Jack Layton, 1950-2011

This morning I learned the terrible news of Jack Layton’s passing as the news spread instantly via Twitter. His final press conference in Ottawa this July left one feeling hopeful yet very anxious about the prospects of his return. Looking frail, weakened by a second bout of the disease, having fractured his hip during the campaign, the stomach was knotted.

And this morning, it sank. Cancer is a terrible disease, and all of us will be affected by it one day — either ourselves or with someone we love. In a pan-partisan sentiment today and in the future, Canadians are united to better understand and perhaps one day cure the many variations of this disease.

To most anyone that watches Ottawa, what goes in this city appears as bloodsport. Yet in truth it is quite a close-knit community. We are defined by our disagreements yet though we share a common desire — like most Canadians that democratically invest in this place — to make this country a better place. Though we disagree on the path to get there, we have a mutual respect and odd commonality that is an overzealous interest in the political.

Jack Layton and my friends in the NDP stand for many different ideas than I do. But I respect them because they stand for ideas and what they truly believe to be in Canada’s best interest. New Democrats are also fun to have a drink with because a discussion without disagreement is often too sober.

I feel modestly blessed to live in a country where the reaction to the passing of a political opponent is profound collective sadness.

Jack Layton was a decent man who fought passionately for his ideas. We will miss him.

God bless, rest well.



67 thoughts on “Jack Layton, 1950-2011”

  1. Also, courtesy of  LJ at SDA @ 3:21 PM:

    Jack Layton of the NDP (the people’s party?) with a grand expenditures
    total of $628,913.68. Combined with his wife Olivia Chow’s total
    expenditures of $530,304.73, this happy couple managed to scrape by at
    the taxpayers’ expense to the tune of $1,159,218.41.

  2. If you don’t know what they spent it on, or why, you got nothing. Absolutely nothing to support your bile.

  3. Bile?

    I’m a taxpayer.

    I care where my money goes.

    I don’t expect “a man of the people” and his wife to be the biggest spenders in the government.

    If they gave it away to those in need it wasn’t theirs to give .

    I already give generously to charity — and that’s my choice with my money.

  4. Kinda belies the common man mantra of the NDP.  The expense account of the political pair is bordering on obscene by anyone’s standards.  Is there any comparison for such an amount that would be comparable ?

  5. I care where my money goes.

    … except that you don’t know where it went. You don’t know what that expensed money was spent on, or why. Yet you could easily find out. why don’t you?

    But no. You only care that the blogosphere has put forward the unqualified expense number as a barely plausible attack point. Like most of your points, the truth would show how wrong you are.

    PM Stephen Harper CPC : $281,255.67

    Except that it’s not. It’s MUCH, MUCH higher, but as PM he gets the majority of it covered by other budgets. Lame try.

  6. Civil left, like 2+ years ago, and you’ve helped tremendously in keeping it away.

    You’re full of it too, if it’ll make you feel included.

  7. One feels like asking how dare anyone use a dead man to play politics.

    Couldn’t be simpler. Just ask the bat.

  8. again: The NDP never had the power to successfully block or roll back the corporate tax cuts.There was never a workable opportunity for the NDP to bring that about. it was never going to happen.

    What part of reality is eluding you?

  9. “There was never a workable opportunity for the NDP to bring that about”?

    How do you figure? If the NDP maintained its position on the issue, then the Libs would have had to reverse theirs otherwise there would’ve been NO possibility of a PM Dion and NO Lib-led coalition. The NDP’s support was needed and power is what the Libs ultimately wanted….  MORE IMPORTANTLY, considering that the Libs eventually reversed their position anyway and now rail against corporate tax cuts, how hard could’ve been to make them switch? 

    You act as if what the Libs campaigned on in the 2008 election, vis-a-vis a major tax policy, is what their position would be maintained as even after that election, that they have a history of holding firm, that when the Libs stake out a position, boy do they stick to it…. except of course, Kenn2, that on major tax policy especially (GST), that’s proven to be otherwise. 

    Saying Layton and the NDP “never had the power” to block or roll back those tax cuts is just an attempt by you to use a fig leaf as a cover to defend against fact-based, bullet-proof criticisms against the NDP on this one… showing us all that they too can be bought and sold. And what you don’t realize or perhaps don’t even care about, is that you telegraph that you will even defend the indefensible until you’re blue in the face… which is fine by me because it diminishes your credibility on everything else… what little you have left, anyways.

  10. If the NDP maintained its position on the issue, then the Libs would
    have had to reverse theirs otherwise there would’ve been NO possibility
    of a PM Dion and NO Lib-led coalition.

    wow. I’m sorry I didn’t realize i’m in the presence of not only a masterful political strategist but also a Liberal insider .

    Look, your argument is a fabrication based on a frail hypothetical. You have no way of knowing what was on the table, and what the long game was. Try to cook up something more plausible.

  11. I heard it! I can’t believe I watched the whole funeral from beginning to end.

    Stephen Lewis delivered exactly the eulogy he was expected to: high on saccharine praise, short on reality (see Robert Fulford’s article “The alternative to reality”:


    The whole affair was like no funeral I’ve ever seen — memorial service, I guess. It was a cross between a pep rally and a pop/rock concert. The “audience” (definitely not a congregation) even clapped after a soloist sang O Canada. Everyone on stage was a celebrity, with shout outs and standing ovations throughout. ‘Only thing missing was the light show.

    ‘Passing strange: The “Christian” minister, the Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes announced at the beginning of the show that he was wearing his academic gown (red, but faded to an almost becoming shade of orange), not his religious vestments out of deference to, and so as not to offend, other traditions. This mea culpa had the effect of splashing cold water all over Christians — and, I might add, showing dishonour to the God we worship: Christianity, despite the “equality” spouted by the NDP and its followers, may be offensive to others, so best to hide it, to not let it see the light of day. Why didn’t Brent Hawkes just lay down and ask everyone to walk all over him? ‘Such a considerate fellow; such a lameduck Christian minister. ‘No mention of Jesus at all.

    The sanity in the insanity were Michael and Sarah Layton’s reminiscences, which were sincere, moving, and funny. Not only did they share the good things about their dad, they shared some of his endearing foibles, as well. They did him proud.

  12.  Fulford has pegged it right. The alternative to reality is the NDP.

    Stephen Lewis…..ah, never mind.

  13. I have no way of knowing what was on the table? I know what was taken off the table — the centrepiece of the NDP platform, which set them apart from the other two main parties — and that’s what’s important here.

    CTV.ca News Staff
    Scrapping tax cuts still key to budget support: Layton
    Date: Sun. Feb. 20 2011 7:16 PM 

    Of his meeting with Harper, Layton says, “He knows very well that our position on corporate tax cuts is clear.”

    Layton holds firm.


    If Layton and the NDP was consistent on the issue then perhaps, Kenn2, a Dec 2008 headline would’ve read…

    CTV.ca News Staff
    Scrapping tax cuts key to coalition support: Layton

    “Of his meeting with Dion, Layton said, ‘He knows very well that our position on corporate tax cuts is clear.'”

    Layton holds firm.

    But that never happened, did it Kenn2? I know, that’s my “opinion”. The coalition never came to be so it’s some sort of frail hypothetical.

    In his meeting with PMSH, no offer of cabinet posts for Layton and the NDP, just more time spent in the opposition benches… In that instance, easy decision for the politically-ambitious Layton to have stuck to his “principles”.

    Layton open to NDP coalition with Liberals
    Updated Mon. Sep. 22 2008 11:11 AM ET
    CTV.ca News

    “Later Monday, during a campaign stop in Hamilton, Ont., Layton said the only real priority of the Harper government was a $50 billion corporate tax cut. He promised not to implement Tory tax cuts if elected.”

    December 2, 2008
    Duceppe, Dion, Layton form coalition

    “[as part of the deal to gain Layton and the NDP’s support] Dion said the corporate tax cut program announced by the Conservatives in Budget 2008 would proceed,” would not be canceled, would not be rolled back, as the NDP had always demanded.


  14. While Mr. Layton was true to his convictions and deserves to be recognized for his leadership of the NDP and as the leader of the opposition, it is also true that the socialist policies advocated by the NDP, hence Mr. Layton, would have bankrupt Canada.
    We cannot ignore that a policy based on tax and spend, large government and huge entitlements leads to what we are seeing happening in Europe right now: The bankruptcies of entire countries (Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal and many more to follow.).
    Socialism is not the right path to follow. If it were the USSR would not have collapsed and Europe would be the most prosperous continent on the planet…. We know it is not so!
    The Conservatives under the leadership of Mr. Harper have prevented the economic catastrophes that we have witnessed in the USA under the Obama administration who chose to follow the European model.
    The reality is that a collapse of the US economy will ultimately affect us in Canada. I can already hear Bob Ray blaming Mr. Harper for what is inevitably coming to us, when his ideological partner down south, hence President Obama policies are responsible for the precarious situation facing us and probably leading to a double dip recession.
    I do not share Mr. Layton political and philosophical views but I do respect the man. R.I.P. Jack, you are an inspiration to all Canadians.

  15. I appreciate the efforts you’re putting forth. most here don’t.

    “[as part of the deal to gain Layton and the NDP’s support] Dion
    said the corporate tax cut program announced by the Conservatives in
    Budget 2008 would proceed,” would not be canceled, would not be rolled
    back, as the NDP had always demanded.

    your add – “[as part of the deal to gain Layton and the NDP’s support]]” is not a correct inference.  It’s flawed logic, theoretically and in fact. Just because there was an agreement to form a coalition does not automatically confirm that Layton now approved of the corporate tax cuts, or agreed with them.

    You continue to avoid the reality of the NDPs situation – regardless of who they supported, they never had the leverage with either the Liberals or the CPC to actually stop  the corporate tax cuts. Tell us what Layton could have done differently that would have blocked those tax cuts.

    The hoops you’re trying to jump through to make your point must certainly by now clue you into just how weak a fabrication it is…

  16. Well, the funeral/political rally is over, this thread is dead, there’s no bait for the troll…..Anything new?

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