Remembering Dave Barrett 1930 to 2017

submitted by Linda Hill

Dave Barrett, the “people’s premier” who was “champion of the little guy” died last night. I invite you to take a few moments to learn about or remember the magnificence of this down-to-earth Inclusive Leader who worked tirelessly for social and environmental justice his whole life.

From 1972 to 1975, he was the head of a revolutionary socialist government in BC, Canada,. For three short years, his government passed a new law every three days, aiming to make sure that there was justice for everybody in BC.

Dave and his fellow change-makers didn’t worry about whether or not they would be re-elected (and they weren’t). They simply went about making the changes they had been visioning and researching for decades because doing the right thing was more important than staying in power.

Dave Barrett’s government is remembered for banning corporal punishment in B.C. schools, reforming the province’s welfare system, and creating the agricultural-land reserve for protecting B.C. farmland.

At age 80, he was asked what gave him the greatest personal satisfaction in a life of challenging systems? Shutting down two youth jails says Barrett. “We had kids going into …prisons… as young as nine years old.”

When I think about Dave Barrett, what gives me the most satisfaction is thinking about his ability to relax, tune into each individual he met with all his senses and connect – bam!

Instant empathy.  Instant equality. Instant respect.

Infinite loving kindness.