Thank you

It is the morning after election night. I'm heartbroken by the results in Markham-Stouffville. At the same time, I am thankful. 

Our team pulled together an exceptional independent campaign - powered by optimism and determination.

More than 400 volunteers came together to create a movement for positive change in how we do politics. Over 600 donors gave generously to make our campaign possible – so much that we had to shut down donations two weeks after the election started because we didn’t need any more money. We received thousands of messages of support from across the country from Canadians who believed in this campaign.

I will always remember how our team worked day after day, week after week, believing we could do politics differently. We offered a vision for people in Markham-Stouffville to re-elect a strong independent representative in Ottawa. The result was not what we hoped for, but my message is this: thank you.

Thank you to the people of Markham-Stouffville for giving me the great privilege of representing you for the past 4 years.

Thank you to every Canadian who voted. Thank you to every candidate who put their name forward. I wish the very best to Helena Jaczek as she serves the people of Markham-Stouffville. 

Thank you to everyone who believes and shows that politics can be better, can be collaborative, can be inclusive and creative. Our campaign had volunteers and supporters from a wide range of political, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. We talked with thousands of people from Markham-Stouffville, listening to their concerns, hopes, and heartaches. We shared a vision of how we can change the world for the better – to combat climate change, to solve the housing affordability crisis, to bring about justice for Indigenous peoples, to change our electoral process so every vote counts, to fill in the missing pieces of universal health care, to implement the long-awaited dream of universal pharmacare.

Thank you to everyone knocked on doors, made calls, put up 2000 signs, made food, cleaned floors, fixed toilets, designed graphics, answered emails, served as scrutineers and did every big and small job necessary to make this campaign work. It is impossible to describe how generous you were with your time and talent. Thank you to my extraordinary campaign manager, Jen Hess, who faces every day with a smile and a long to-do list – and with our mighty team, the list always got done.

Most of all thank you to my family – my mom and my sisters, my brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. Thank you to our children, Bethany & Alex, David, Jacob and Lydia – whose mother has not always been available to them in recent years, but they have supported me every step of the way. My biggest thanks is to Pep – quietly in the background of everything I do, making it possible, never wanting the attention, always providing support and love and a shoulder to cry on.

Today is a new chapter. I still believe we can rise above the narrow confines of partisan politics, to work together on the biggest concerns of society and humanity.

There are many who think it is naïve to believe that anything will change in politics. I hope, in time, we can set some of those skeptics free from the prison of the status quo.

Change can happen. There was a time in Canada when women could not vote. There was a time when universal medicare was only a dream.

Change must happen. We are in a global climate of division, animosity, even chaos. Some democracies of the worlds are fractured and dysfunctional. Canada has a chance to demonstrate a democracy rooted in respect, powered by collaboration, nurtured with healthy debate, with a political culture where policymakers genuinely listen to one another.

As Canadians, we share a common destiny. We must therefore look out for one another. We do not have the luxury of wasting time on bickering and partisan games. We are co-workers in the construction of a strong, healthy future for our society and our planet. We must be our best, most generous selves and encourage the best from one another.  We need to strengthen our democracy, to fight for justice where it does not currently exist – until every Canadian has a fair opportunity to fulfill their potential and contribute to society.

Today and tomorrow bring new opportunities to build a society that is ever more healthy, peaceful and fair.

Showing 13 reactions

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  • Karl Wieler
    commented 2019-10-25 09:23:36 -0400
    Thank you Jane,
    You did an amazing job.
    I can’t thank you enough.
    Karl Wieler
  • Veronica Strong-Boag
    commented 2019-10-24 14:53:13 -0400
    Louise Wood’s quote from Florence Kelly is especially apt and I’d like to add from Nellie McClung, “By nice women . . . you probably mean selfish women who have no more thought for the underprivileged, overworked women than a pussycat in a sunny window for the starving kitten in the street. Now in that sense I am not a nice woman, for I do care.” Brave women are great women.
  • Lynda Clayton
    commented 2019-10-24 14:43:48 -0400
    Jane, thank you for all that you have been doing in so many ways for Canadian politics and for Canadians. It has been a privilege to be on your team and no matter where your journey takes you, there will always be a team of volunteers to accompany you!
  • Elisa Rink
    commented 2019-10-24 13:20:11 -0400
    Dear Jane, Thanks for all that you have and will do for Canada. I am shocked at the election results in your constituency. I am deeply appreciative of your integrity and the sacrifices that you have make. You make me proud to be a Canadian woman. ER
  • Veronica Strong-Boag
    commented 2019-10-24 11:44:15 -0400
    Please do not retire from public life; you have an important contribution to make. Veronica Strong-Boag, OC, FRSC, Phd
  • Louise Wood
    commented 2019-10-23 16:30:49 -0400
    Jane, your comments on election night about being brave brought to mind one of my favourite quotes – “Everyone was brave from the moment she came into the room.” The quote refers to Florence Kelley, a great American social and political reformer, and it is the source of the title of Everyone Was Brave, a classic history of feminism in America that I read 50 years ago.
    I have never forgotten the quote, because it is extraordinarily inspirational, and all I can say today is that it applies just as much to you as it did to Florence Kelley. I am so sorry you lost this week, but please believe that your principled behaviour has made many of us braver and will continue to do so for years to come.
  • Naftali Nakhshon
    commented 2019-10-23 11:00:53 -0400
    While you might have lost some access to the limelight on the night of October 21st, whether you lost or gained in your ability to affect the real change in politics is an open question.
    It is yours to provide an answer for should you be willing. And clearly, there are many of us ready to provide support if you do.
    Thank you for the very hard and sometimes difficult work you have done – not only for Markham-Stouffville, but for all Canadians, in the past 4 years.
  • Dawne Barry
    commented 2019-10-23 10:48:41 -0400
    It was a privilege to be a part of your canvassing team. You inspired all of us to believe that politics needs to be done differently. While the result in M-S on election night was not what any of us wanted to see, you are now free to use your integrity, experience and leadership in whatever you choose to pursue. A big thank you for the last four years that you dedicated to being our MP!
  • Jacqueline Lyn
    commented 2019-10-23 06:37:17 -0400
    Canada has lost the brightest political mind . I admire who you are and what you stand for. Please stay involved as we need your leadership and vision.
  • Robin Brock
    commented 2019-10-22 20:23:17 -0400
    Jane, you have a moral compass that this country badly needed. We lost but truth, honesty and integrity never lose. It has been an honour to be part of your team, to share your vision and stand with you.
  • Matthew Poon
    commented 2019-10-22 14:11:19 -0400
    Likewise disappointed that you didn’t win, but hopefully I’ll have another opportunity to vote for you in the next election?
  • Susa McEwen
    commented 2019-10-22 10:45:48 -0400
    Jane. I appreciate who you are and what you represent. Take time to rest and be with those near and dear. If you find yourself moving forward to build political change, I am ready with two hands and a willing spirit.
  • Jane Philpott
    published this page in Blog 2019-10-22 08:38:49 -0400