Honourable Myrna Driedger, MLA
Myrna Driedger’s path in life is rooted in her strong desire to make a difference. Having served as a nurse, a leader in the area of missing and exploited children and as an elected Member of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, Driedger’s many contributions have left a mark in this province. Her accomplishments have led to her being listed in the Canadian Who’s Who for a number of years and in 2019 she was chosen as a top 10,000 notable Canadians in the Canadian Who’s Who publication.
Demonstrating that a woman in politics can make a difference, Driedger achieved something rare in Canada having five private members’ bills passed as an opposition member. These included a date rape prevention bill; mandatory accreditation of all mammography machines; creation of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month; an act to celebrate the centennial of (most) Manitoba women getting the vote ; and the founding of the Nellie McClung Foundation. This latter resulted in the monument of Nellie and the Famous Five on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature.
With the goal of getting more women into politics, Driedger became actively involved in the Canadian Women Parliamentarians (CWP) organization, becoming the first Manitoban to chair this organization. She also led the development of the CWP Outreach Program Framework in 2014.
In 2016, Driedger was elected speaker of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly and is currently the only female speaker in Canada.
Driedger has used her position within the Legislative Assembly to promote women and girls in politics, working with groups like Equal Voice and Girl Guides Manitoba. She hosted Equal Voice Manitoba’s Campaign Bootcamp that trained over 80 women to be candidates and campaign organizers. With Girl Guides Manitoba, Driedger has hosted over 100 Manitoba Girl Guides in the Chamber to sit in the MLA chairs for the first time in Manitoba history. She later hosted a similar event with the Pathfinders, a group of older girls within the Girl Guides organization. She is a mentor to many of her peers and women all over the province.
Under her guidance, the Legislature walls have been forever changed. Along with the Nellie McClung Foundation, Driedger initiated the Vote100 wall to commemorate the 100 years since (most) Manitoba women first earned the right to vote. She initiated the Trailblazers Wall, a permanent exhibit to commemorate the many female firsts in the 100 years since (most) Manitoba women first earned the right to vote.
Before entering public life, Driedger was a registered nurse with experience in general duty, nursing education, quality assurance, medical and nursing research, patient education, and nursing administration. As president and executive director of Child Find Manitoba, Driedger was a leading advocate for the protection of children. Her fierce determination and leadership were the driving force behind Child Find Manitoba which, as the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, is now recognized across Canada as a key player in child protection issues. She is also a recipient of the Queens Golden Jubilee medal.