Every once and a while our lives are enriched by a leader who is willing to dedicate his life to a cause. A leader who will stop at nothing to make the world a better place.
Jack Layton was such a leader. Shock waves ricocheted across the country at the news of his recent passing. Many tears are being shed for this great humanist and his compassionate soul.
Jack Layton inspired me when I heard him speak in Cornwall several years ago. This man of peace captured the attention of every person in the room. The things he spoke about resonated with the audience, and there seemed to be an unspoken truth that he really wanted to improve the quality of life for the masses.
The letter that Jack Layton wrote just prior to his death confirms his dedication and belief in the people he served. The letter also serves as a public record of his belief system, which include words like ‘love’ and ‘trust.’ What I find remarkable is the fact that he continued to care so deeply about others as he was at death’s door. Never before have I seen such devotion to people expressed in this way.
Some people may argue that he made the ultimate sacrifice. He worked tirelessly as a politician to improve the lives of others while his own life was in peril. To the end he put the interests of other people first.
Thank you, Jack for all of your contributions. Your memory will live on.
Delegates reinforce Layton's call to end the wrong mission for Canada
QUEBEC - At the NDP Federal Convention in Quebec City this morning, New Democrats overwhelmingly voted to send the clearest message yet to the Harper Conservatives that this is the wrong mission and that Canadian troops must be withdrawn from their fighting mission in Afghanistan.
"This is the wrong mission for Canada," NDP leader Jack Layton said. "New Democrats have sent the right message today by overwhelmingly voting to withdraw our troops."
"This motion demonstrates the clear and unequivocal support that the NDP has for the women and men of our armed forces," NDP defence critic Dawn Black said.
The resolution called on Harper to begin "the safe and immediate withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan" and "support the continuation of development assistance to Afghanistan and democratic peace building."
"This sends a loud clear message from New Democrats," NDP foreign affairs critic Alexa McDonough said. "Democracy building is what the Afghan people want, not more violence and instability. A comprehensive peace plan is what is critically important to building democracy and peace in the region."
Over 1,800 delegates, staff and observers are meeting for the second day of the NDP's convention in Quebec City, a convention that is hearing from speakers including Manitoba Premier Gary Doer and Stephen Lewis call for an NDP federal government.
Local NDP candidate Elaine MacDonald made her presence known at the local leaders’ debate last night at the Cornwall Civic Complex.
In front of an audience of 500 people MacDonald told the people of Cornwall that the Grits and the Tories were really identical twins, since their polices and performance in government favours the wealthy and the privileged, but not the working people. Voting for either the Liberals or Conservatives won’t bring about real change in Canada. Both parties are blowing smoke.
Even though there were only 19 NDP members in the last government, and against incredible odds, the party managed to take billions of dollars away from the coporate elite, and turn it into a 4.6 billion investment into working Canadians!
This huge investment was for small businesses, for reducing student tuition, for working people, and affordable housing. Money was also invested in the environment, and in pension protection. Even Stephen Harper praised this social investment after it had happened. But really, what choice did he have? We’d be dreaming if we expect the Conservative party to cut corporate taxes.
MacDonald told the audience that the NDP has a clear sense of what Canadians need and can get the job done without raising taxes. The NDP will create homecare and longterm care spaces, stop the privatization of healthcare, and give children and youth a better start in life.
The NDP party is the only viable party with a social conscience. Remember that Medicare, pensions, the indexing of pensions, affordable housing all exist today because of the NDP’s influence. Unfortunately the Liberals have eroded these benefits for Canadians since 1993, and billions of dollars have been taken from the Employment Insurance coffers and used for other purposes.
Elaine MacDonald is a strong NDP candidate. She is a working woman, a teacher, and has spent countless hours giving back to her community. As a board member on the United Way, as co-chair of the Cornwall Chapter of the Ontario Health Coaltion, as founding member of the SD&G Coalition for Social Justice and as President of the Cornwall and District Labour Council, Elaine has a clear notion of what Cornwall needs. She has seen firsthand how political structures can fail people. Unfortunately, the mortar that holds our political house together is crumbling and people are falling through the cracks.
Five million Canadians don’t have a family doctor and up to 4,000 foreign-educated physicans are waiting for accreditation in Canada. The lack of foresight in the planning for our healthcare needs in this country is more apparent now than ever. People are afraid the Conservatives will gut the Canada Health Act. They will, but the Liberals have been tearing whole chapters out of it since 1993. Let the party that unveiled medicare, the NDP under Tommy Douglas, once again provide what Canadians need. An efficient, publicly funded, healthcare system.
Don’t be misled by Liberal and Conservative promises to prop us social programs. Once in power, they speak the language of privilege and power, and there’s never enough money for what’s really important. The NDP is the only party committed to comprehensive, accessible, public programs that Canadians want and need. Think of the Liberals and Conservatives as two sides of the same coin. Either way you lose.
Conservatives have no agenda to support equal opportunities for women. Look at the way the Liberals treated Sheila Copps and Jean Augustine. They even tried to force Claudette Bradshaw to step aside for Frank McKenna in the last election. We need gender balance in politics and more women’s voices in government. The NDP party is the party that is making it happen.
On January 23rd, vote for a party that cares about working Canadians. Cast your vote for Elaine MacDonald and the NDP party.