Caroline Cochrane: Acknowledgement of Firth Sisters

Delivered on March 8, 2018

Mr. Speaker, today, on International Women's Day, I am very proud to rise and recognize Ms. Sharon Firth, who has joined us in the visitors’ gallery. 

Ms. Firth, a four-time Olympian, a northern hero and role model, was recently recognized by Canada Post, along with her sister Shirley, as two of Canada's greatest women athletes.  Earlier today, Ms. Firth proudly presented me with a framed set of stamps for display at the Legislative Assembly.  Each stamp features one of six Canadian women athletes in a moment of celebration, as well as a full-colour, freeze-frame action shot representing a defining moment in their sporting careers.

Mr. Speaker, Ms. Firth and her sister Shirley competed in four consecutive Olympic Winter Games and four World Ski Championships. Sharon and Shirley captivated the North and Canada from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s with their incredible sporting exploits. Together, the sisters amassed a total of 79 medals at national championships, including 48 national titles.

Although Shirley is no longer with us, Sharon continues to be a role model and an inspiration for thousands of young people as a Youth and Leadership Specialist with the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs.

Since attending the Olympics, Ms. Firth has been recognized and awarded the Order of Canada, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award. She has been inducted into the Northwest Territories Sport Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, and been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta, among numerous other awards and distinctions.

The Firth sisters were trail blazers for women, for Indigenous Canadians and for all northerners in Canada and around the world. Thank you Sharon, for all you have contributed to sport and for creating positive legacies for the years to come.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.