Thursday, August 23, 2012

Remembering Jack Layton: One Year Later

I was sorry I couldn't make it to this tribute to Jack Layton.

And that I didn't get a chance to scrawl a message on that huge wall at City Hall as I did a year ago.

But I was happy to see that somebody wrote what I probably would have written:

For I can never forget how sad I was the day Jack died. 

Or how these last words moved me:

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.

Or what came next...

And how out of tragedy came HOPE...

Even in a place like Harperland, where so much is so old and so tired. Anger and despair rule. Cynicism strangles idealism. And hope goes to die.

For how could I not love an optimistic message like that one in these dark and grubby times? When I live for hope, and the dream of a better world. How could I thank him enough for reaching out to young people, and making Quebecers believe in Canada again?

How could I ever thank him for making me even more determined to help defeat the Cons? I don't think it's possible. Especially after reading this.

I mean are they even human? 

But then Jack probably would have forgiven them. Because he was too nice for what this country has become.

Or at least that's what I told him when I visited his grave in this old cemetery...

(Click pic to enlarge)

I have to admit that when I stood there, alone in that garden of sorrow, staring at the bronze bust Olivia Chow made for him, once again I found it hard to believe that he's really gone.

But hopefully that message, carved into that granite monument, will live on, and inspire others like the person who wrote this message on the Toronto wall today:

Je suis la relève Jack. I am the legacy.

The Cons will be smashed.

And just like we did the first time, we will remember....

Vote here to recommend this story at Progressive bloggers.


  1. Jack made a cane cool and I love him for that plus his forays into unfamiliar territory and coming out looking like the genuine leader that could move Canadians into a more certain future than Harper-knot could ever dream of, Harper's head would self explode...

    I like that vision...

    Boom boom goes the Harper head...

  2. Anonymous6:48 PM

    The Jack Layton cult proves just how much people are suckers for a strong man playing the weak man. Layton was a cynical as any other political leader, don't kid yourself otherwise. The only reason he was able to keep-up his mask of ideological purity was that he was never in actual power. Think the NDP could just do whatever it wants? Think again.

  3. Anonymous7:42 PM

    I met Jack two times, years ago. His convictions were the same as they were back then, right up until the day he passed away.

    Jack never, ever, would have sold Canada out to Communist China. Never would he have used the dirty tactics, dirty politics Harper uses. Never would have Jack had scum like Gordon Campbell working for him. Nor, the criminal Bruce Carson, Harper had working for him. Jack would never stoop, to using robo-call cheats to win an election. The number of cheats, has now doubled. Harper is using every dirty tactic in the book, to quash that investigation. Same with the election riding disputes.

    Jack was known as, Mr. Canada. Harper is known as spiteful Stevie, who pitches hissy fits, when he doesn't get his own way. Just ask the other country's around the world, trying to cope with him. At every meeting of Nations, Harper is the trouble maker every time.

  4. I can't tell you how many times I have thought not only of Jack Layton but of Olivia Chow and her journey through grief.