Barack Obama delivered a heartfelt and stirring speech at Montreal’s Board of Trade on Tuesday (June 6) night, in which he discussed a wide variety of topics, including his love for Canada.
After complimenting the city for its abundance of “Michelles,” the former US president reflected on his relationship with the Great White North. "My brother-in-law is Canadian, from Burlington just outside of Toronto. He is a father of two nieces of mine," Barack told the audience before adding, "My bonds with Canada are deep."
The father of two also tried his hand at pronouncing francophone phrases before acknowledging that "his French is terrible but heartfelt."
Barack then steered the conversation to politics, and after applauding Canada’s dedication to the environment the self-proclaimed feminist admitted to the audience that he felt the world would be a better place if women were in power.
"I did conclude at a certain point that if you just put women in charge of every country for just about two years, the world would make a huge leap forward and just be better off," he confessed.
And while his wife Michelle didn’t join him on his first visit to Montreal, she wasn’t far from his thoughts. “I’m married to an extraordinary woman and we have extraordinary daughters,” he told Sophie Brochu, president and CEO of Quebec energy provider Gaz Metro, during a question and answer period.
After delivering his powerful speech, Barack headed to one of the city’s most popular restaurants, Liverpool, to catch up with his friend, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Canadian politician shared a picture from their meeting on Instagram, writing “How do we get young leaders to take action in their communities? Thanks Barack Obama for your visit & insights tonight in my hometown.”