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a message to the Layton family, from a neighbour

Hey everyone.

With Toronto Buskerfest rapidly approaching, I know I should be taking the opportunity to post about that. And I promise I will, in due time. But today I would like to take the time to dedicate a post to something a bit different: politics.

I am devastated by the death of the Honourable Mr. Jack Layton.

Jack Layton lived in my neighbourhood. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and talking with him and his wife, Olivia Chow, on several occasions.

His tireless efforts in recontexualizing the face of the NDP in the eyes of Canada was incredible. He was a force to be reckoned with, and his historic win as the official Opposition in Parliament was just a step in a future that could have been a pivotal turn in Canadian politics. He worked hard to involve the younger demographic (that’s me!) and his passion for our country was honest, genuine and raw. You can read it in his final message to Canadians.

As an NDP supporter, as a neighbour, and as a Canadian citizen, I am shocked, devastated and saddened by his death. I’m doing my best to share in his unwavering optimism, but, honestly? I’m fearful for the state of leftist politics in Canada. In the wake of our growing conservatism, the growing interest in privatization, the lack of interest in supporting socialized programs, the arts and our medical system, I can only wonder where our country will be in the next few years. But, rather than focus on the despair, I’ll share these words from his final message:

“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.”

Today is a very sad day in Canadian politics. Rest in peace, Mr. Layton, and if you happen to read this, Ms. Chow, please know that I stand behind you as a Canadian, fellow NDP supporter, and as neighbour in Kensington Market.

Much love,
Kate Mior

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