Linda grew up in small towns and villages of Alberta, Canada’s prairies and mountains. At 19, she joined the Canadian Forces. After a decade, she left military service and attended university, becoming a lawyer. She has been an Alberta family law lawyer since 1986 and a family mediator since 1992. In addition to founding a law firm of seven lawyers, she is president of her own legal education company, Re-Group Collaboration Inc.
Linda is more than just a lawyer and educator, however. She is a woman to whom people instinctively turn for help to resolve some of life’s toughest problems. Her vocation for over 33 years has been family law, but her interests reach far beyond her legal practice and her company Re-Group Collaboration Inc. to the larger Canadian community. She has been recognized by the legal profession and the Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Alberta with a Queen’s Counsel appointment for her many contributions to Canada over her long career. She is committed to the principles of equal access to justice for all and is interested in enhancing equality of opportunity for people in many walks of life in Canada.
Linda is proud to have served in the Canadian Forces for over a decade before completing legal studies. After graduation from law school, she began to focus on family law, however, she continued to advocate for equality of opportunity for female military members. As a result, she was appointed in 1990 by Canada’s Minister of National Defence to the Minister’s Advisory Board on Women in the Canadian Forces where she served for three years as a human rights monitor, advising the Minister on gender integration progress and policy development. Linda’s efforts helped to lay a foundation for young men and women of Canada today to serve their country equally and without discrimination.
A young Alberta woman picks up her suitcase, struggles across a ditch, and flags down a Greyhound bus on Highway 2. She is 19 and off to join the Canadian military. She leaves behind, over a floor vent in her mother’s living room, a hundred chicks in a cardboard enclosure – next winter’s meat. There is nothing for her here. The free trip to Cornwallis, Nova Scotia for boot camp beckons her into a future all her own.
Breasts Ma’am! is the true story of Linda Long’s life journey to that pivotal day, her passage through over a decade of military service, her choice to take release and challenge university as a non-matriculated adult, and her successful attainment of a law degree. Follow Linda’s use of her new legal knowledge and advocacy skills, informed by her military experience, to influence gender integration policy and law in the Canadian Forces in the advent of the new Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
A remarkable and inspiring life story of one young woman’s pluck and perseverance, Linda Long details, with humour and poignancy, her journey to the 19-year-old with ‘chickens in the living room’, to her service in the Canadian Forces as a “scrappy little private”, to her transition to a lawyer advocating for equality of opportunity, and to her appointment by Canada’s Minister of National Defence as a human rights monitor of military gender integration. Be stirred by her anecdotes and discover why her book is aptly named; how she broke stereotypes climbing a tree in lineman gear and coined the term ‘the culture of harassment’ to describe her experience of barriers to equal treatment and opportunities for women in the Forces.
This is the story of the dramatic forces that shaped Linda Long into a woman and into the justice warrior who decided to do something about systemic barriers facing women in the Canadian Forces.
Breasts, Ma’am! will enthrall readers with its compelling true story narrative set in a unique historical context for women in military service in Canada.
Hear Linda Long’s early life journey stories, and understand why her Canadian military career gave her life a secure foundation.