Former President Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, made the second stop of their 13-city paid North American speaking tour–“An Evening With The Clintons”–yesterday, appearing on stage in Montreal on Wednesday night. During the event, the Daily Mail reported, the former first couple had some words of admiration for Canada, and also received a special gift from the city’s hockey team.
Upon arriving to the Bell Centre, which is home to the Montreal Canadiens NHL hockey team, the Clintons were gifted personalized Canadiens jerseys complete with their last names printed on the back, which they appeared delighted to received.
They later spent an hour addressing the crowd at the arena, which was moderated by fashion designer Tanya Taylor, and indicated the the United States needed to follow in the footsteps of their northern neighbor, and should see the country as a role model for diversity.
“Canada has done such a good job of both managing it’s contemporary diversity and it has a very interesting immigration system,” Bill said according to the Montreal Gazette. “And yet it’s still Canada. And I just think that you can model the idea that you can become more diverse and still keep your culture and your values. It’s really very good for a modern economy.”
“And the United States will have to return to that if it expects to play a positive role in the future,” he added.
Former President Clinton noted that the future would be very “bleak” if the United States makes the “big mistake” of becoming more authoritarian–slyly referencing how the current leadership under President Donald Trump was running the country, though his name was never mentioned throughout the course of the evening.
Hillary Clinton, who was defeated by Trump in the 2016 presidential election, agreed, also expressing her admiration for Canada and it’s economic model. She explained that the country had created a social safety net–especially with health care– while still “having one of the most dynamic economies for building the middle class of any place in the world,” and that their system provided a “basic level of human support” that everyone should have a right to.
The former Secretary of State praised the Canadian’s ability to bring the country together on common grounds while still maintaining separate identities, which she believes people will look for in the future.
“So I’m looking to you, Canada, to bring us back to our senses,” she said.