Our Evening With The Honourable Anne McLellan

We hung out with heroes last Thursday night! Tanya Holm and Anne McLellan both embody what it means to be a hero, as they both have put themselves in front of ridings populated with some people that can be decidedly illiberal. They met the challenges of campaigning while keeping their humour and equilibrium during a whirlwind of new experiences and activities.

Anne won her first election in her riding by ONE vote!

Even after a recount, she only won by eleven votes. She still has people coming up to her at the grocery store, 28 years later, telling her they were that one vote. Every single vote matters, even if you do not think yours will make a difference. This is our entreaty to you - please go vote. It is the easiest way to make change. We all have the right to vote, and we should make sure we do so, whenever we can.

Ms. McLellan is an engaging speaker. She went through topics like 10 Dollar A Day Childcare, gun control, Afghanistan, domestic violence, green energy, and other topics, and wound these seemingly disparate threads into an incredibly cohesive narrative that encompassed her time in Ottawa, what Tanya stands for as a candidate, and how we can build a better future going forward. There was no demeaning of any others in the political sphere, but rather a grand hope for what the future can hold when those in Ottawa put Canada, and all Canadians, first.

To say it was an amazing night would be an understatement. We watched her meet old friends, long time admirers, new liberals, and young people and be authentically gracious and welcoming to each person she spoke with.

She is a fierce advocate for women. The “f” word never came out of her mouth, but she made it absolutely clear that policies that help women are policies that help society move forward.

Anne embodies a line in the Rudyard Kipling poem:

“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch”.

Though she takes phone calls from people who run some of the largest industries in the world, she is still keenly interested in what ordinary folks have to say, and then works what they express to her into what she is speaking about later on, and credits them, in her seemingly effortless flow of ideas and commentary.

This whole evening happened because of an ask; Tanya asked Ms. McLellan to come and speak while they met for a coffee one day. She said yes. Anne saw in Tanya what it takes to be a leader, and she decided to support that with her presence. She rewarded a gutsy ask with her time, her talents, and her enthusiasm for a woman she recognized as being someone to respect and encourage.

We had a nicely sized group, that was socially distanced and masked, and everyone was so very happy to be where they were. It was a group of strangers at first, but now we are friends, supporting Tanya, and grateful that we have this woman stepping forward into a role that is relentless and rewarding all at the same time. There were other women there that have run for or been in office, and they were also gracious in their giving of their time to be there to cheer on someone that is as brave as they are.

It was such a positive experience, and we wish you all could have been there!

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