario)
  • Died in 1954 in Toronto, Ontario

Agnes Macphail was born in a farming family of Scottish descent in Proton Township, one of the wettest areas in South Grey County. After graduation, she taught at a number of schools in Ontario and Alberta. She became increasingly active in the Ontario agricultural co-operative movement.

Family farm

In 1921, Macphail was nominated to represent South-East Grey County in the Canadian House of Commons. She was elected to the House of Commons from 1921 to 1940.

From 1943 to 1945 and again from 1948 to 1951 she was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.


Macphail was a founding member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (the forerunner of the New Democratic Party) and was an advocate for prison reform.

As a member of the Ontario legislature, she championed Ontario’s first equal pay legislation (1951).

Agnes Macphail: Heritage Minutes:



Dundalk was incorporated as a village in 1887. In 2000, it was amalgamated with the Township of Proton (where Agnes Macphail was born).

Early settlers began arriving in the Township of Proton in 1857. These early settlers originated from Scotland, Ireland, Germany and England. Industries found in Proton Township included general stores, hotels, blacksmith shops, shoe makers, carpenters, sawmills, barrel making, wooden mills, grist mills, cheese factories, brick and lumber yards.

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