Jack Layton: Locals Remember

Published: August 23, 2011

Jack Layton: Locals Remember, Local politicians were shocked and saddened by the death of Jack Layton.The federal NDP leader lost his battle with the most common cancer. He died at his home early Monday morning. He was 61 and just over three months after his historic mandate as leader of the opposition.

“I walked into the office (district) and turned on the computer and he was there. I was greeted with an empty feeling, “the Liberal MP for Guelph, Frank Valeriote said. “A major force in society is now gone.”

Layton beat prostate cancer before, but could not overcome the second type of undisclosed; he announced he had in July.

Valeriote spoke to Jack Layton, shortly before he announced he had cancer again.

“He was bright and cheerful and optimistic,” said Valeriote.

After Layton announced his resignation as party leader, Valeriote wrote for him.

“I spoke to his tenacity to force all governments and to ask all Canadians to reflect on how we treat people in society,” said Valeriote. “It takes us out of the compassion we must have for others.

“I can say his absence will be felt deeply in the normal balance that we find in Parliament. Jack was a constant servant of Canada.”

Layton once courted current provincial NDP candidate James Gordon to run for the federal NDP in Guelph. The two later, stuck together, Gordon on guitar and Jack Layton on the keyboard at a fundraiser.

“He was an inspiration to us all, regardless of your political affiliation,” said Gordon.

Gordon held a candlelight vigil on the non-partisan Place Saint-Georges to remember Layton on Monday night. About 200 people came to hear about Gordon and Valeriote. Gordon read aloud the letter long Layton wrote to Canadians.

“It’s a sad day for all Canadians,” said Rebecca Ivanoff. “It was very real on who he was. He was not afraid to say what we needed to change as Canadians. ”

Ivanoff and Drew Jamieson spoke to Mr. Layton “integrity” and “character”.

Longtime NDP supports VanArragon Angela attended the vigil with her two young children. She hoped one day where teachers would plan lessons around Layton for her children.

“I hope people see in him the beginning of a more compassionate Canada,” said VanArragon.

In the afternoon, 15,000 people had joined a Facebook page souvenir Layton. And talk about life and times dominated Layton Twitter.

Cities, including Guelph, lowered flags to half-staff.

“I can not think of another Canadian who raise such a universal response,” said Gordon.

“Jack gave us all optimism and hope,” the former federal NDP candidate Bobbi said Stewart.

Stewart ran for the NDP in Guelph in May and called up the party the official opposition “monumental and exciting.”

“He put his values?? To work. He lived his values. He inspired us. He was charismatic and energetic,” says Stewart.

“I feel it is a lasting legacy in the way he approached his work,” said Gordon. “It was not until the election results, but the way he went about work.

“It ended up being an election about personality and he had one. He had character and charisma.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the loss of Layton.

“On behalf of all Canadians, I salute Jack’s contribution to public life, a contribution that will be sorely missed,” said Harper.

“I know one thing: Jack gave up his fight against cancer all he had. Indeed, Jack has never shrunk from any combat. ”

Layton loss leaves the party without a leader and momentum in danger.

“I remember what my father told me before he died,” says Stewart. “Do not cry for too long to go and continue my work.”

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