Jack Layton

August 23, 2011 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

Sometime around nine a.m. August 22, there was a red banner that appeared on my computer homepage announcing that Jack Layton had died. I was saddened and went to Wikipedia to read up on Layton’s life. I was surprised that he was about two weeks younger than me and was born and raised in Quebec. I knew he was a Professor at Ryerson but didn’t know he had a PhD in political science from York University. I was amazed, by the way, that the Wikipedia entry for him also included that he had died!

My earliest memories of Jack were his Toronto City Council days. During his time there he was an outspoken thorn in the side of whoever happened to be Mayor. I was impressed that his opposition was always supporting the little guy, the working stiff. Although his opposition was largely credited with Toronto losing the 1996 Summer Olympic bid, I respected his unflinching stand for those on the lower rungs of society’s ladder. “Bread Not Circuses’ still rings in my mind.

I suspect Jack Layton didn’t need the position or title of ‘Mayor’, ‘Premier’ or ‘Prime Minister’, he seemed content in his role of speaking for John and Mary Q. Public. When he threw his support behind the Gay Pride Parade in Toronto and appeared in it yearly, I felt it was truly a sign of support and not just a cheap political stunt.

The Federal election of 2011 saw Layton come into his own. His popularity surged to the point where his party garnered 103 seats to make him the Leader of the Official Opposition. I remarked during that election: The Orange leader is a capable man doomed to fighting the fear left by the ghost of the inept former Ontario Orange Premier.’ The surge of Mr. Layton is testament to the fact that people consider him the most likely candidate to be considered for Prime Minister but they know he hasn’t enough depth behind him to form a viable government.” I think that he would have performed admirably during the upcoming Parliamentary sessions and if his party proved worthy critics of the government, he may well have become our next Prime Minister.

It’s a shame and a loss for Canada that he will never have that chance, but Jack we’re glad you came our way. Thank you Jack and rest in peace.


© Dave Jones/ Thunderbridge Productions 2011


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