Roy McMurtry in his office at Osgoode Hall in Toronto on his last day as Ontario chief justice, on May 30, 2007. (Ryan Carter/Globe and Mail/CP)

Tim Armstrong’s Op-Ed in the March 21st edition of the Toronto Star quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” and tells readers that: “Few if any Canadians have created a trail matching the one established by R. Roy McMurtry.”

It may be of interest that in 2004, Roy McMurtry facilitated Peacebuilders Canada’s first community based Peacebuilding Circle in Regent Park, passing a non-ceremonial Talking Piece from participant to participant, allowing each an uninterrupted opportunity to speak their truth.

Four years later, in 2008, co-authored with Dr. Alvin Curling,  Roy McMurtry issued  the “Review of the Roots of Youth Violence”,  an essential and much-quoted, comprehensive analysis of the challenges faced by Ontario’s youth and recommendations for measures going forward.

Five years later, Peacebuilders was awarded the first Roy McMurtry Community Service Award for its Restorative Youth Circles program  which by then had successfully diverted 300 young people out of the youth courts before trial and redirected them to school and other productive activities.

The passing of Roy McMurtry is the passing of one of Canada’s most significant advocates for youth justice and reform, a genuinely caring human. He will be missed!

With thanks,

Eva E. Marszewski, O.Ont., L.S.M., Founder and Co-Chair, Board of Directors, Peacebuilders Canada