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#1 Edited by crusader8463 (14744 posts) -

 Layton with his wife and Granddaughter.
I'm not sure what to say here, as I'm still in shock from reading about this news. I was checking out cbc.ca for news when I came across this article about Mr. Layton passing away today from his fight with cancer. Maybe I wasn't as informed as I would have liked to be, but I had no idea that it had gotten to the point that he could pass away so soon. I recalled reading about him leaving the party leadership position due to health reasons, and he looked really bad the last few public appearances he made, but I had no idea that it had progressed so far that this could happen. 
For the non-Canadians on the site, Jack Layton was the party leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, and in the last elections he came closer than ever to winning control of the government for his party, but he was sadly edged out by the Conservatives.
I really liked the guy, and in my opinion he seemed to be the only person running for leadership in this god forsaken corrupt country that wouldn't stab the people in the back to fill his coffers the first chance he got like the rest of the idiots in charge are doing.
Anyway, my condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Layton. He was a good man, and as far as I'm concerned the country lost a great man today. For those that want to know more about the guy, you can watch this interview he did a few years ago.   
EDIT: I found this link over at cbc.ca that is a letter Mr. Layton wrote to the people of Canada shortly before he died. These are his last offical words to us.

August 20, 2011

Toronto, Ontario

Dear Friends,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.

Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.

I recommend that Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel continue her work as our interim leader until a permanent successor is elected.

I recommend the party hold a leadership vote as early as possible in the New Year, on approximately the same timelines as in 2003, so that our new leader has ample time to reconsolidate our team, renew our party and our program, and move forward towards the next election.

A few additional thoughts:

To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.

To the members of my party: we’ve done remarkable things together in the past eight years. It has been a privilege to lead the New Democratic Party and I am most grateful for your confidence, your support, and the endless hours of volunteer commitment you have devoted to our cause. There will be those who will try to persuade you to give up our cause. But that cause is much bigger than any one leader. Answer them by recommitting with energy and determination to our work. Remember our proud history of social justice, universal health care, public pensions and making sure no one is left behind. Let’s continue to move forward. Let’s demonstrate in everything we do in the four years before us that we are ready to serve our beloved Canada as its next government.

To the members of our parliamentary caucus: I have been privileged to work with each and every one of you. Our caucus meetings were always the highlight of my week. It has been my role to ask a great deal from you. And now I am going to do so again. Canadians will be closely watching you in the months to come. Colleagues, I know you will make the tens of thousands of members of our party proud of you by demonstrating the same seamless teamwork and solidarity that has earned us the confidence of millions of Canadians in the recent election.

To my fellow Quebecers: On May 2nd, you made an historic decision. You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal government with something better was by working together in partnership with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the right decision right through to the next election, when we will succeed, together. You have elected a superb team of New Democrats to Parliament. They are going to be doing remarkable things in the years to come to make this country better for us all.

To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.

And finally, to all Canadians: 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.

All my very best,

Jack Layton

#2 Posted by Chris2KLee (2392 posts) -

I'm saddened. I always felt he was an honest man in politics, which seems like a rarer and rarer thing. My condolences to his family.

#3 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6115 posts) -

I'm sorry to hear that.

#4 Edited by FrankCanada97 (4187 posts) -

When I saw him at the press conference in July, I knew time was running out for him. You may not agree on his views and policies, but he was a genuine fighter through and through. Would have been nice to see him tearing things up in the House of Commons.

#5 Posted by Mesklinite (848 posts) -

Yeah we lost one of  the good guys today :(
#6 Posted by RockinKemosabe (644 posts) -

@FrankCanada97 said:

When I saw him at the press conference in July, I knew time was running for him. You may not agree on his views and policies, but he was a genuine fighter through and through. Would have been nice to see him tearing things up in the House of Commons.

Yeah for a man who fought for so long to get the NDP party into Parliament with more and more seats every election, and finally becoming the Leader of the Opposition, it's sad that he never had a chance to lead his party as the number two in the House of Commons.

#7 Edited by MariachiMacabre (7097 posts) -

I'm not Canadian but the man seemed honest and genuine in his beliefs, which is an ever rarer thing in politics. Sorry to hear it.

EDIT: 1,000th post in memory of one of the few good guys in politics.

#8 Posted by buft (3409 posts) -

was he a professor by chance?

#9 Posted by Snipzor (3471 posts) -

Rest in peace Jack, possibly the best politician our generation had. It was a shame he couldn't be around to see us fix the nation. Let's hope even with his final words, he continues to inspire yet another generation of young voters. 
And no, I'm not embarrassed to say that the letter he wrote before his death made me cry.

#10 Posted by mosespippy (4746 posts) -
@Aetheldod said:

Im sorry to be a dick but a dead politician is a good politician

@Mesklinite said:
Yeah we lost one of  the good guys today :(
As Mesklinite said, he was one of the good guys. He fought for everyone, not just people who vote and especially the youth. Two of his MPs are even still in University. He was the kind of dude who thinks bank fees should be outlawed because banks are screwing the citizens.
#11 Posted by AhmadMetallic (19303 posts) -

Dunno him, may he RIP

#12 Posted by Tebbit (4564 posts) -

He seemed like a lovely guy, that sucks.

#13 Edited by Giantstalker (1856 posts) -

I never really voted NDP or supported their platform, which I would say is pretty typical of a lot of Canadian Forces members. Still, it was always healthy to have a strong opposition (especially to the headstrong Conservatives and Stephen Harper...) and Layton was the man for the job. Tireless and never afraid to voice a very different opinion, offering an alternative. Now that the Liberal party is pretty much on life support I hope the NDP can find someone as charismatic and vocal as he was.

You'll be missed, Jack.

#14 Posted by DonutFever (3769 posts) -

It was the first thing I heard when I woke up this morning. He was a good guy. 

#15 Posted by big_jon (6092 posts) -

That's really too bad.

#16 Posted by crusader8463 (14744 posts) -
@buft: I believe he used to teach at one point, but I'm not 100% certain. Just checked his wiki, and found this:

In 1970, the family moved to Toronto where Layton went to York University to obtain his Ph.D. in political science. Layton then became a professor at Ryerson University. He also became a prominent activist for a variety of causes. He has written several books, including Homelessness: The Making and Unmaking of a Crisis and, more recently, a book on general public policy, Speaking Out.

#17 Posted by Shuborno (903 posts) -

I didn't vote for the guy, but I recognize Canada needed a man as passionate as Jack Layton to lead the official opposition to the Conservatives.

Our democracy is weakened by his passing. Very sad news.

#18 Posted by Bucketdeth (8231 posts) -

God damn, seriously. Jack was the man and made me finally get up off my ass and vote NDP this year.

Definitely lost one of the few down to earth politicians, RIP.

#19 Edited by Chop (2010 posts) -

He managed to help get the NPD to become a party people take seriously and now he's gone. I hope the NDP actually pick someone charismatic and don't fuck up all the ground they've made so far. 

#20 Posted by TheLeamenator (169 posts) -

Depressing. He's one of the few Canadian politicians in the last decade who hasn't seemed like a totally untrustworthy hard-ass. He will be missed.

#21 Posted by Yanngc33 (4551 posts) -

Damn :(

#22 Posted by laserbolts (5438 posts) -

I'm very sad to hear this news today. He was the only leader that wasn't a lying asshole in the past election. His letter made me very sad reading it. Canada lost a good man today and may he rest in peace.

#23 Posted by DEMONOLOGY_24 (526 posts) -

he seemed like the only politicion i'd vote for  
#24 Posted by Little_Socrates (5834 posts) -

Cancer moves swiftly and when it overtakes, it can do so without warning. R.I.P., Mr. Layton. I knew you not before today, but those who do all seem to respect and miss you.

#25 Posted by you_put_the_lotion_on_the_skin (10 posts) -

Even though I didn't like him, RIP Mr. Layton.

#26 Posted by The_Nubster (2486 posts) -

That's rough. My thoughts go out to his family and those close to him. I hope they're okay. 
RIP Jack Layton.

#27 Posted by 1337W422102 (1130 posts) -

I read about this today and my day was ruined.

#28 Posted by gorydeath (58 posts) -

He was and will ever be the side of politics that every canadian could have been proud of. Although I didn't believe in all his views, he always had the right canadians in mind, the seniors and the not so lucky ones that needed a voice in Parliment. A person who would have stood up for our environment and our Health Care System. My thoughts goes out to Oliva Chow and the rest of Jack's family, may he RIP.

#29 Posted by AndrewBeardsley (386 posts) -

He was one of the few honest politicians. He will be missed. His charisma made me vote ndp 

#30 Edited by uniform (1836 posts) -

I consistently vote conservative, but I feel down learning Mr. Layton died in this manner and knowing that he never achieved his dream. Truly sad news. Rest in Peace.

#31 Edited by Meowshi (2917 posts) -

I've never heard of him, but I know it's a bummer when someone you respect dies.

#32 Posted by buft (3409 posts) -
@crusader8463 said:
@buft: I believe he used to teach at one point, but I'm not 100% certain. Just checked his wiki, and found this:

In 1970, the family moved to Toronto where Layton went to York University to obtain his Ph.D. in political science. Layton then became a professor at Ryerson University. He also became a prominent activist for a variety of causes. He has written several books, including Homelessness: The Making and Unmaking of a Crisis and, more recently, a book on general public policy, Speaking Out.

right city wrong school, though im pretty sure i made a joke before about having professor layton as a teacher while at school in toronto.
#33 Posted by Aquablak (211 posts) -

A huge loss.  I got choked up reading that letter.  
Hopefully his memory inspires others to follow in his footsteps.  He showed that you can have integrity and still succeed in politics.  I just hope the NDP can find someone worthy to fill his shoes and continue to forge ahead with what he set in motion.  
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones.  Rest in peace, Mr. Layton.

#34 Posted by astonish (232 posts) -

I generally consider most politicians full of shit and doing lots of handwaving and silly things on camera, but Jack was a really trustworthy and charismatic guy. I know people that lean all different ways politically and I think few would every try to knock his character. Genuine, dedicated, optimistic... everyone should be more like Jack. R.I.P.

#35 Posted by buzz_killington (3655 posts) -

Wow, such depressing news. I really liked Jack Layton and I really do think he was one election away from becoming the PM. Such a passionate and charismatic man.

#36 Posted by CallofSpartansofWar1337 (99 posts) -


#37 Posted by Wandrecanada (442 posts) -

This was a major blow to Canadian politics. Layton was a man who changed the face of Canadian politics by bringing his party from almost nothing to a spectacular movement that swept away old preconceptions. It will be impossible to replace such a person but I can only hope that his legacy becomes a galvanizing force for the future of our country and it's political climate.

Some things in this world are just more important than others and Jack Layton's loss is a stark reminder of what we Canadians should be concerned about.

#38 Posted by Mesklinite (848 posts) -

Here's a great video that can show those that didn't know of him what he was all about. And for those of us that knew him, well, it's a great video to remember him by :)

#39 Posted by Sir_Lizardman (130 posts) -

I can always respect a man with such a great mustache.

#40 Posted by supermike6 (3751 posts) -

I hate politics, but Jack Layton really struck me as a good dude, and that letter moved me to tears. Such a terrible loss. 

#41 Posted by llamaegg (232 posts) -

God damn, thanks for posting this, I remember something about him going in for treatment a while back, but that was about it. He absolutely had my vote, and god knows the man changed many people's opinion in regards to the party, a loss to be sure.

Sad day indeed.

#42 Posted by Sign (303 posts) -

Read the news when I got to work, then I found the letter and had to fight back a couple tears. Huge loss for the NDP party and all of Canada. RIP Jack.

#43 Edited by JusticeJanitor (261 posts) -

I couldn't vote in the last federal election for a few dumb reasons but I would have voted NDP. (They won in my area! Yay!)
Here's to give to people who doesn't know him an idea of how awesome he was. 

Cancer, you fucking suck. 
"The greatest Prime Minister we never had." RIP Jack Layton.
#44 Posted by crusader8463 (14744 posts) -
@Mesklinite: I love that video, and I watch it every few months. It was one of the first things I found when I started getting interested in politics a few years ago and why I feel in love with the guy. The first reason was the video I posted in the OP and the guy just seemed so great that I wanted him to be the guy who was running things and I went out and voted.
Such a sad day.
#45 Posted by Mysterion (171 posts) -

I might have disagreed with almost all his positions but dude was undeniably a bro and he shall be missed. RIP Jack Layton.

#46 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (4006 posts) -

Yeah this was a real shame.

#47 Posted by Brendan (8526 posts) -

It's sad when things come to an end, but I feel good knowing that Jack at least brought his party to a great victory shortly before he passed. Not the worst way to end things for such a dedicated individual. I may not be very invested in politics, but I always liked Jack Layton and I hope he rests in peace as the world moves on without him.

#48 Posted by Rotnac (851 posts) -

I never voted for him but I've always admired his perseverance. I was kinda shocked/saddened by the news of his passing but knew his time was running up based on how sick he looked when he announced another fight with cancer again.  
R.I.P. Jack.

#49 Posted by TheHBK (5657 posts) -

Wow, no more Layton games...

#50 Edited by TheMathlete (339 posts) -

This is truly a sad day for the country that I live in. Jack Layton was a truly great man and an honest politician. He will be missed by me and the rest of Canada.