Monday, August 22, 2011

Jack Layton. July 18, 1950 – August 22, 2011

Statement today from Jack Layton's wife and two children:

"We deeply regret to inform you that The Honourable Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, passed away at 4:45 am today, Monday August 22. He passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family and loved ones. Details of Mr. Layton’s funeral arrangements will be forthcoming."

This is such a sad day for Canadians. Jack Layton accomplished the seemingly impossible and also the historical: he led the NDP to victory as the official Opposition Party in the House of Commons. Entirely likeable (no matter what the politics, most people had to agree that Jack Layton was utterly charming and intelligent), his battle with cancer was handled elegantly with the media, never used in any way to gain support or sympathy - in fact, few people knew the extent of his second battle with cancer, including his adoring colleagues who worked in his office.

My husband was part of the advertising team that created all the television spots for Layton's winning NDP campaign. Working within a budget, it was decided that our humble kitchen would be used as a set for one of the ads for free, to save a few thousand dollars paying for a location. Even this small contribution on our behalf to Layton's legacy makes me proud.

Jack Layton was a true supporter of the arts, a study in tenacity and conviction, and a great Torontonian; I feel blessed and inspired to have witnessed firsthand his success and incredible accomplishments. Rest in peace.

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