Tabatha Southey mines memories of the man and the politician.
These stories make more than a persona. They make a man. All of which is to say I was mistaken: Jack Layton was not an archetypal politician. He was more passionate, compassionate, shrewder, tougher and smarter than most. But – such is the curse of familiarity – years of accumulated evidence brought me to that conclusion with a thud only when I read of his death.
I’d taken it for granted that whether or not I believed he could realize it or applauded all the methods he used attempting to achieve it, Jack Layton would always be there, articulating, more often than not, my vision of what it meant to be just and Canadian.