I know this is a difficult thing to say to people who have spent years working so hard and struggling for the right to vote.
But this election season is different.
And it’s something I’ve had to learn to live with.
The first time I learned about Justin Trudeau’s election was as a 14-year-old boy on a campaign trip to the Greater Toronto Area.
The election of the first female prime minister in the country’s history, as well as the end of a political dynasty that has seen women make up more than a quarter of MPs and a third of provincial premiers, was a watershed moment.
But the feeling of the past year is one of sadness.
I was there, of course, but I was also there because of my family.
I was with my father, the first Canadian prime minister, when he won a landslide victory in 1958.
He had just won his first election, and he was feeling optimistic, I think, about the future.
And my father was worried about my future.
He wanted me to be a successful young woman, to get a university degree.
So my dad said, “If you’re not going to go to university, you’re probably not going.”
He didn’t know that that was a lie.
I didn’t go to school.
I wasn’t even allowed to walk on the street, to go shopping.
And so he was telling me to stay home, to stay behind and work at the farm.
And I’m thinking, “Oh, my God.
I’ll never be able to do that.”
So that’s how I got to where I am today, working on my own farm, my father working on his farm, his wife and kids helping me out.
I think that’s the most positive thing about it all.
And then I had this huge family gathering, a very special family gathering.
And I remember my mom saying to me, “When your dad tells you to stay back and work, it’s a good thing you don’t have to.”
I think the worst thing about this election was that it was a great opportunity for me to learn about politics.
And that’s what I’m here to say, to all the women across Canada.
I want to tell them, to the women in my own family, to my wife and my daughters, that this is something that they should be concerned about.
It’s something that affects their lives.
And so I’m sorry if I didn´t have the opportunity to hear from you about that election.
And that is what I have to say.
I’ve been told, and I have been told from women in all walks of life, that we’re not allowed to say this in public, but you know what?
I want you to know that I think this is not a joke.
I don´t want you feeling sorry for yourself or sorry for the people in your life.
Because it doesn´t matter what you did in the past.
I know that you were a good person and a good mother, and you made a mistake in the old age, and it didn´trick you.
And you will never be forgiven for that.
But that doesn’t mean that you can´t be proud of what you accomplished in your own life, or that you shouldn´t talk about it.
And we can talk about this in private.
I can say, if I had any money to spare, I would have gone to university.
And what did I learn from that?
That I can be a good, good person.
And if I were to tell you that you have to stay at home and work and be a mother to your kids, well, that is your decision.
And, you know, that doesn´trickle down to the rest of us, as women, who are working all day, all week.
And it is very important for women to feel that this election is a time to be proud and to not be afraid.
And if you are a woman, you have an obligation to tell us about your experiences.
If you are an MP, you need to tell your constituents.
You need to make a statement, and that means making a statement about the issues that are important to you.
And then I think it´s also important for us to be honest.
And when I say “truthful,” I mean that we should be open to listening to you, to understanding what you are saying, and to listening and accepting your opinions.
And of course you are welcome to be very honest about the things that bother you.
But if you don´trongly try to change the conversation, you are not going the right way.
And one of the reasons why this election has changed my life is because I realised that this was the time for me and for the country.
I want to talk about a couple of things that have happened in