A group of young women made political history this week.
Taylor Behn-Tsakoza was one of 338 young women addressed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday, and she was also one of those who stood up and turned her back on him.
She was the delegate chosen to represent Prince George- Peace River- Northern Rockies in the Daughters of the Vote, a program led by Equal Voice to help young leaders become familiar with Canada’s political institutions.
Delegates take their respective representative MP’s seat in Parliament and are addressed by the leader of every federal party as well as a number of other politicians.
She said the stand the women took was not just about the removal of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus. Trudeau had announced their dismissal on Tuesday night, before the group was set to sit in the House of Commons.
“I think if you spoke to every delegate there, you would hear different reasons. We all had our own,” said Tsakoza.
“In the discussions we had the night before, we were discussing what we could do differently to promote change, but it was all just talk.”
Tsakoza said the women hadn’t planned on their stand.
“It was so powerful and there was so much emotion in the room, for people being excited and a little bit angry.”
“When Trudeau came out, I think just his presence you could feel his dishonesty and just all the things we think he doesn’t do well.”
She said when one woman stood up while Trudeau was speaking to them and turned her back, it was like a ripple effect across the group.
“In that moment, for myself, the anger and frustration with him just almost pushed me out of my seat.”
She said, unfortunately, that silent stance spoke louder than words.
“I say unfortunately because I know a lot of our leaders have put their time and effort into voicing our concerns and it hasn’t gotten anywhere.”
Tsakoza wanted to drive home that they took action for many reasons, “I think the media really wanted to flare up this Jodie Raybould thing; but I want people to know that it was so much more than that.”