Like so many others he touched, Ginny and I would like to pass on our condolences to Errol Black’s family and convey how much we are thinking of Errol and what he meant to the people of Manitoba.
In addition to being a highly respected professional, Errol was equally valued by his students at Brandon University, who praised his knowledge and whom he continually inspired.
Every time we met Errol, his social justice and equality principles were front and centre. He was a person who didn’t just pontificate these principles, but practised them in the street and in his community. He continued practising these principles when he ran successfully for Brandon city council, challenging his fellow citizens and colleagues with dignity and determination. His principles are what led to him becoming a political rock for western Manitoba.
Errol wasn’t one to live by the Western Canadian saying, “It’s easier to curl from behind the ice.” Quite the opposite. Errol worked tirelessly in front of and behind the scenes, inspiring people to go door to door, pick up the phone and take action.
On a personal basis, I always appreciated Errol’s street knowledge as much as I appreciated his book knowledge — a rare combination. His principles could also ensure that as a previous premier, the government’s feet were always kept to the fire. Not a provincial council meeting or convention went by where he didn’t fully engage leaders, following up on election campaign promises. And there truly couldn’t have been a tougher sparring partner in party council meetings, continually fighting for his constituents and for the good of the province.
An example of his tireless effort was farm workers being included in the Employment Standards Act — an enactment driven by Errol’s passion for social justice.
To Errol’s family: We are all indebted for his life, his generosity and his work ethic on behalf of fellow citizens.
Canadian ambassador to the
United States of America
Former Manitoba NDP premier
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition November 9, 2012