Hillary Clinton speaks to an audience in Toronto promoting her new book “What Happened” on Thursday, September 28, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Hillary Clinton thrills Toronto crowd

Feisty Hillary Clinton delights Toronto crowd with part feminist, part activist talk

Former American presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told an appreciative crowd on Thursday that more women in politics is the way to overcome the sexism that pervades the political world, and that democracy is under assault.

The Democrat was in Toronto to promote her new best-selling memoir, “What Happened,” in which she describes her stunning loss in last year’s election to political newcomer, Republican Donald Trump, a man often criticized as a misogynist.

“The only way to get sexism out of politics is to get more women into politics,” Clinton, 69, said. “I want more women in politics so our politics is more representative.”

Many reasons exist why politics can be a downright infuriating prospect for women, she said, citing the example of a group of men sitting around a table deciding what health care women need.

At the same time, politics can also be immensely rewarding by providing women a voice at the table, said Clinton as she praised Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for appointing Canada’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

“I especially appreciate Canada’s commitment to an open and diverse society that welcomes immigrants,” she said to loud applause.

In fact, she joked that she had received many suggestions to relocate to Canada. While she won’t be moving, she did enjoy her summer vacation in Quebec, she said.

Clinton said the Russian “misinformation campaign” during the presidential election was largely successful because Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between truth and reason.

“There is no such thing as an ‘alternative fact’ despite the war by some to wage a war on reason and evidence,” she said. “We can’t let that happen.”

Related: FBI director blasted by Democrats after probe revelation

Trump won’t condemn the Russian interference in American politics because there is growing evidence of “very tangled” financial relationships between the president, his associates and Russia, she said.

“Trump doesn’t just like (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” she said, ”He wants to be like Putin.”

Russian cyberattacks on the Democratic National committee and emails stolen from her campaign, she said, warrant an independent commission to get to the bottom of the issue.

Although some seats were empty, organizers pegged the size of the crowd at above 5,000 — the majority of them women. They roared in delight as Clinton spoke about her trials and tribulations, interrupting her frequently to voice approval, laugh or clap.

Clinton’s publisher, Simon and Schuster, had billed her speech as a “detailed and surprisingly funny” account of her past and plans for the future, and the former secretary of state did not disappoint her audience.

“She gave me confidence that there is a future and we can do something,” Jan Moore said afterward. ”It was encouraging and uplifting.”

Related: Dems see disparity in handling of Clinton, Russia inquiries

Clinton, whose 15-city tour will also include Montreal and Vancouver, talked of the lost election and the difficult aftermath, adding at times she simply wanted to crawl under the covers until the distress eased.

As for her future, she said she intends to be an activist citizen agitating for human and women’s rights now that she is free of the constraints of being a politician in the glare of the public eye.

Clinton, through a moderator, answered several questions, taking shots at Trump as the “first reality TV candidate” who was offensive, “stalked” her, and was an all-round “creep.”

“What Happened” has already garnered huge international attention, reportedly having already sold more than 300,000 copies in all formats and the highest opening hardcover for non-fiction in five years since its official debut Sept. 12.

Some critics have praised it for its revealing honesty and poignancy; others have called it boring and self-serving.

Another audience member, Linda Ford, said she planned to read the book. Ford said she was “disappointed” in the outcome of the election but pleased the ex-politician is using her experience for the common good.

Clinton is scheduled to speak in Montreal on Oct. 23, and in Vancouver on Dec. 13.

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Dear Santa: the Langley Advance presents local children’s letters to the jolly old elf

During the holidays, the Langley Advance will present letters to Santa. Here is the first selection.

Car fire destroys vehicle in Langley

Firefighters doused a car fire that sent a lot of smoke into the air in Langley.

VIDEO: Hankering for a piece of Star Wars?

A massive Star Wars memorabilia collection is going on the auction block in Langley.

South Surrey shots-fired accused due back in court Jan. 2

Cameron Barton arrested Sept. 25 in White Rock

Cloverdale’s Thunder Colts hockey team raises thousands for Burn Fund

Barbeque event brings in $3,400, donations accepted until Friday, Dec. 15

VIDEO: Recovering addict shares art and story to motivate others

A Langley City man spends time each day painting in McBurney Plaza.

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

UPDATED: Train collides with car in Maple Ridge

Mother and child both uninjured, track cleared at 11 a.m.

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

VIDEO: Pedestrian struck by vehicle caught on security camera

Incident points to danger on the roads not only in low light but also in bright sunshine

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Most Read