How exactly did the debate go on in the House of Commons in 1918? As male MPs argued for and against granting women the right to vote, then-Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden introduced a bill to allow women whose immediate male relatives or spouses were drafted into the war.

Liberal MP Charles Fournier said, “The reward offered the women of Canada by the Prime Minister will become the instrument of their torture and the cause of their downfall […] It will injure women physically.”

Unionist MP John Burnham disagreed, “Pray, who gave men authority and dominion over them? Who put the destiny of women in their hands? Who made them the judge? They say one minute that women are such superlatively fine beings, and the next they presume to say what they shall do. They put the harness on women; they bind them. […] If women choose to have children and choose to bring them up, that is their own business. If women do not want to vote, they need not do so. If they do wish to vote, let them.

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