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It is with deep sadness that we learned of Jack Layton’s passing today. It is not enough to say that he will be greatly missed by those of us working to end violence against women in our society. The loss is profound.
Jack was a tireless supporter of abused women and their children and of Interval House itself. He was never too busy to hear our concerns, to offer his advice and to help push our agenda forward - both with those in power who made the laws, as well as with those who had the power to help drive change by funding to Interval House. He remains one of the biggest advocates of women’s and children’s issues in Canadian society.
I worked closely with Jack for many years when I was a Board Member of the White Ribbon Campaign, and he was the Chair of the Board of Directors. Jack and two other men, founded the White Ribbon Campaign during the dark days that followed the École Polytechnique Montreal Massacre in 1989. It’s an organization founded by men so that they can add their voices to the fight against woman and child abuse. The campaign is one of his many, many lasting legacies – legacies that, in all ways, focused on building a fair, just and environmentally sustainable society.
Canadians have lost a tireless champion and we, in the violence against women’s movement, have lost a true hero of our cause.