My sincere condolences to Jack Layton’s family members and to all Canadians whose hearts and minds he touched.
I am very saddened by his death but will always remember him as a great Canadian who brought dignity and honour back to politics.
He heard the people and gave them hope for the future.
Today I pray that Canadian politicians wake up and follow his example. This great, great man will be missed but not forgotten.
Thank you Jack, for all you gave us.
Goodbye Jack. I never met you, but wish I had.
I didn’t always agree with you, but I knew you were sincere. You personified decency and compassion.
Many of us have grown cynical about politics, but you were an inspiration. Your devotion to making Canada a better place for everyone will be your lasting legacy.
We will miss your enthusiasm and your smile. Thanks for caring so much.
Lloyd Atkins, Vernon
Showed us how to be civilized
Jack Layton demonstrated his political skill in taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the Liberals and Bloc. He developed his party into a mass movement and used a combination of his popular support and behind-the-scenes intrigue to propel himself into the Official Opposition.
Furthermore, he raised the profile of national socialism, showed how a modern “civilized” country could behave, and created a virtual certainty that he would be misjudged by opponents.
His shoes will not be easily filled.
William Perry, Victoria
One of our great Canadians
Many political strategists will judge Jack Layton’s achievements by the number of seats he won for his party over the years, but behind those electoral victories was a leader who remained steadfastly committed to his principles above all.
I met Jack Layton shortly after his arrival in Ottawa as leader of the NDP and watched him in the years that followed as he became a good friend of the peace movement.
He spoke up for diplomatic efforts and dialogue with insurgents to end the war in Afghanistan, years before it became a fashionable position. At the time, he was derided by his critics, taunted and called names by Conservative party members, and even had his patriotism questioned.
But today, Layton’s vision is shared widely in capitals around the world as the only workable solution in that strife-torn region.
There are many other stories like this where Jack endured shameful attacks from his political opponents while he stood by his principles.
I am certain that Jack Layton will be remembered as second only to Tommy Douglas himself: one of Canada’s greatest Canadians.
Rideau Institute, Ottawa