About Jack

Hearing about Jack Layton’s death from cancer driving home yesterday was like a hard punch in the head, and I nearly went off the road. My American readers may not appreciate the genuine respect and affection most Canadians had for the new Leader of the Opposition, even if they vehemently disagreed with his politics. I don’t think I have anything to add to the many, many tributes and obituaries, except this: though I was severely critical of Layton’s stance on the gun registry, he convinced me to vote for the New Democrats this spring for the first time in a federal election since ’93.

Here’s Layton at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Hamilton for the television program Make the Politician Work.



  1. #1 by Rachael Schrijver on Tuesday 23 August 2011 - 2059

    I too, was and remain heartbroken that we lost such a man, before we had a chance to see what he would bring to the floor, and to Canada. I read a quote to the effect of “Let the tears of today become the resolve of tomorrow”, and hope that his spirit of caring and humanism are carried forth by his supporters and the party.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

  2. #2 by Liz Jacinto on Wednesday 24 August 2011 - 1338

    My condolences to Canada for losing a great man, a politician who obviously cares! If only the US could get its politicians to work in the trenches, to experience what healthcare workers see everyday.
    Even though this was a short clip, it seems that the Canadian Healthcare system experiences some of the same problems the US does.
    I love your blog!

  3. #3 by Jenn Jilks on Wednesday 24 August 2011 - 1509

    We would not mourn if he had not made a difference. It is our loss, not his.
    Jack did not ‘lose’ and I am glad you didn’t phrase it that way.

    Cancer is not a battle. It’s a medical condition. Cancer cells and cancer terminology: http://bit.ly/oACNad I hope it will generate some dialogue.
    I wish that those speculating on the political side of it, e.g., NDP and leadership elections, would wait until he is buried. Seems crass.

    Cheers from Perth!

  4. #4 by Maha on Wednesday 24 August 2011 - 1512

    I was so saddened to hear about his passing. He changed the landscape of Canadian politics. On a more personal level, I had the opportunity to meet with him several times and he was absolutely charming and down to earth. My condolences to his family.

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