Like A Rock -The Chuck Cadman Story, Tom Zytaruk, 2008
In 1992, Chuck Cadman was regarded by his Surrey neighbours as a typical suburban couch potato, a man who, despite the ponytail left over from his days as a small-time rock musician, had settled into a nine-to-five job and seemed content to pay down the mortgage, watch TV, drink a few beers and enjoy family life. Then, on October 17, his sixteen-year-old son Jesse was senselessly murdered by teenage delinquents, and Chuck’s peaceful world changed forever.
Overnight, the quiet homebody was galvanized into an inspired public spokesman, an articulate and unshakeable advocate of stricter treatment of young offenders and more compassionate treatment of victims of crime. He became a rallying figure for people across Canada growing impatient with tolerant attitudes toward youth crime, and in 1997 the people of Surrey North elected him as their Member of Parliament. In Ottawa, Chuck kept his focus and made himself one of the most authoritative voices on the parliamentary justice committee. He also kept his ponytail and blue jeans and his down-to-earth, man-of-the-people manner; his reputation as a straight-shooter earned him respect on both sides of the house. His final moment in the spotlight came on May 19, 2005 when, though in the final stages of terminal cancer, he made one last long trip to Ottawa to save the Liberal government from defeat—not because he wanted to, but because his constituents wanted him to. When he died six weeks later his loss was mourned by people from all walks of life across the entire country. In a time of deepening disenchantment with the political process, Chuck had given citizens a reassuring reminder that public service can still be an honourable calling.
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