Dr. Fraser Mustard’s impassioned campaign calling attention to the crucial first years of life — and how brain development during that time sets the stage for health and wellbeing — inspired economists, educators and politicians around the globe.What a great Canadian life.
Closer to home, the Ontario government’s recent move to full-day kindergarten can also be traced to his influence.
Mustard died at home Wednesday night after battling cancer. He was 84.
Premier Dalton McGuinty called Mustard a “personal hero” and said his death is a major loss to the education community in Ontario and abroad.
“He was such a strong, articulate champion on behalf of children and early childhood education,” said McGuinty, who first met Mustard in 1996.
“He was one of the first ones to make the connection, if we make the early years right, a child is set for life. If we get them wrong, it takes a lot of investment to turn them around,” McGuinty said.
“He was ahead of his time.”
And on the political aspect of this story, it's a good example of the way government in Canada should be going about its policy enactment: from places of expertise and empathy.