In honour of Grace MacInnis and her history of social and political service as a Member of Parliament for the New Democratic Party, a Grace MacInnis Visiting Scholar Program was initiated through the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University in 1993. The Visiting Scholars are invited to Simon Fraser University to give public talks, as well as meet with faculty and students.
Ms. MacInnis was the first woman from British Columbia to be elected to Parliament, and was the only woman in Parliament from 1968 to 1972. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1974, was among seven women to be granted the first Governor-General’s Persons Awards in 1979 for their work in advancing the status of Canadian women, and was honoured in 1982 by the Canadian Labour Congress with a sculpture and an award for Outstanding Service to Humanity.
More than awards and medals, Grace MacInnis’ true legacy was her unfailing support of human rights issues, particularly women’s rights, both in Canadian Parliament and in her many roles as advocate and activist. As Rosemary Brown once said, “She was a very courageous person and I think that is what women got from her more than anything…that if you felt strongly about something you should speak up and you should speak loud.”