Jack Layton Passes Away at 61 in Toronto – Canada Mourns – August 22, 2011

Cornwall ON –   Canada lost a great Canadian today as Jack Layton passed away in Toronto.    He was 61 and recently led the NDP to their greatest election victory; something I’m sure made him proud.    He was human.   Not cold and machine like as our current PM.    He gave a rookie and chance and our chat showed me a side that you don’t see in many politicians.

It was a magical interview for me and something that helped in my progression.    What I took politically from him in that interview was that in each election he led his party they’d received more seats from the Canadian public.

Sure enough at the rally in Gilles Duceppe’s riding, at the Olympia theatre in Montreal, I was granted floor space with the major networks and I shot several pieces of video.


My biggest regret was not taking the one on one I was offered with Mr. Layton and Mr. Mulcair after.   Agoraphobia can be brutal and being in the middle of the mob that filled every nook and cranny of the theatre had taken its toll on me.   Sadly I’m sure I missed some insights that I could’ve shared with the public.

Jack showing his more human side on This Hour Has 22 Minutes


When I initially interviewed him over the phone way back in 2009 we talked about his days as a city councilor and how he’d taken a stand against the Sky Dome just as I’d taken a stand against the arena we recently built in Cornwall.   It was important to stand for what you believed in and when someone of Jack’s stature showed that you could do that it inspired me as I was testing the waters politically myself.


Jack Layton WIKI

RIP Jack Layton – Your Country Will Miss You 

July 18, 1950 – August 22, 2011

Vintage Jack


We’ll be updating this story as some tributes arrive.

from Keith Beardsley who started out as a NDP member

It is a sad day and a huge loss for the country. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

 From Darlene Jalbert, former NDP candidate under Mr. Layton


Jack Layton was a Fantastic Leader.  His passion for doing the right thing for everyday people was both contagious and motivating.  This is a sad day! 

Statement from Bob Rae, Liberal Party of Canada leader

Like all Canadians, Arlene and I are deeply saddened by the death of Jack Layton.  He was a friend of ours for many years, and despite our political differences his decency, good humour and extraordinary resilience earned our deep admiration.  We remained friends throughout our political lives. 

On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary Caucus, I express our deep condolences to Olivia and Jack’s family, as well as to his colleagues and friends in the New Democratic Party.  He leaves a powerful legacy of a commitment to social justice in his work in Toronto as a city councillor and as a national leader.

Peace and comfort to all.  When David Lewis passed away Stanley Knowles ended his eulogy with the words “shalom chaver, shalom”.  Peace, brother, peace.




From PC Leader Tim Hudak

On behalf of the Ontario PC Party, it is with great sadness that we offer our condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and supporters of NDP Leader Jack Layton, who tragically lost his battle with cancer today.

The courage and determination Jack showed in his fight against cancer was the same determination he brought to the job every day, fighting for his ideals. 

Throughout his career in public life, Jack was a true statesman and rightly earned the respect of all of his colleagues in Ottawa and his beloved City of Toronto.

It’s truly unfortunate that he had such little time to enjoy his historic success in the recent federal election and will not be there to lead his party when Parliament resumes.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Olivia, his children and the entire Layton family during this difficult time.

From Mark A MacDonald – Liberal candidate for SD&SG

It’s not how much time we spend here but what we do with the time we have –God bless Jack and his family–he was a good man.

From Mario Leclerc, Federal NDP candidate for SD&SG

This is a sad and difficult week for all canadians in the nation. My sincere condolences to his lovely wife Olivia, his family and his friends.
He brought the NDP from a marginal political party of 19 MP’s to 103.
 And on May 2, 2011 he became the Official Opposition leader in the House of Commons. During the last election, he decided to continue on
campaigning despite having to deal with multiple cancers. He is a National hero and I personnally thank Prime Minister Harper to recognize him as such.

We share same values. He wanted to move Canada forward with a progressive agenda. 
He accepted his faith without bitterness.
His legacy is courage, humanity and optimism. 

We are so proud of you Jack.

Jack we’ll all miss you.

Thank you my friend.  

Mario Leclerc



  1. RIP Jack, although you did not get to see it in your lifetime, we WILL one day form the government!

  2. RIP Jack, your battle is over. Heartfelt condolences to the family.

  3. During the last election, Jack wrapped up a stump speech with the promise “and I won’t stop until it’s done. That moment captured the essentual Jack: passionate, committed and determined. May those simple words serve as a rallying cry to all progressive people, to continue Jack’s work. His legacy is in the hands of the living and the willing. The way forward is clear. Let’s not stop.

  4. A terrible loss for the Layton family and Canada.

  5. I think we all knew this day was coming, but it’s still a shock. A huge loss. A really sad day.

  6. Jack Layton is a Canadian Hero. Jack fought for all of us. His values, ideals, and tenacity to build a more fair and just Canada show real vision. Jack served as a Toronto City Councilor, and as leader of the NDP and the official opposition. Jack showed real leadership. He was loved by his family and friends, and respected by millions of Canadians. God bless Jack Layton. You fought to make Canada a better place for all of us.

  7. Can you say God Bless ?

  8. Yes smee, you can.

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