August 30, 2011


On August 27 2011, I was honoured to attend the State Funeral for Jack Layton on behalf on the Postal Workers in the Scarborough Local. It was an incredible experience, the feeling inside the hall was electric.

After the last federal election I met with four new NDP MP’s from the GTA, at a Labour Council Meeting. Our struggle was approaching; we will call on the NDP when the time comes in the battle with CPC / Harper et al. It was clear this would be a moral test.

A person’s worth is measured in what they believe in and stand for, even in the face of adversity. Sometimes you have to stand for what you believe in, and deal with the consequences as best as you can. It is a hard road to follow. We are not well liked by some, but Jack stood up for us.

When Harper tabled legislation ordering us back to work, Jack led off the debate standing for over an hour while already aware he was deteriorating.  He could not end the debate as he planned, as he was too ill.

His final message is unsurpassed in recent times, fight for what is socially right as a society. Fight your illness.

The broadcasts that I saw later were great, but do the feeling in the hall no justice. In the hall we were all friends, with orange everywhere.  We all stood for the entire procession from City Hall to Roy Thomson Hall.  It was a very touching service, at times I had tears in my eyes, but I also cheered and clapped. All of it is on the internet of course.

He stood up for us all; I was humbled to be allowed to attend his service.


In Solidarity

Mike Duquette
Scarborough Local