Surgeon and MP to give Women’s Day keynote speech.
Dr. Kellie Leitch, MP for Simcoe-Grey, will give the keynote speech at a Women’s Day event on March 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kanata Recreation Complex.
Dr. Kellie Leitch, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and MP for Simcoe-Grey, will give the keynote speech at a Women’s Day event in Kanata on March 6.
The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Kanata Recreation Complex, and is hosted by Kanata South Coun. Allan Hubley.
“I think it’s important to support these initiatives,” said Leitch. “The more that I can do to encourage young women to build their local economies, I’m happy to participate in local events like this. We want all young women to feel like they can participate in their local economies.
“We want to make sure that they have the support they need to do that.”
A sitting member of parliament, Leitch also volunteers her time at CHEO, where she’s on-call about once a week.
“Thanks to the support of the prime minister, I’m still able to practise medicine part time to maintain my licence,” she said. “The prime minister truly appreciates that I still … have something to contribute to Canadian families.”
Leitch received the Order of Ontario in 2010 for advocating for children and youth. She said she’s looking forward to being a part of the Kanata event.
“I hope that I can bring forward some ideas the women in the room find valuable in developing their businesses and community projects,” she said.
Although Canada is still working towards “true parity” between men and women, Leitch said women are still very well respected.
“I think my experiences show that we have progressed; Canadian society is very respectful of the role women have,” said Leitch. “We have a very mature democracy. We have a very mature professional society.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female … you can actively participate in Canada’s economic world.”
Leitch earned her doctorate of medicine at the University of Toronto and master of business administration at Dalhousie University. Aside from her roles as a MP and orthopedic surgeon, Leitch is also an associate professor of surgery and boasts an extensive resume of organizations she’s belonged to, including:
* Former chair of the Ivey Centre for Health Innovation and Leadership
* Board member of the YMCA and Community Living
* Council member for the National Research Council of Canada
* Board member of Genome Canada
* Director of the Greater Toronto Area YMCA
* Vice-president of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research
* Founder of the Sandbox project
* Host of an annual golf tournament to raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
“Dr. Leitch was a very accomplished doctor before she even got into politics,” said Hubley about his choice in guest speaker. “She’s an amazing individual.”
The first International Women’s Day was held on March 19, 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In 1977, the United Nations adopted a resolution to proclaim a day for women’s rights. Canada chose March 8 to celebrate Women’s Day.
Now, the international day is celebrated in a week-long series of events and activities across the country.
“I think people should come out just to celebrate the day. I think it’s extremely important that internationally, Women’s Day is celebrated,” said Leitch. “I think it’s just a great day for Canadians to participate in.”