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Author Tom Zytaruk Speaks Out About MP Chuck Cadman

Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tom Zytaruk, author of Like a Rock: The Chuck Cadman Story, has dropped a political bombshell recently after critical chapters in his yet-to-be published biography of Independent MP Chuck Cadman were leaked by unknown sources to the media. Zytaruk’s story broke on CBC’s The National February 27, 2008 and has since aired on CTV’s Canada AM and been featured as leading stories in both The Globe & Mail and The Vancouver Sun, among many others. The much-anticipated release of Like a Rock is scheduled for March 17, 2008.

On May 19, 2005, “the eyes of the country” fell upon Independent Surrey MP, Chuck Cadman. The minority Liberal government headed by Paul Martin was deadlocked with the opposition over a confidence motion on the budget and Cadman held the deciding vote. If he said nay, the government fell and the country headed into a general election. If he said yea, the government survived. For those few days in May, Chuck Cadman was the most powerful and talked about man in Canada.

But Cadman himself marveled at the position he found himself in. Before his political life began eight short years earlier, Chuck was regarded by his Surrey, BC neighbours as a quiet homebody. All that changed when his beloved sixteen-year-old son Jesse was senselessly murdered by a teenage delinquent in 1992. The experience of losing his only son to a senseless crime transformed Chuck into an inspired public advocate for stricter treatment of violent 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 reputation as a straight shooter respected by all parties.

Cadman made the long trip to Ottawa in 2005, despite his advanced stage of cancer, to vote yea in that parliamentary vote, saving Canadians from facing a second election in little over a year. At the time, detractors accused him of selling out to the party in power. Now author Tom Zytaruk cites evidence that indicates Cadman’s last stand was a rare act of integrity. According to Chuck’s widow Dona, apparently representatives of the Conservative party offered the dying man a $1 million life insurance benefit, but he turned his back on it to vote according to his conscience. For those who knew him, it was typical Chuck.