NDP Leader Jack Layton Dead at 61

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Jack Layton in happier timesTHUNDER BAY – BREAKING – New Democratic Leader Jack Layton has passed away. Layton, aged 61, died early on Monday morning from a form of cancer that the NDP leader disclosed to the public only a few weeks ago. Sources report Layton died at 4:45AM on Monday and was surrounded by family and friends.

“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,” was the official word in a statement from Olivia Chow, Layton’s wife and fellow MP.

The news of Layton’s death comes only months after his greatest political achievement, taking the New Democrats to Official Opposition status in the House of Commons and having taken huge strides in Quebec defeating the Bloc.

At a July 25th Press Conference, where the NDP leader announced he was stepping down as leader of the party to focus his efforts on fighting his new bout of cancer, Mr. Layton looked gaunt and haggard.

Thunder Bay Superior North MP Bruce Hyer stated, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Jack Layton, Leader of the New Democratic Party. Our thoughts go out to Olivia and his entire family. Jack fought his final battle against cancer just as he fought in politics: bravely, and with determination, no matter the odds.

“Jack passed away peacefully this morning at 4:45am at his home, surrounded by family and loved ones.

“Until the end he was full of ideas and thoughts about the future. He asked that people carry on with strength and solidarity, to make Canada a better place for all Canadians”.

Individuals, in Thunder Bay who would like to sign a Book of Condolences can do so at Bruce Hyer’s Constituency Office is available for people to sign in our Constituency Office, at 69 North Court Street. People wanting to pass along a message to Jack’s family can send an email to bruce@brucehyer.ca.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy, on behalf of the NAN Executive Council, released the following statement today regarding the passing away of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Jack Layton.

“We were shocked and saddened to hear the news that NDP Leader Jack Layton had passed away, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family. As a politician, Jack was looked at as a friend to the people of Nishnawbe Aski. He was a strong leader that understood the social struggles facing First Nations. He understood our aspirations to create a stronger and more economically-sound future for our children. Jack will be greatly missed,” said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy.

Ontario Teachers’ Federation President Rian McLaughlin released this statement today on the death of Jack Layton.

“We were deeply saddened to learn today of the passing of Jack Layton. He was a larger than life part of our political system. His recent electoral success will remain his legacy as the Leader of the New Democratic Party. It is a loss that we will never get to see him actually enter the House of Commons as the Leader of the Opposition.

We extend to his family, his friends and his political colleagues our sympathies in this difficult time. As we begin our Annual General Meeting here in Ottawa on Tuesday, we will observe a moment of silence in Jack’s honour.”

“If I’ve tried to bring anything to federal politics, it’s the idea that hope and optimism should be at their heart. We can look after each other better than we do today.” – Jack Layton