Tom Parkin for Parkdale-High Park

People are counting on us to win — and fight for them

At my core, I’ve always been fighting against economic vulnerability and injustice. And I think I know why.

I’m ten years younger than my oldest sister. And when I was six, my mom wanted to get back to her dream. My mom was a ground-breaker. In the late 1940s she got into medical school. She was one of a handful of women in her class. She had a dream of about caring for families’ health as a doctor.

She put that off while my sisters and I were growing up – but when I was six, I was in fulltime school. My mom was in her mid-40s and her dream of being a family physician was right there for her.

She had to take night classes and requalify. And that was going to cost some money.

My dad said it was his money and he wouldn’t pay!

But my mom’s story isn’t just about being economically trapped by sexism. It’s about overcoming.

My mom wasn’t deterred. She borrowed the money she needed from a friend, enrolled in night school and accomplished her dream.

One of her first jobs was at the Bay Centre for Birth Control at Women’s College Hospital.

Every once and awhile, a female friend would ask me if I was related to this practical and caring doctor she’d met at the Bay Centre. I was always proud to say she was my mom.

My mom was a powerful model in the lives of my sisters and me. I wouldn’t be making this video today without her example.

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