Yesterday marked one year since Jack Layton passed away. A man often often referred to as just “Jack”. Who worked tirelessly early in his career on Toronto city council and later became instrumental in building the NDP party into a power player in Canadian Federal politics. Both, he did with a civility rarely seen in Western politics.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jack and his wife Olivia Chow a five or six times over the years. He struck me as passionate, kind and sometimes a bit blustery. Jack got worked up when talking about what we could do with our country. I don’t know that he would have made a good Prime Minister but the man should have been the opposition and our conscience for much, much longer.
After having dinner at Nathan Phillips Square and watching people scrawl chalk messages out in memorial to Jack. I went home and wondered what beer to have to toast the man. It came to Muskoka’s Mad Tom IPA. A beer proudly crafted in Ontario, full of character and refreshing. Even the can was appropriate. Deep red , as Jack often was while caught calling opposing politicians on the carpet. If you look close a gentleman in a lake with gregarious facial hair. An Iconic looking man with a big moustache staying afloat in a big pond.
Here’s to Jack Layton, may we remember him well by making Canada a better place for us all.