I am taking some time out from my busy schedule to write this post becuase I think this is very important, not only to myself, but to the rest of Canada. We lost a great man yesterday, one that I think we will never see the likes again.
I have two reasons for writing this tribute to Jack Layton. First, he was an inspiration to me. I share many of the principles and values that he does, and as such, I followed him him for many years. Second, He was a real person. I have met Stephen Harper, and I found him too sanitised and unapproachable, where as Jack was warm and inviting during the 2011 election when he was in Surrey, British Columbia. Steven Harper had his guards and secret police keeping the voters at bay, while Jack Layton actually left his safe zone and went straight into the crowds to touch their hands after his speech. “A phoney leader versus a real man,” I heard a voter say that day – I agree.
Jack Layton was also a man who spoke clearly and never changed his message. His clarity, in my opinion, was his best quality above all. His message was clear, and he stuck to his guns, never letting down what he stood for.
In Toronto, where he lived, there will be a state funeral in his honour this coming Saturday, August 27, 2011. A fitting tribute to a great man. I will take the time to watch it on television. This will be part of Canadian history, the end of an era, I want to be there to see it.
Even my hard-core, almost “fascist” right-wing friends are in full recognition of Jack Layton’s greatness becuase they knew him as “Jack,” their adversary. He was “Jack” in their eyes. They had spent so much time bastardising him that when they heard of is passing, they too stopped in silence. Perhaps for one single moment all political stripes joined in thought and prayer at his passing?
Mr. Jack Layton, your legacy will continue, and as we head into the future, and so too will your vision, the idea, and belief that all Canadians deserve an honest government, and that all Canadians are part of Canada, not the ones that can afford it. Thank you for all the work that you have done to this great country of ours. Thank you for your time, your hard work, the vision, and your giving. You will be missed greatly – good bye.
Please click here to read Jack Layton’s letter to Canada, August 20, 2011: http://www.ndp.ca/letter-to-canadians-from-jack-layton