Jack Layton Dies Of Cancer


Jack Layton, the leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada and Leader of Canada’s Official Opposition, has died. Layton died at his home early Monday morning surrounded by his family, according to a statement released by his wife Olivia Chow.  Layton, the charismatic and well-loved leader who led the NDP to unprecedented gains and their first ever role as the Official Opposition in the May 2011 election, was 61.

Layton announced less than a month ago that he was stepping down temporarily from his role as Opposition Leader to battle cancer. It was already well known that Layton was battling prostate cancer, however, that cancer appeared to be under control. This new, undisclosed form of cancer was already ravaging Layton by the time he stepped aside. When Layton appeared in front of the cameras in late July to announce what he hoped was his temporary withdrawal from politics, his appearance was frail and his voice quavered, striking fear into those who were rooting for him. As it turns out, we had reason to fear.

Layton’s death at the peak of his political career is a loss for all of Canada. Whether you agreed with his politics or not, Jack Layton had a unique ability to reach people and transcend the current climate of hyperpartisanship and attacks. Layton was friendly, charismatic, did not mince words and knew how to reach individual, ordinary Canadians. He was widely credited with being the sole reason the NDP made such amazing gains in the last election.  His death leaves Canada in mourning — and the future of the party he loved uncertain.

Layton is survived by his wife, MP Olivia Chow, and his children Sarah and Michael Layton.

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Photo Credit: MattJiggins on Flickr.


Michael L.
Michael L6 years ago

R.I.P. Jack Layton, my condolences to his family.

Michael L.
Michael L6 years ago

R.I.P. Jack Layton, my condolences to his family...

Susan L.
Susan L6 years ago

No - Jack probably died of chemo. Chemo kills more cancer patients than cancer these days.

Jack would have lived longer if he had had no treatment at all. It's very sad that the cancer industry grinds people in its jaws and rips people off, and their "cures" perform worse than a placebo.

Robert O.
Bob B6 years ago

I am sorry that Jack Layton died of cancer, and I feel equally sorry when anybody else dies from cancer.

But Mr. Layton was not the god-like man that some are making him out to be. He was just a ambitious politician, like most other politicians. He did not do anything noteworthy in his life other than get elected a few times. That's all he did, nothing else.

Some say he cared about the little guy. No, he cared about union guys and guys who give money to the NDP. He knew what side his bread was buttered on, and who was giving him the butter.

He never came out swinging on behalf of union or non-union workers, poor people, or small/medium business owners. He only came out swinging on behalf of big unions and big unionized companies.

Sorry to ruin anyone's fantasy about Jack Layton, but that's the truth.

Joan E.
Joan E6 years ago

Condolences to your nation.

Camila K.
Kamila A6 years ago

Our prayers are with you; may you send guidance from wherever you are. The world needs wise men.

Lynn Squance
Lynn S6 years ago

I agree with all the comments. I especially like the end of Linda M's: " . . . We will not see his like again soon. It has been said he was the best Prime Minister we never had! . . .". I have even heard some died-in-the-wool Conservatives from Alberta lament the passing of Jack because he was an honest Canadian, a well liked individual who respected people and would listen thoughtfully to their concerns.

There is no replacing Jack, but there is carrying on making his dream our dream. The whole country is better for having had Jack ahead of us leading the way, and beside us encouraging us along the way.

@ Patti D --- definitely not Pollyana! But do we have the ears to hear, the eyes to see, the heart to feel, the brain to understand, and the hands to do? The seed has been planted and it is up to us to nurture it.

Laurie Greenberg
Laurie Greenberg6 years ago

so young; so sad...

Hope S.
Hope Sellers6 years ago

Sorry to hear this. My condolences to his family.

Darren Dagg
Darren Dagg6 years ago

Never would I have believed I would shed tears for a politician...until the loss of Jack. Feels like the death of the last honest man on the hill....Goodbye Mr. Layton you will be missed. My heart goes out to Olivia Chow and their 2 children as well as to the rest of Canada.