So last night I had a wonderful time out, and got to catch up with more people than I was expecting to. I also got to meet some new people, which is always exciting.
I went out for Japanese food with RM and his new partner, and that was fantastic. Afterwards we went to a nice little bistro-type place and our party increased significantly in number - a couple friends from university, and some new faces. We ended up at Cafe Nostalgica, where there was a very, very good reggae/calypso band playing, and they had the whole joint dancing. It was a fantastic night.
I don't know how many of you got the chance to listen to my interview on CBC in the afternoon - I listened to it over the internet and thought it sounded pretty good. The host, Paul Castle, asked some really good questions. I've been getting decent feedback about it, so that's good.
Today I had another lazy day, poking around the Byward market (again) and checking out the National Gallery (love it!). I spent some time preparing for my speech as well. When five o'clock rolled around I gave Jessica's cell a call, because I was hoping we would touch base before the event. She didn't answer. I ended up leaving her a couple of increasingly panicky messages over the next hour and a half, before finally deciding to just suck it up and get to the gala on my own.
I successfully called a cab and got to parliament hill, but the cab driver dropped me off at the wrong building, so I had to get that sorted out. However, I did make it to the event.
It was a wonderful evening. Judy Rebick gave a fantastic speech - in fact, all the speakers were fantastic, and the performers as well. It was so inspiring to be in the presence of women who fought so hard alongside Dr. Morgentaler for the rights we enjoy today.
I was nervous to do my speech, but once I got to the podium I started to relax. Luckily for me I'm not too bad at public speaking so it was easy once I started getting into the swing of it. People seemed to enjoy it. I'm proud to announce I received the only standing ovation of the evening. I don't think I've ever had a standing ovation before.
Afterwards a lot of people came up to me - some just to say how much they enjoyed it, but some to network and organize, so that was awesome. I met Jessica Yee, who is a powerful force for change and, being native, has a different and fascinating perspective on choice and what it means for her own community. I met some amazing women from Quebec who are keen to support the efforts to improve access in New Brunswick. And I met Judy Rebick (swoon). And tons of other cool people. It was a really worthwhile experience, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to be here.
Back home tomorrow morning, then onwards to Toronto for something completely unrelated. Take care of yourselves out there, and keep fighting the good fight.