Canadian Grieve Jack Layton, Crusader for City Health, Food, Environment and Optimism


By Wayne Roberts Jack Layton’s death on August 22 feels so cry-out-loud tragic – and has touched a chord across the country with an outpouring of national grief, leading the federal government to hold a formal state funeral in his honor – because he was still brimming with vitality, positive energy and hope even as [...]

Thoroughly Modern Dorothy: Why I Remember Mealtime on Mother’s Day

Mom's Cooking

My Mom and Dad came of age in Toronto dur­ing the “Dirty Thirties,” but even by the stan­dards of that era, they had more than their share of bad breaks. Mom was given up for adop­tion as a baby, lost her adop­tive mom at 14, and was res­cued from the streets by a warm and [...]

Wayne Roberts’ Secret Retirement Recipe for Successful Food Policy Councils

The following remarks were delivered by Wayne at a June 29 party of 130 people celebrating his ten years with the Toronto Food Policy Council and Toronto Public Health. Liz Janzen, the recently retired director of Toronto Public Health, who did so much to champion the Toronto Food Policy Council and many other bold initiatives, [...]

Women Ignored in Climate Change at Copenhagen

Women hold up half the sky, claims an old saying, coined long before the world’s skies were filled with global warming gases. My sense is that from now on, they will have to hold up a lot more. The absence of debate on this gendered slant to global warming is a silence piled upon silences [...]

Graduating with honours from the corner grocery store

It takes a village to raise a neighborhood grocery store, I’ve always figured. So I went to hear Mary Choi deliver the valedictory address to her graduating class of naturopathic doctors, thinking I would share the joy of her mom and dad, Suzie and Charlie Choi, who run the mom and pop grocery in our [...]

Life Is a Picnic

The scene was just as I remembered from many decades ago, when my grade 5 teacher asked us to name one of the seven wonders of the world, and I stuck up my hand and blurted out “the Scarboro bluffs.” My wife Lori and good friend Harriet joined me for a trip down memory lane [...]