Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

Citizenship

10 Times Canadian Leaders Inspired Us to Be Global Citizens

As we continue to assess the political challenges and changes happening around us, it's important to remember the good that has (and can) come from our leaders. These inspiring quotes from Canadian leaders will remind you that good people and great leaders still exist. Justin Trudeau is just one of many Canadian leaders who can turn an inspirational phrase.

1.   “Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

NDP Leader Jack Layton, in a letter to Canadians before his death

2. “Great obstacles make great leaders.”
Billy Diamond, former grand chief of the James Bay Crees

3.     “We shouldn’t be afraid of the word feminist. Men and women should use it to describe themselves.”
Justin Trudeau, prime minister

Read More: Justin Trudeau Just Photobombed a Prom Photo and It's Amazing

4.     "We must open the doors and we must see to it they remain open, so that others can pass through."
Rosemary Brown, first black woman in Canada to become a member of a provincial legislature and the first woman to run for leadership of a federal political party

5.     "I do not want to be the angel of any home; I want for myself what I want for other women, absolute equality. After that is secured, then men and women can take turns at being angels."
Agnes Macphail, first female Member of Parliament

6.     “Never retreat, never explain, never apologize — get the thing done and let them howl!”
Nellie McClung, suffragist, activist, legislator

Read More: Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose Calls for More Women in Government as She Steps Down From Office

7.     "We fought long and hard for the right to vote, for the right to participate in universities and the work force, and the right to make our own choices. We don't need old white guys telling us what to do."
Rona Ambrose, former interim leader of the Conservative party

8.     There is no such thing as a model or ideal Canadian… A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate… What the world should be seeking, and what in Canada we must continue to cherish, are not concepts of uniformity but human values: compassion, love, and understanding.
Pierre Trudeau, former prime minister

9.  Those who take action have a disproportionate impact. The power of one is to move many.
Elizabeth May, leader of the Green party

Read More: This New Father Just Named His Baby Justin Trudeau for the Best Reason

And one last quote from Justin Trudeau that seems especially pertinent these days:

10. “Every single day, we need to choose hope over fear, diversity over division.”