Above is the speech that Kathleen Wynne gave in Toronto this morning on the way to becoming the next premier of Ontario—a rather remarkable political performance. Below are the words that will be remembered long after they were spoken.
I want to put something on the table: Is Ontario ready for a gay premier? You’ve heard that question. You’ve all heard that question, but let’s say what that actually means: Can a gay woman win? That’s what it means.
Not surprisingly, I have an answer to that question. When I ran in 2003, I was told that the people of North Toronto and the people of Thorncliffe Park weren’t ready for a gay woman. Well, apparently they were.
You know, there was a time, not that long ago, when most of us in this leadership race would not have been deemed suitable. We would have been deemed unsuitable. A Portugese-Canadian, an Indo-Canadian, an Italian-Canadian, female, gay, Catholic. Most of us could not have hoped to stand on this stage. But the province has changed. Our party has changed.
I do not believe that the people of Ontario judge their leaders on the basis of race, sexual orientation, colour or religion. I don’t believe they hold that prejudice in their hearts. They judge us on our merits, on our abilities, on our expertise, on our ideas. Because that is the way everyone deserves to be judged. That is how we want our children, our grandchildren, our nieces, our nephews to be judged. All of us want to be judged on those things.
So when it is time for me to take us into the next general election, I will do it on the basis of our merits. I will do it on the basis of our successes. I will take our record to the people of Ontario.