When his mother was too old to host holiday dinners, it was Ben who drew his brothers and their kids together.As his parents grew more elderly, he became their primary caretaker, looking after their finances and their medical needs.From his early start as a teenage politico, he positioned himself as someone who cared deeply about reworking Canada’s education system.
In his first year of university, he used his bright likability to run for the Winnipeg school board.
Instead of mailing out pamphlets advertising his campaign, he enlisted 90 other youths to go door-to-door throughout his ward, handing out leaflets and singing his praises.
They considered themselves lucky to have a dad like him.
He was the unifying force in his extended family, too.
Over the years, he served as deputy education minister, once in Manitoba and twice in Ontario under then–education minister Kathleen Wynne, a fellow OISE grad who found herself impressed by his dedication.
In 2013, after she took over as premier, she hand-picked Levin to be on her transition team. In the late ’70s, Levin married Barbara Wiktorowicz, a fellow Winnipegger and community health worker. By all accounts, they radiated the cheerful domestic hum of a close and happy family, their days filled with homework, swimming lessons, family dinners, sleepovers and birthday parties.
He was the second of four brothers, born in 1952 to a warm, loving, staunch NDP family in West Kildonan, a Jewish suburb of Winnipeg.
His father, David, was a dentist; his mother, Dorothy, a nurse.
Bulletin boards have been replaced by a vast network of websites that cater to different users.
There are thousands of private chat rooms to discuss fantasies and exchange images.
A place where, as Levin wrote in one of his chat room profiles, “nothing is taboo.” The internet has transformed pedophilia from a private pursuit into an alarmingly social subculture.