Women's suffrage groups existed in Canada since the 1870s, they were often ignored by the government. But when the First world war broke out, the women took the place of men at home, which made it hard to ignore their arguments to be allowed to vote. Women were given rights to vote in 3 stages, first in 1917, female nurses and women serving in the armed forces were allowed to vote. Secondly, when the wartime election act was made it allowed women who had sons, fathers or husbands fighting overseas to vote federally. Finally, on January 1st, 1919 all women over the age of 21 were allowed to vote federally. However, provincially women were given rights to vote at different times, first in 4 western provinces in 1916, then in Ontario in 1917, followed by 1918 in Nova Scotia, 1919 in New Brunswick, then 1922 in P.E.I and lastly in 1940 in Quebec.