Helen Alice Kinnear, 1894-1970, Legal Pioneer
Date of Issue
March 8, 1993
Series Time Span
Perforation or Dimension
Designed by Heather J. Cooper.
Two centennials are being celebrated in 1993: the founding of the National Office of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), and of the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC). It is also the 50th anniversary of the first federally appointed woman judge in Canada. Honouring these events, four stamps are being issued depicting outstanding Canadian women. Helen Kinnear was determined to follow in her father's footsteps and become a lawyer. She accomplished much more than that. She became the first federally appointed woman judge in Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 1917 with a B.A. in English and History, completing her law degree at Osgoode Hall in 1920. She was politically active with the Liberal Party until she was called to the Bench in 1943. As a lawyer she set many precedents: the first woman to be appointed King's Counsel (KC); and the first woman in the British Commonwealth to plead cases before both the Supreme Court of Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. During her tenure as a judge, she showed special interest in juvenile crime and family legal affairs. On her retirement in 1962, a fellow jurist remarked that her "brilliant attainments have been deeply etched upon the legal and political body of her native country."
Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamps Details, No. 9, 1993, p. 13-15.
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