Ontario’s Liberal Party Gets Its First Female and Openly Gay Premiere Amid Much Rejoicing and Syrup

Just because Canada is the quiet, drafty loft perched on top of a really wild party full of drunk gunfighters, doesn't mean that badass stuff doesn't happen there. Why, just the other day I heard that some prankster printed a Norwegian maple leaf on Canadian currency. Also, Martin Brodeur. Neither of these Canadian phenomena, however, holds a flickering matchstick to what happened this morning in Toronto when the Ontario Liberals elected Kathleen Wynne their leader, making her not only the province's first female premier , but also its first openly gay premier.

Even if you're not from the land of snow and syrup (jokes, Canada! we totally heart you), Wynne's speech will make you think all sorts of crazy, tingly hope that humanity isn't doomed to eternal small-minded strife. Speaking to a cheering crowd at the Ontario Liberal leadership convention, Wynne offered some hopeful reflections on social progress and inclusivity:

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.

Pretty cool, eh?

Kathleen Wynne to be Ontario's first female premiere [Globe and Mail]