Mistresses of the House

Helena, a Mrs. since she wed former MP Rahim Jaffer

In honour of International Women’s Day, my annual wrap-up (okay, recycled from last year, but who’s counting?) of which women go by which honourifics in the House of Commons debates. That is, who’s a Mrs., who’s a Ms.

Female MPs can designate how they are addressed in the calling of recorded votes and in Hansard. The data show a plurality of Conservative women go by the more traditional “Mrs.” while the NDP and Liberal women prefer “Ms.”

“Mrs.” is a contraction of “Mistress,” which doesn’t mean what you think it does — or at least, it didn’t use to. “Ms.” is a 20th century invention popularized in the 1960s and 70s because it is silent on the marital status of those so designated.

(By the way, the Tory blogosphere went ballistic the last time I wrote about this, so have at it…)

Mrs. Sylvie Boucher
Mrs Lynne Yelich
Mrs Diane Ablonczy
Mrs. Gail Shea
Mrs. Nina Grewal
Mrs. Cathy Mcleod
Mrs. Joy Smith
Mrs. Tilly O’Neill-Gordon
Mrs. Leona Aglukkaq
Mrs. Cheryl Gallant
Mrs. Alice Wong
Mrs. Shelly Glover
Mrs. Patricia Davidson
Mrs. Kelly Block

Ms. Bev Oda
Ms. Rona Ambrose
Ms. Diane Finley
Ms. Lisa Raitt
Ms. Josée Verner
Ms. Lois Brown
Ms. Candice Hoeppner
Ms. Dona Cadman

Mrs. Alexandra Mendes
Mrs. Lise Zarac
Mrs. Bonnie Crombie
Mrs. Marlene Jennings
Mrs. Michelle Simson

Ms. Maria Minna
Ms. Ruby Dhalla
Ms. Yasmin Ratansi
Ms. Kirsty Duncan
Ms. Raymonde Folco
Ms. Albina Guarnieri
Ms. Judy Foote
Ms. Siobhan Coady
Ms. Carolyn Bennett
Ms. Joyce Murray
Ms. Hedy Fry
Ms. Martha Hall Findlay
Ms. Anita Neville
Ms. Judy Sgro

New Democrats
Mrs. Carol Hughes
Ms. Niki Ashton
Ms. Linda Duncan
Ms. Megan Leslie
Ms. Chris Charlton
Ms. Irene Mathyssen
Ms. Jean Crowder
Ms. Olivia Chow
Ms. Libby Davies
Ms. Denise Savoie

Mrs. Helena Guergis

Bloc Québécois
In French, all women are called Madam in the House.

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