Jack Layton, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada. b: July 18, 1950, d: August 20, 2011.
For my American friends, Jack was the leader of the Official Opposition and the New Democratic Party of Canada. He brought the NDP to the position of Official Opposition in the last federal election in Canada (2011). I believe he would have been the next Prime Minister of Canada but for his untimely death one year ago.
Jack Layton had a message to Canadians. His untimely death in August 2011, gives us all pause to review what is important to each and every one of us... He showed us how to question, to ask how do we define who we are? As humans and Canadians.
He wrote a letter to Canadians on August 20, 2011, knowing that his end was near, he wished us to continue. He wanted to encourage and inspire us. To keep up with the “good fight”. He said:
to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world....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.All my very best,Jack Layton
Environmental concerns were at the forefront of Jack’s agenda. He was horrified by the environmental devastation created by the tar sands in Northern Canada. He knew that climate change was the result of human’s “industrialization”.
Jack was a leader that spearheaded challenges to the corporate world. Jack was all about bringing Canadians information about the environmental impact of industrialization. He wanted all Canadians to know that Climate Change has an economic impact, as well as a social one.
We are not the only species on the planet. We have a responsibility to be good stewards. These were Jack’s messages on the environment.
RIP Jack. Miss you.
photo courtesy of michaelkaufman.com