Opening Statement



Monday, 22 August 2011

Good Bye to Jack Layton -A Great Canadian!

                "Courage my friends! It's never too late to build a better world." [Tommy Douglas]



As most of my Canadian readers will know, Canadian NDP [New Democratic Party] opposition leader Jack Layton died of cancer at age 61 this morning. His strong beliefs, character, and sunny disposition will be sorely missed in Canadian politics. Jack stood up for the average Canadian, working families, political progressives and the cause of social justice. In the spring federal election he took us to the brink of a new Canada, that others will now have to bridge in his wake. He leaves some very big shoes to fill!

I first met Jack Layton in the eighties when I lived on Queen St West in Toronto. He was a city alderman at the time. We saw him riding his bike down the busy street, his carrier full of groceries and called out "Hey Jack!" He eagerly pulled over quick for a lively political debate on the city issues of the day. Certainly here was a man after my own heart!

Over the past ten years or so in my roles as committee chair and executive liaison for TSU PAC [Toronto Secondary Unity Political Advisory Committee] I've had the honour of meeting Jack on numerous occasions. As federal NDP leader, he was a constant presence at any and all conferences and rallies where folk were fighting the good fight. That was Jack. 

Each year Jack would wait at the end of the Labour Day Parade to greet and shake our hands. This spring he enthusiastically crossed Canada on the federal election trail warmly waving his cane in the air to greet everybody despite his previous painful bout with cancer. We all took notice. Had the election lasted another week or so, it might possibly had turned out quite differently. Jack was truly onto something great. I believe his strength and passion for Canada and social justice earned the respect of our nation. God bless you Jack!

RIP Jack Layton
August 22, 2011


Jack Layton addresses Canadians in a letter he prepared just two days before his death;


"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than  fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."
All my very best,
Jack Layton

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