Baby duck feeding carp fish

Published September 17, 2011 · Estimated reading time: 0 minutes Less than a minute · One response so far
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Via Youtube (Baby duck feed the Carp).

Permanent linkMarzieh Ghiasi

In memory of Jack Layton, a personal account

Published September 05, 2011 · Estimated reading time: 3 minutes · 3 responses so far
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Two weeks ago Jack Layton, the leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada, passed away after battling cancer. Although he came to Montreal quite often, I first had a chance to see him speak live only last November during Question Period in the House of Commons which I was attending as part of the McGill Women in House program.

I was absolutely taken by how he questioned with strength and resolve Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan, climate change accountability and the use of unelected senators by the government to kill a bill that passed had majority approval in the House. In a room filled with extraordinary men and women, Jack Layton stood out.

Following reports of his passing, I felt devastated that a person I’d come to respect so much… I was going to write back then, but the only words that I could write were ‘So sad… so very sad…” I couldn’t make sense of my own reaction, was this man not just a politician that I’d never even met? Yes I’d watched Layton speak time and time again after and was impressed by his views on how we can tackle the problems in society by empowering and mobilizing every citizen. Yes I was living in Québec at the time the NDP sweeped the election under Layton’s leadership, a feat considered impossible for a federalist party. But he was more than that.

By Andrew Vaughan / The Canadian Press

Mudslinging and negativity are a part of every election, and voters often stand by and watch as they would a carnival of idiots, wondering which party seems less like a trainwreck. But Layton did it another way. Where others wear promises of a better tomorrow on their sleeve, and forget everything as soon as they are elected, Layton rolled up his sleeves and stood with the youth, with the working-class, with the immigrants, with the veterans, with the elderly… He understood our concerns, he stood with us, he became our friend: Jack.

And it was for our friend, Jack, that public squares were covered with chalk-written memorials.

By Jackman Chiu

Two weeks ago I went to a vigil held in Montreal’s Mont Royal to remember Jack. I stood there alongside hundreds of people with candles in hand, under stony angels and a starry sky, singing songs from “Oh Canada…” to “This land is your land, this land is my land… from Bonavista, to Vancouver Island…” (yes, the Great North has its adapted version). Someone speaking at vigil said “Jack loved people.” He united them too. There people of all ages, of all backgrounds, of different political stripes cried and sang alongside each other, mourning and paying their respects to a great person in their own way.

He was a person with so much to do and so far to go– he could have changed the world– But as the days pass, I contemplate less and less what could have been, and instead focus on what could be– Jack’s last words to Canadians:

“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.”

Looking at these words up on my wall, I smile– remembering a man who has changed the world with a dream that will last longer than any lifetime.

By Garnotte / Le Devoir

Permanent linkMarzieh Ghiasi