The date of August 22, 2011 will go down in history as the day Canada lost a great political leader. Jack Layton, Canada's leader of the Opposition succumbed to cancer at the age of 61. Surprise and sadness was felt by Canadians from all political backgrounds from coast to coast to coast.
Ottawa - Aug. 29, 2011 - The date of August 22, 2011 will go down in history as the day Canada lost a great political leader. Jack Layton, Canada's leader of the Opposition succumbed to cancer at the age of 61. Surprise and sadness was felt by Canadians from all political backgrounds from coast to coast to coast. "Jack" as he was known to all, was admired and respected by supporters and opponents alike.
Jack was a fervent believer in his party's principles. He defended his beliefs vigorously and he campaigned for NDP policies tirelessly. He earned the respect of everyone he came in contact with because he promoted his position with integrity, and always with a smile. He was a shrewd politician, never missing an opportunity to promote his cause. He was gregarious, vibrant and charismatic.
Jack grew his party from a paltry 13 House of Commons' seat total in 2003, to an amazing 103 on May 2, 2011. Political pundits across the country gave Jack full credit for the NDP's sudden surge in popularity. They insisted that the "Orange Crush" was due to Jack's personal popularity. Jack seemed to have the gift of making a personal connection with each of the millions of Canadians he met. Even if you disagreed with his politics, you liked the guy.
Jack will be missed in the House of Commons. He was a tough competitor, asking hard hitting questions. He was reasonable and even tempered. He was sometimes prone to a bit of exaggeration but, that was just Jack being Jack. And he always did it with a twinkle in his eye.
On a personal note I will cherish an elevator ride I shared with Jack shortly after the birth of his first grandchild. I congratulated him and shared the fact that I was grandfather to 7. His ever present smile grew to fill the elevator as he proudly told me of the first time he held his very special granddaughter. That is the Jack Layton I will always remember. I offer my deepest condolences to his loving wife Olivia and to his family and friends.
I have placed a book of condolences for constituents to sign in my office at 621 Pitt St. in Cornwall. You can also sign the book by visiting my website at www.guylauzon.ca. I will present the book to Olivia upon our return to Parliament on September 19.
God Bless and Rest in Peace Jack.
Member of Parliament
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