Last modified on 24 May 2011, at 17:01

Judy LaMarsh

It was one of the greatest thrills of my life to stand there, waist high in crusty snow, on a peak never before trod by human kind, surrounded by the great ghostly shadows of other individual peaks in this range. I practised my yodel...

Julia Verlyn (Judy) LaMarsh, PC, OC, QC (December 20, 1924 – October 27, 1980) was a Canadian politician, lawyer, author and broadcaster. In 1963, she was only the second woman to ever serve as a federal Cabinet Minister. Under Prime Minister Lester Pearson's minority governments of the middle and late 1960s, she helped push-through the legislation that created the Canada Pension Plan and Medicare.

SourcedEdit

Memoirs Of A Bird In A Gilded Cage (1969)Edit

  • I did not spring, when I first entered Parliament, on November 15,1960, "fully armed, with a mighty shout" from a breach in Lester B. Pearson's skull. like the Pallas Athena from the head of Zeus.
    • CHAPTER 1, In the beginning, p. 1
  • I have served the Liberal cause for twenty-two years. That ought to be long enough for anyones lifetime.
    • CHAPTER 1, In the beginning, p. 3
  • ( I was the first, and to date, the only woman veteran ever elected, and there is a surprisingly low percentage of veterans in Parliament.)
    • CHAPTER 2, N.A.T.O., p. 13
  • A government may only govern so long as the people, through their representatives, vote it the money to carry on.
    • CHAPTER 2, N.A.T.O., p. 32
  • One of the things that has always been my undoing in politics is my readiness to do whatever job has to be done.
    • CHAPTER 3, The truth squad, p. 36
  • Women understand that men must often be kept from soiling themselves with the dirty little details of life in order to accomplish the big shinny jobs unimpeded.
    • CHAPTER 3, The truth squad, p. 36
  • Pity the Party without enough woman power - there will always be dreamers and leaders, but the dreams won't come true, nor will the leaders reach their goal, without the ready doers.
    • CHAPTER 3, The truth squad, p. 36
  • Being a part of a political party is something like being a partner in a marriage - work at it and stay loyal to it, and when you can't stomach it any longer, leave it.
    • CHAPTER 3, The truth squad, p. 37
  • I had always assumed that if I made it to Parliament I would not remain a back bencher.
    • CHAPTER 4, Sixty days of decision, p. 46
Perhaps in the long view, de Gaulle was more responsible with his troublesome interventions into our domestic politics, for unifying our country than we will ever give him credit for.
  • We had thought Mike the greatest; now we began to discover he was only human and, worse, we had our first dismaying confrontation with the fact that he would not back up his ministers.
    • CHAPTER 4, Sixty days of decision, p. 63
  • We were always expected to see Quebec's side of things, but there was damned little reciprocity.
    • CHAPTER 4, Sixty days of decision, p. 68
  • Whenever Canada moves to protect its own industries and people, it is subjected to violent attacks in the U.S. Congress and to threats of economic retaliation.
    • CHAPTER 4, Sixty days of decision, p. 69
  • I took a hasty trip to Germany, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and England to talk to the officials of each Government about their pension provisions, and to talk to the responsible ministers in each country about the political "whys" of their legislation.
    • CHAPTER 5, The Canada Pension Plan, p. 83
  • " I have always thought that one of the signs of natural leaders of men (and women) was their readiness to take the necessary pains to keep their followers with them."
    • CHAPTER 5, The Canada Pension Plan, p. 92
  • I suppose, as a politician, I should be content, for the Canada Pension Plan certainly put my name in Canada's history books, and in italics.
    • CHAPTER 5, The Canada Pension Plan, p. 99
  • One of the most helpful things I introduced (and of very considerable consequence to Canadians) was my ultimate success in persuading my colleagues (after continuing battle)to reduce the qualifying age for aged pensioners from seventy to sixty-five over a five year period.
    • CHAPTER 6, The crisis of Confederation, p. 119
  • I had, in my legal practice, often encountered really shocking examples of the devastating impact of the costs of long-term medical care on meagre incomes. And, just before I was elected, I had my own personal experience in paying very considerable bills for my mother's terminal illness.
    • CHAPTER 6, The crisis of Confederation, p. 120-121
  • Most women have a distaste for guns, and I am no exception.
    • CHAPTER 6, The crisis of Confederation, p. 125
  • Out of near disaster, came real progress.
    • CHAPTER 6, The crisis of Confederation, p. 127
  • The year 1967 gave us the feeling of the one-ness of Canada, until it was rudely jolted by de Gaulle and his insensate call for a "free" Quebec. That visit robbed the Centennial year of its high shine and made the people of the other nine provinces aware as never before of the crisis of Confederation.
    • CHAPTER 6, The crisis of Confederation, p. 128
  • Pearson had a good grasp of French, although his accent was terrible.
    • CHAPTER 7, The Favreau tragedy, p. 134
It is a magnificent country, lonely, grand in scale, stretching for mile upon mile,the clear blue air stabbed with peaks of snow, where the sun glints on the ice surfaces, green as sea ice, breath taking in its scope.
  • It will be, I suppose, a foolhardy Government that tries to push through legislation making knowledge of both official languages one of the qualifications for election to the House of Commons or appointment to the Senate, but maybe it will have to come to this as a price we must pay for equality of the two great language groups of our founding fathers.
    • CHAPTER 7, The Favreau tragedy, p. 134
  • The unexpressed aim of every politician is to influence events that history books will record his name - and spell it right.
    • CHAPTER 8, Centennial summer, p. 174
  • It is a magnificent country, lonely, grand in scale, stretching for mile upon mile,the clear blue air stabbed with peaks of snow, where the sun glints on the ice surfaces, green as sea ice, breath taking in its scope.
    • CHAPTER 8, Centennial summer, p. 196 (On Canada...)
  • It was one of the greatest thrills of my life to stand there, waist high in crusty snow, on a peak never before trod by human kind, surrounded by the great ghostly shadows of other individual peaks in this range. I practised my yodel which echoed and re-echoed with no human to hear. It was glorious, a sense of peace and freedom such as I never known before.
    • CHAPTER 8, Centennial summer, p. 196
  • Whenever it was necessary to have a large entourage, we used military vehicles or, as for the two state funerals and our state swearing in, we hired every spare Cadillac from every undertaking firm in Ottawa. It's a make-shift way to operate a country of the size and rank of Canada.
    • CHAPTER 8, Centennial summer, p. 204
  • Perhaps in the long view, de Gaulle was more responsible with his troublesome interventions into our domestic politics, for unifying our country than we will ever give him credit for.
    • CHAPTER 8, Centennial summer, p. 226
  • Had it not been for Centennial, with its gaiety and its essential Canadianness, there could never have been a Trudeau as Prime Minister.
    • CHAPTER 8, Centennial summer, p. 228
  • Everyone is an expert on T.V., just as he is on education; everyone has some education and a T.V. set.
    • CHAPTER 9, C.B.C., p. 250
Had it not been for Centennial, with its gaiety and its essential Canadianness, there could never have been a Trudeau as Prime Minister.
  • I cannot say that I have been hindered all my life by the permutation of genes that resulted in me being born a woman.
    • CHAPTER 10, Twenty-five to one, p. 278
  • My uncertain temper is cooling, as is my sense of racing against time to accomplish the things I want to. I don't have to go anywhere or see anyone I don't want to now, and it is a glorious feeling!
    • CHAPTER 11, The leadership scramble, p. 351
  • It has not been the style of Canadian politicians to write of their experiences, although it is the common practice for British, French, and American Politicians upon their retirement. But I have been criticized before and I expect to be again.
    • A last word, p. 353

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