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In Memoriam

The news said you died surrounded by family and friends. You were surrounded by millions of your fellow Canadians as well.
The night of the performance is one that will be etched in my mind forever. As Amanda, you always dreamed of being on a big stage surrounded by lights and music. In the performance piece called "My Name is Amanda Todd," that is what happened.
Sinatra was, outside of the world of opera, the greatest singer of the 20th century. As we mark on December 12 the 100th anniversary of his birth, we remember that he was a once-in-a-century talent. Until his later years, he never hit a wrong note.
We think, perhaps, we could have done something differently -- made a move or said the right words that might have tipped the balance in favour of life. Death is not easy on a regular basis, but it becomes tainted and shame-faced when described as a suicide. It's as if we, the survivors, have somehow failed to do our part.
Okay, I was a bit of a keener, but I didn't think of teachers as being mere dispensers of marks. Because I was raised among teachers, I knew they were human beings too, and usually interesting ones. I did well in school partly because I worked my tail off, but also because acknowledging that my teachers were human allowed me to figure out what they expected, and how they worked.
If I reflect back on the past few years of my life, the omnipotent messages from The Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer were the catalyst for so many of the positive, profound changes in my life. This book woke me up and set my life trajectory on an entirely different path.
Within our human connectedness, what matters the most is something so simple it can almost be overlooked. Something so ordinary in its application that its intense impact can be disregarded. It is simple, but not easy. Unpretentious, yet so difficult to maintain. That's the thing about kindness: it seems basic.
Jacques Parizeau was Quebec Premier for merely 16 months, but he was a great servant of the state and, above all, one of the foremost builders of modern Quebec. He was one of the founding members of Parti québécois in 1968-1969, alongside Mr. Lévesque who had just stormed out of the Quebec Liberal Party. "Monsieur," as everyone called him, was a statesman; he truly had the interest of the public at heart in the noblest sense of the expression. The interest of the state came before his own. That is something that is becoming extremely rare in politics nowadays.
Jacques Parizeau was a passionate and principled man who believed in Quebec's independence, but he was at times a divisive politician. Judging by the many hateful comments I saw last night, his "money and the ethnic vote" speech after the razor-thin Quebec independence referendum loss in 1995 will continue to haunt his legacy. The over-the-top indignation I'm seeing from some is getting on my nerves. Is that one sentence from 20 years ago the only thing some of you can remember from his entire political legacy? Parizeau was so much more than just a rant, more than just one ugly moment in time.