Linda Long



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.

About the Book

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.

Learn How...

  • The  Canadian  Forces  approached  the  women  in  combat  issue  in  Canada  in  the  era  of  the  Human  Rights  Act  and  Canadian  Charter  of  Rights  and  Freedoms.
  • Human   rights   and   Charter   of   Rights   cases   overturned  the  laws  that  were  excluding  women  from  serving  in  all  occupations  and  trades  in  Canada’s   military   and   how   the   court   ordered   external human rights monitoring requirements for the Canadian Forces.
  • Linda  influenced  legal  changes  and  participated  in  public  advocacy  for  women  in  the  Canadian  Forces  and  of  her  subsequent  appointment  as  a  member and human rights monitor for three years of the Minister's Advisory Board on Women in the Canadian Forces.

Uncover in These Pages...

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.

  • Understand  why  a  poor  young  woman  would  see  bright opportunities for her future through military service and how her opportunities were shaped by gender-based exclusion policies.
  • Serve  in  the  Regular  Force  with  Linda  Long,  as  a  buck Private admin clerk, an out of trade Corporal Flight  Attendant,  a  budding  leader  on  the  Junior  Leadership  course,  and  experience  the  crushing  moment  her  career  and  love  of  service  collided  with the stark reality of her gender.
  • Attend  law  school  with  Linda  as  the  Canadian  constitution  is  repatriated  from  Britain  in  1982,  just as she starts law school.
  • Hear  Linda’s  testimony  about  women’s  military  service    at    the    Edmonton    hearings    of    the    Parliamentary    Committee    on    Equality    Rights    examining  Canada's  response  to  the  vesting  of  s.15 equality rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • Join Linda in the fledgling Association for Women’s Equity  in  the  Canadian  Forces  as  they  provided  a  public voice of women in the Canadian Forces who were under a gag order to not speak about gender integration issues.
  • Be  captivated  by  the  true  story  of  public  equity  advocacy  by  courageous  women  and  men  who,  along  with  Linda  Long,    refused  to  be  silenced  in  their  fight  for  equality  of  opportunity  in  the  Canadian Forces.
  • Learn about the struggle to allow women to serve in combat in Canada’s military forces.
  • Discover the importance of the Canadian Charter of Rights  and  Freedoms  in  advancing  equality  rights  in Canada’s military.
  • Celebrate  Linda’s  appointment  as  a  human  rights  monitor appointed to the Minister’s Advisory Board on Women in the Canadian Forces.
  • Enjoy  select  stories  from  Linda's  time  with  the  Board monitoring gender integration.
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