BY: LUCAS P. MARTINEZ June 24, 2017 11:40PM In the days since Prince Albert Mayor Jim MacLeod’s death, a small but growing number of people have been speaking out about his death and his legacy.
In an exclusive interview with CBC News, MacLeod, 67, had a message for those who were mourning his passing.
He said his family is still here, and that they want to give them peace.
“They want us to know they are not alone, they are still here and they will always love and be here,” MacLeod said.
He added that he wants the city to move forward, saying “it’s not over.”
He also spoke about his own personal journey as a young man growing up in Saskatchewan.
He was a child of immigrants who came to the province as children and had to adapt to their way of life.
MacLeod said he grew up in the same community in Saskatoon.
He had a close relationship with his father, and he recalled how he was the only one in his family to wear a yarmulke and was often asked by others to wear one.
The mayor said he also remembers how hard it was for him to come out of his shell.
“I remember the whole thing about my father,” he said.
“My father would just say, ‘I’m not a boy.
I’m a man.'”
He also recalled that he would often come home from school and ask his mother to wear his yarmaulk.
At the age of 17, Macleods first job out of high school was as a teacher at an elementary school in Saskastown, where he worked as a librarian.
He also worked as an electrician in Saskats largest city.
“As a young boy I was fascinated with all things books and the sciences,” he recalled.
“But it was really the first time I got to work in a place where I really understood the meaning of books.”
MacLeod says he has since worked in many different fields, including working for the provincial government, and was in the public service for a number of years.
He said he worked with children and adults in mental health, social work, child welfare, and social assistance.
He spent many years as an executive with the provincial health agency, the Saskatchewan Mental Health Association.
The mayor also remembers working with the local First Nations and Inuit communities, and said he has worked closely with Indigenous leaders to make sure that their needs are met.
“What’s really important to me is the people of Prince Albert,” he explained.
MacLeod is survived by his wife, Nancy MacLeod; three daughters, Julie, Emily and Jessica; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.