We’re proud of our Dad, Jack MacLaren, Now, more than ever.
Every politician has a rough stretch in their career and it’s no surprise that the last year has been tough on our dad. There was sensitivity training, a falling out with Patrick Brown and a dangling nomination that never came. Despite this, we saw our dad work tirelessly for the Ontario PC Party, going to outreach events, signing up hundreds of members and door knocking with volunteers during by-elections. Our dad loves that part of the job, where he gets to meet and talk with people.
But we also saw the dark side of politics during this time.
Seeing people who were friends one day, calling our dad untrue hurtful names because of a bad joke he told, was hard on us. That’s because we know our dad to be a loving, caring and fair person who has always been there for his daughters, wife, grandkids and neighbours.
Our dad isn’t a career politician and thankfully he never learned how to talk in the language of political correctness. He was too busy raising three daughters, working two jobs, combining fields at midnight and delivering calves at two in the morning. But what he lacks in political polish, he makes up for with integrity, honesty and genuinely caring about his neighbours, friends and community.
This desire to help people is what led him into politics. His ambition was never to be a politician; it was just the natural progression in his fight to improve the world around him. At a time when most people his age are winding down their careers and thinking about retirement Dad chose to learn politics with the intention to make a difference. Rather than complaining about the system or the politicians within it he chose to run in provincial politics to make changes from within. We are very proud of him for this. The passion, dedication and initiative Dad has demonstrated here and throughout his life are inspiring.
Our Dad will not say things just because people want to hear it. He despises the games, and gossip that are part of politics. And he is not afraid to stand up for what he believes is right, even though it is often unpopular. It takes courage to step outside this box and tackle bigger, more complicated and less acceptable topics like property rights. And in politics once you do that, you become a target for critics and it can get vicious. But this hasn’t stopped our Dad, and it won’t. His sense of responsibility to his constituents won’t allow him to sit back and take the easy route.
When our Dad told us he was leaving the Ontario PC party to join the Trillium party in mid May we were not surprised. He had been struggling with the belief that he could not properly represent his constituents any longer, while at the same time toeing the party line on things he disagreed with, like the Carbon Tax. Leaving the Ontario PC party was not an easy or rash decision for him, but in the end he chose to remain loyal to the people and values that helped him first get elected in 2011.
Instead of dwelling on the problem, complaining or becoming apathetic, our Dad decided to take a bold step and leave the PC Party. He’s travelling a harder road now, but he’s free to speak his mind and advocate for the things he believes in and the people he represents.
We are proud of you Dad, for your unwavering honesty, integrity and passion in the face of adversity. We’ve seen you make a positive impact on the lives of people in your community who you have helped and you have made a difference. That’s the way you have always been. We love you Dad. Thank you for inspiring us to never settle and to continue to fight for what is right.
Jessica, Rachel and Alexis.