A painting of me

Jack Layton, 1950 – 2011.

   24 August 2011, late morning

Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

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.

Jack Layton, in an open letter to the country.

Jack Layton passed away this week. My co-worker sent me a message while I was away in New York to let me know. During his press conference he looked to be in pretty bad shape, but I didn’t think things would move so quickly. Cancer is like that, I suppose. Jack Layton was an amazing politician. The NDP are now the official opposition party of Canada, I suspect largely due to his charisma. His death is a real loss for this country. We have so few truly engaging political leaders.



  1. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sad at the death of someone I’m not related to. The next decade of his life was going to be incredible — that’s what makes it all so tragic.

    I took a late night bike ride down to City Hall on the day he died. Nathan Phillips Square was awesome.

  2. I was in shock when i heard the news of his death on Monday morning. I didn’t think it would hit home so close for me (i’m in Nova Scotia now), but it did. I grew up seeing him in person, hearing about him on the news/radio, and reading about him in the papers. His passion for a better city, a better Canada, a better future resonates with me too.
    It’s so sad to have him gone at the height of his political career. As someone said, Jack Layton was the best prime minister Canada never had.

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