The Last Suffragist Standing
284 pages, 6 x 9
14 b&w photos, 1 map
Release Date:08 Mar 2019
Release Date:01 Oct 2018
Release Date:01 Oct 2018
Release Date:01 Oct 2018

The Last Suffragist Standing

The Life and Times of Laura Marshall Jamieson

UBC Press

Canada’s vibrant suffrage movement was a complicated story of achievement and loss. The Last Suffragist Standing is an unprecedented study of a pioneering Canadian suffragist and politician, a New Woman who tested Canadian democracy.

A rich product of archival and public sources, this biography of Laura Marshall Jamieson (1882–1964) opens a window onto the political and social landscape of the time. Veronica Strong-Boag chronicles Jamieson’s life from orphaned child of marginal Ontario farmers to member of British Columbia’s Legislative Assembly and Vancouver city councillor. The last suffragist in Canada to be elected to a provincial or federal legislature, Jamieson embraced issues such as factory labour conditions, minimum wage, feminist pacifism, housing, municipal franchise, and employment equality throughout her six decades of activism. Jamieson’s political radicalism was forged by the suffragist movement and the Great Depression, whetted by her exposure to mainstream and fringe activist groups, and tempered during her tenures in office.

Strong-Boag’s meticulous research and deep knowledge of the history of the women’s movement and Canadian politics turn this compelling account of a woman’s life into an illuminating work on the history of feminism, socialism, internationalism, and activism in Canada.

Of particular interest to scholars and students in women’s studies and Canadian history, this book will also appeal to feminists with an interest in history and enthusiasts of British Columbia history.


  • 2019, Shortlisted - Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing, BC Historical Federation
[The Last Suffragist Standing] makes a valuable contribution to the wider historiography of women’s political activities in Canada and to British Columbia politics in general. Jamieson would undoubtedly be pleased with this study of her life and times. Patricia Roy, author and professor emeritus of History at the University of Victoria, The Ormsby Review
With verve and insight, Veronica Strong-Boag’s account of Laura Jamieson challenges many widely held myths. The book shows how a seemingly conformist, middle-class matron became an unstinting champion of social change – including women’s enfranchisement, birth control, and social democracy. The Last Suffragist Standing is a stunning accomplishment, notably for its fresh and compelling twist on Canadian political history. Sylvia Bashevkin, professor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto
A compelling tale of a pragmatic, action-oriented, and inspiring woman. More than a story of Laura’s life, we get an inside look at the emergence and struggles of progressive politics in British Columbia at both the local and provincial levels and the role that women played – and fought for – in shaping both. Lisa Helps, mayor, City of Victoria
Veronica Strong-Boag is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, professor emerita in social justice and educational studies at UBC, and adjunct professor in history and gender studies at the University of Victoria. She has received numerous prizes for her work, including the Tyrrell Medal in Canadian History, the Macdonald Prize in Canadian History, the Canada Prize in the Social Sciences, and a Senior Killam Fellowship. She is the general editor of the UBC Press series Women’s Suffrage and the Struggle for Democracy, the director of the pro-democracy website, and a member of the editorial board of Voices-Voix.


1 The Girl from the Saugeen Peninsula, 1882–1911

2 The New Woman as Wife, Suffragist, and Activist, 1911–18

3 Still Bettering the World, 1918–26

4 Widowed Judge and Progressive Activist, 1927–39

5 The Challenge of Electoral Politics, 1927–39

6 Suffragist in the BC Legislature, 1939–41

7 Legislative Veteran, 1941–45

8 Taking on Post-war Misogyny and Vancouver Politics, 1945–64

9 Faithful Social Democrat, 1945–64


Postscript from Four Granddaughters / Dorothy O’Connell, Anne Jamieson, Karen Jamieson, and Marion-Lea Jamieson

Notes; Selected Bibliography; Index

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