Hope is Better than Fear
Hope Is Better Than Fear is a newly released eBook about Jack Layton's legacy. Contributors to the book volunteered their time and effort and Random House of Canada Limited is donating the net proceeds from the sale of the eBook to two charities, as designated by Jack Layton's widow, MP Olivia Chow: the university and college bursaries and scholarships program of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation and Shannen's Dream, named in honour of Shannen Koostachin and dedicated to continuing her fight for equal school rights for First Nations children.
This week, Not Rex's Humberto DaSilva remembers the late Jack Layton: his impact on the NDP, politics in Canada and the average Canadian.
Canadians who maintain the dream of a more equal, democratic and civilized society may no longer be reeling from the death of Jack Layton. But they are surely stuck in a kind of political limbo, trying not to think of the damage Stephen Harper can do whenever he wants, at the same time as they try to imagine how this catastrophic situation can be turned around.
Literally seconds after the news of Jack's death hit the stands, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and all sort of social media channels are filled with tens of thousands -- if not hundreds of thousands -- messages of condolence. There had not been such an outpouring of sympathy and grief since Pierre Trudeau's passing.
It was "getting surreal," lamented Mike Strobbel of the Toronto Sun and others like him, who couldn't stomach why Canadians paid so much respect to a figure frequently reviled by the media as a socialist menace poised to destroy Canada. One Facebook page dedicated to Jack's passing (R.I.P Jack Layton 1950-2011) gained 185,000 followers, while Jack Layton's page itself broke the 190,000 mark.
For immediate release - Thursday, September 1, 2011
(Ottawa) Inspired by Jack Layton's final message, almost 1,000 Canadians have already signed up to participate in a week of gatherings and a day of action designed to help them organize themselves, across generations and party lines, to work together for change. Leadnow.ca, the organization that made vote mobs a national phenomena in the last election, is coordinating the campaign, called Turning Point.
* The Turning Point gatherings will take place between Tuesday, September 27 and Sunday, October 2nd.
* The Turning Point day of action will take place on Monday, October 3rd.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to give the late NDP leader Jack Layton a state funeral can be parsed two ways: a noble gesture or a Machiavellian political manoeuvre to further marginalize his original foe, the leaderless, languishing Liberals.
But no one, least of all Harper himself, could have predicted Canadians' week-long outpouring of emotion. Was it a fleeting historical moment? Or something more profound? If the former, political normalcy will return with the opening of Parliament Sept. 21. If the latter, the state funeral could turn out to be Harper's biggest political mistake yet.