Sunday, August 28, 2011


A week of tears, smiles, recognition

BC Mary comment:  There's something I want to say before pushing on with life.

It has been quite a week, hasn't it?

Jack Layton died.

I've watched hours and hours of CBC Newsworld conversations. With family and friends, we gathered together to watch the funeral of Le bon Jack. I've puzzled and pondered, as to why his death (while a shocking sadness) has gradually and relentlessly made me feel BETTER about our country.

I have always known (or felt I knew) how Canadians feel ... despite the fact that only once have I ever seen it proven by an outburst of Canadian passion and that was at the end of the Quebec referendum (1995) when it looked as if Chretien had fumbled the ball and the separatists were going to win the day. I happened to be driving past the BC Legislature that critical day. A crowd had gathered. Nobody was in charge. Somebody had set up a microphone on the Legislature steps and people were lining up to have their say. What they said brought me to tears of recognition and understanding. Every statement was a message of love. "Don't, don't go ... we love you."

And yet, people have often told me I got it all wrong ... that I idealize the Canadian character, that we're all money-mad and  blah, blah, blah.   Phhttt, I say. I knew how I felt myself and saw no reason to suppose others didn't share that deep respect for our huge, awkward, gorgeous, neglected geographical location.

And so this week, August 22 to 27, 2011, Jack Layton gave us another precious opportunity to show how we feel about this country. They say he planned his funeral ... and if so, he well understood the passion in people's hearts which would need to find expression. Streets filled with people ... coast to coast to coast.

CBC was there to open up the network for all of Canada to have their say. And did you notice that nobody had to invoke a U.S. example of anything to "help us understand" anything! The stories, the speakers, people, the actions, the music, the musicians were all Canadian, all the way. Especially ... did you laugh and applaud (we did) when Stephen Lewis said the words "Social Democracy" in his eulogy? and innocently set off an explosion of passion?  When the congregation (apparently, unexpectedly) took over with their applause and cheers ... in the middle of a funeral?? Le bon Jack would've loved that. Loved that.

I thought this caught some of that spirit ... 

Adieu, le bon Jack
from "Unrepentent Old Hippie" blog

August 27, 2011 

Agree with him ideologically or not, Jack Layton was clearly no ordinary politician, and the week following his passing has been no ordinary week.  The widespread emotional outpouring in response to his death has been, dare I say it? Unprecedented?  I certainly can’t recall anything quite like it.

Of all the memorials to Jack Layton, planned or improvised, to me the most touching is the now-famous chalk memorial in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto:

Not just because it was such a spontaneously creative outpouring of grief, respect and even love for the guy.  But because one night the sky cried it all away, and then within 24 hours:

[BC Mary says please, please go HERE to visit this web-site and see the photos.]

… tenacious Torontonians had stubbornly brought it back.  It was an act in such synchronicity with Layton’s determinedly optimistic spirit, I found it really moving.

I wonder if what we saw this past week says something about what we really want.


BC Mary note: My view? This past week, what we saw says everything about exactly who we are and, yes, about what we really want. We are Canadians and y'know what? we care a whole damn lot about the things which really matter.


Damn right!
Actually Mary I think your thinking in this is spot on!
We have been plagued with counterfeits and vagabonds for many years so much so that to here Jack when he spoke we were leery, could this be so? This man is speaking what I feel is right but have been told for so long is wrong! Jack woke up the Truth in us the truth we missed and I must say is refreshing to get back. That is what Jack gave us is what we believe is right and to hell with those who oppose that.
Thank You Jack Layton!
JAck Layton was very rare. He did not offend the right, even though his thinking was often flawed.

He was positive and likeable. I tool down the BLOC. THat alone has done more for Canada than anything Harper has done.

I am so disappointed about his passing. Now I fear the NDP will revert back to their old ways with no JAck to contol the ferral cats they are. They will fight amongst themselves, battling ideologies, illogical discussions about Equity, Economics, Etc, and they will Implode.

Where the NDP/Carole James effective in dealing with BC RAIL?

How about Raw Log Exports?

Privitisation of Hospital Services?

CLassroom Composition?

HST? (Nope, VanderZalm did that)

Expansion of Casinos?

Over crowding of JAils?

Judicial Reform?

No, no, no, no, no AND no.

Now you get my point. Jack will be missed at a time we need him the most.

I too loved the outbreak of applause when Stephen Lewis spoke the words "social democracy," especially when Stephen Harper reluctantly stood and joined in. Yes, Mr. Harper, social democracy is a Canadian tradition, and one we all hope you weren't simply paying lip service to while the cameras were on you.
the NDP have stood idly by why the liberals dismantle the province.

Dix is a blo hard. His ire over the "no electin' was so pathetic.

where is our new JAck?
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