Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Au Revoir, Jack

I can't let this morning go by without saying something about Jack Layton. His death yesterday, from cancer, wasn't a surprise but it was a shock and a tragedy for this country. I just read his last letter to Canadians and the fact he wrote it two days before his death speaks to the love he had for his job as Leader of the Opposition, for his political party and, mostly, for his fellow Canadians.

I thought he was the best federal leader to come down the pipe for a long time. He had integrity, honesty and energy, in spades. I am happy that he enjoyed such huge political success in his last year; you can't "go out" with much bigger of a bang than he did. But how bittersweet for a man who wanted to change the world as much as he did, to have that power in his grasp, only to succumb to the pitiless grasp of cancer.

You can read his entire letter here. It's a wonderful letter. But I leave you with his final paragraph, words to live, and die by:

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."


  1. Whether you agreed with everything Jack wanted or not, there's no denying that he was a man of passion, and who genuinely cared for this country.

    In the last election, he proved that he was a man of character by being the only candidate to campaign on a positive message - that all Canadians matter, equally.

    I can't say anything better than many of the eulogies that have already been put out there, but I can definitely say that Canada will miss Jack Layton, and the work he was doing to make our country great and noble.

  2. A sad day indeed. We had such hope. I remember the day he announced that he would be "temporarily" stepping down. My husband and I just looked at each other and shook our heads. The visual was so shocking.
    He did a grand job for us in the time he had and now....it's time to go fishing.

  3. Noble.

    Chris used a good word to describe Jack Layton. He brought a nobility to politcs that has been lacking for a long time. I hope that his message rings across party lines and brings all Canadians together, regardless of geographic and socio/economic differences.

    You're right Cathy...that final paragraph will stay in the minds of Canadians for a long time.

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  5. It's a very sad day for Canadian politics. Jack will be missed.

  6. Chris stole my first paragraph. Jack was a hard worker and a good Canadian and he will be missed, no matter your political stripes.

    It breaks my heart to think about the last election. He must have been ill during the whole thing, but carried on. It's sad to know he will not be here to reap the benefits of his hard work.


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