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21. 5 people of the opposite sex you admire

1. David Suzuki: let’s face it. This man has been interested and speaking out about climate and environmental issues long before it was cool and there was a whole “green” movement. Suzuki uses just the right amount of science mixed with a touch of scolding to make people stand up and take notice. Sadly much of the negative outcomes he has predicted will come to be because the people who can make the decisions that will make the biggest difference are NOT listening.

2. Stephen Lewis: another great Canadian mind who speaks the truth and even though he is often ignored by those in power, the world needs him to keep talking. Lewis is one of the few westerners with any valuable and accurate observations and opinions on Africa in particular, and much of the developing world in general.

3. Pierre Trudeau: not always a fan of his politics, I always admired Trudeau for his ability to not give a damn about what people thought. He had a flair that was never before or since seen in Canadian politics. As a university student in Ottawa, I would often go to watch Parliament. Trudeau was not in power at the time but even as Leader of the Opposition, if he walked in, people stopped talking even if just for a moment. It spoke volumes to the respect he commanded.

4. Jack Layton: the late leader of the federal NDP was always a beloved politician even among people who had completely opposite political views. He didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk. Layton fought long and hard for the little guy and ultimately all those little guys (and gals) voted him in as the Leader of the Opposition. His legacy is a sense of hope.

5. Michael J. Fox: another great Canadian who chose to use his fame coupled with a personal challenge and create awareness and hope for people affected by Parkinson’s disease. Fox is returning to acting in a significant way and his decision will inspire many and change perceptions of people with disabilities and debilitating diseases in the process. Not to mention he is a really good actor!