This past Monday, August 22nd 2011, Canada suffered an incredible loss. We lost an amazing politician, and a family lost their father and husband.
I could write about his incredible political career spanning three decades, and his dedication to making Canada better, stronger, and fairer. I could tell you how he changed Canadian politics when he led the NDP to be the Official Opposition (something that has for *years* been considered impossible). But, I don’t feel that that is the true legacy that Jack Layton left for Canada. He gave hope to a generation of youth that generally does not care about politics (or are otherwise bitter), hope that change can actually happen. He accomplished this because we believed him when he said that he was fighting for our rights and equality. He was a politician and a human being who was compassionate and honest. (To know more about Jack Layton’s political career go here)
I never thought that I would ever be writing a memorial entry for a politician, let alone that I would struggle with tears as I do so (and by struggle, I mean I’m bawling, lets not lie here). But Jack Layton will forever be a beacon of hope to me, as I know he will be for many other Canadians. I feel that his death comes at an unfortunate time for my home city of London, Ontario. While he was advocating progress, London feels to be regressing (an increased focus on seniors after unemployment rates increase, enforced curfews for youth, recent Anti-pornography and other censorship campaigns…). Please, London, lets move forward with Canada.
Lastly, I want to express my condolences to Jack Layton’s family. I hope that the outpouring of memorials and support across Canada eases their sorrow.
I believe that a better tomorrow can exist, but it isn’t just going to happen. We have to make it happen.
Thank you Jack Layton for being a politician that Canada can proud of, I only hope that Canada honours your memory with progress. I know that I can’t say this better than Jack Layton himself (to read Jack Layton’s entire last open letter go here)
My friends, love is better than anger.
Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair.
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And we’ll change the world.