Thanks to the people of Ottawa Centre for the incredible honour of representing you. Congratulations to @cathmckenna on a great campaign.
So it's been five years.
On that day five years ago devastation collided with reality - Jack Layton was dead.
It was seemingly so unfair, not just because Jack's death was so quick but the timing - the culmination of a dream where the old stagnate political and cultural landscape was finally being challenged in our country. That cynicism would be replaced by authentic action for real change. People actually had hope that they would be heard however, our dreams that he inspired were cut short.
Upon reflection after that August day when many of us felt lost and the flame of hope extinguished, it would appear that what Jack set out to do is happening, albeit not in the way many New Democrats would have hoped - that is via a NDP Government.
But look at the progress in the key areas Jack led on and fought for;
First Nations reconciliation- he convinced a reluctant PM Harper to formally apologize to First Nations and begin The Truth and Reconciliation Commission- the inertia from that continues.
Climate Change - it was his own private members bill and personal commitment to the issue that stood the test of time. While we still are in need of urgent action, there is no longer the stubborn intransigence there used to be - action on climate change was Jack's example not more process and study.
Gender Equality and GLBTQ Rights - before it was mainstream, Jack promoted recruited and involved woman to better our society by sharing power not simple tokenism. He promoted Equal Marriage and Transgender Rights.
Veterans - Jack believed in his core that when we send our brave women and men overseas we must fulfill that contract by supporting them when they return home.
Youth- he not only believed in advancing the role of young people in his party and caucus he treated them as peers and understood that our country must give them opportunity by sharing power.
Jack was also humble, he would be the first to admit he wasn't perfect. As a person he chose ideas over ideology.
He focused on peoples plight over hyper partisanship.
So, today I take solace that what he fought for, achieved and believed in is moving ahead.
Jack believed in the good in all of us, that together we could take better care of each other and the planet we share.
He gave us a future to believe in, a future that can burn bright for all.
So here's to a friend and mentor with a nod to Whitman .....
"O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting"
While his voyage is done, ours is not. Let Jack's beacon inspire us all.
I'm proud that my motion on #Venezuela was adopted today. I hope for an inclusive political solution soon. youtube.com/watch?v=Wwo0D3… #cdnpoli
Today I'm running the half marathon and I'm dedicating the run to my friend Mauril Bélanger who is living with ALS.
.@pmharper wants you to believe the world is a scary and terrible place. So let's come together and make it better. Without him. #elxn42