I got the statement in my work email Monday morning, from Olivia Chow, Michael and Sarah Layton. I did a double take. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to work.
I went into the office because I didn’t know what else to do and I needed to do something. I hugged my colleagues, I asked if there was anything I could do, and I left when it was clear I was only getting in the way of what had to be done. I took my mother and my daughter up to the Hill a little after noon to see the tributes and try to express to her that something terrible and important had happened. That evening Joe and I went up to the candlelight vigil on the Hill and I got to see more of my colleagues and share the grief.
I have spent four years working for Jack, day to day, I have been a cog in his machine.
I admired him for everything he was and everything he believed we could be as a team. He was constantly thinking and always optimistic. I was proud to work for him, I am proud to have been able to serve him.
This morning I watched his coffin arrive at Parliament Hill. I watched his wife, a woman I have come to greatly respect walk behind the man she loves. I watched his granddaughter, I had seen her in the office, I had seen them interact and seen his love for her. At the start of the last election campaign he talked to us, gathered staff, and he spoke about Beatrice and how important our work was for the next generation, and I thought of my daughter.
Jack was a very, very special human being. I am so sad that I will never get the chance to see him speak again and I don’t know where we go from here, but I do know that we have a great group of people and we will carry on in Jack’s name. He left us a legacy and it’s our job to live up to it.