The social policy organization I work for is facing the universal fear: Fear of death. Due to be absorbed in some form by its principal funder in November 2017, I want its ideas and ideals to be kept alive.
The Caledon Institute has been a think tank fixture since 1992. Using solid statistics, clear writing and humour, its three principals have stood for a compassionate Canada. They have influenced Ministers and Prime Ministers, Cabinets and Budget-crafters. They have worked on behalf of people with disabilities, our Indigenous peoples, those living in poverty, seniors and children. Arguing for policies that re-distribute income and create services that allow those in need a fighting chance of making their lives better, they have watched politics re-shape good policy into bad and vice versa. Over the last 25 years, they have stood as a determined bulwark against greed and special interest groups.
I came to Caledon as a storyteller, and I leave as a storyteller. No policy wonk, I read Ken, Sherri and Michael’s annual Budget response papers and felt wiser. I heard Sherri speak with passion and conviction of the serious work we all need to do to make our country better, and I was inspired. I watched as Ken and Sherri figured out a way to supplement our Office Manager’s earnings as she suffered through a serious – and ultimately, terminal – fight with cancer, and I was moved by their kindness.
Endings are hard. I will miss Caledon, but I take comfort in knowing that the Caledon ideal of caring for and about one another is also universal.