Jack Layton Temporarily Stepping Down To Battle Cancer

Jack Layton, the dynamic, well-loved leader of the New Democratic Party Of Canada who brought them in to the role of Official Opposition for the first time in Canadian history this past spring, has just announced that he has been diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer that requires immediate treatment. As such, Layton is taking a Leave of Absence as leader of the NDP and Leader of the Official Opposition to seek that treatment. Layton is under the care of the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. He has reassured everyone that he intends to be back when parliament resumes on September 19th in Ottawa. In the interim, Layton has recommended that house leader Nycole Turmel step in as interim leader. This will be confirmed by NDP caucus in meetings on Thursday.

Layton has been battling a well-known case of prostate cancer for many months, most notably during the spring election campaign which he waged with a cane at his side at all times.  However, during the last session of Parliament Layton began to feel unwell, and sought out further testing. It turned out his prostate cancer appears to be well behaved, with his PSA numbers low. However, the tests revealed another form of cancer. Layton has chosen not to disclose what form of cancer he is currently battling.

Layton is by far the most popular party leader in Canadian politics, consistently eclipsing that of both other party leaders during the last election. It was that popularity that was also credited with the landslide victories by the NDP in that election, particularly in Quebec where they won an unprecedented 58 of the province’s 75 seats. Layton’s friendly, straight-talking manner, hard work ethic and ability to really connect to those with whom he speaks means he is almost universally loved by Canadians, even those who do not vote for him.

Well wishes for Layton are flooding in via Twitter and through his Facebook page. The NDP has also set up a way to send Layton a get well message through their website.

Best wishes, Jack. Give ‘em hell.

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Photo Credit: MattJiggins on Flickr


Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y6 years ago

Get better Mr. Layton, your country and the world needs you!

Sharon P.
Sharon S6 years ago

I'm very sorry to learn of this setback for Layton. He was the most impressive during the election debates & a class above that idiot Harper. For the record, I am a Canadian.

Hope S.
Hope Sellers6 years ago

Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

Linda McKellar
Past Member 6 years ago

Jack's appearance last night on TV frightened me. I do hope he is able to survive this latest tragedy but he looks very unwell. The number of comments here bears witness to the fact that many people in our country think he is by far the most admired politician, an occupation seldom worthy of admiration. I have voted for him as long as I have been able to do so and feel he is a voice of reason and a defendant of the little guy much moreso than all the other clowns in our government. What a shame if he should he lose this battle after his hard work has almost single handedly brought his party into a position where it can have some positive influence.
All the best to him and Olivia.

Siusaidh C.
Susan C6 years ago

Although I'm no longer an NDP supporter, I very much hope Jack survives this terrible insidious disease.

It is highly unfortunate that the election campaign came when it did. Just when Jack needed rest, he had to work tremendously hard. He's a real trooper - if anyone can beat the illness, he's the guy who can.

Best wishes to Jack, Olivia, their family and their party.

Dianne B.
Dianne B6 years ago

Aww, geez, how much more does Jack need to suffer?

Sylvia B.
Sylvia B6 years ago

It doesn't look or sound good for Jack.

Lori Ann Hone
Lori Hone6 years ago

Our prayers are with him.

Liz Edwards
Joan Edwards6 years ago

Saw Layton on TV last night. My heart just thunked. He does not look good at all. My deepest sympathies to him and his family.
Be strong, Jack, and know that all of Canada wishes you a speedy recovery. Canada needs you. You are our next Prime Minister, after-all.

Rose M.
Rose Matovich6 years ago

We send our thoughts and good wishes to you Jack.You are a fighter,the medical system you so heartily defend will work with you to overcome this latest hurdle.