RIP Jack Layton #CancerTagFail

If we make it to September,
Everything’s gonna be alright I know,
It’s the coldest time of Summer,
And Canada mourns the MP from Toronto.

If we make it to September,
Everything’s changing here come Question Time,
Especially next election,
If we make it to September we’ll be fine.

-On obvious nod to Merle Haggard

There’s no worse way to start the day than to confirm that the world has changed… for the worse.

Jack Layton, NDP leader, the leader of Canada’s official opposition party, passed away from cancer this morning at age 61. I’m unhappy to say that I predicted this sad day when he made his announcement that he was stepping aside earlier this Summer. It’s no comfort that Layton’s name is Trending around the world on Twitter — it’d have been if it was during the next election. That’s a future we’ll never know, as the face of Canadian politics has changed and may never have another mustache again. #CancerTagFail

I met Jack Layton once when he visited the University of Regina’s Student Union. I was on the Board of Directors then, and he shared with us his plan to transform Canada into an energy efficient country by changing every building in Canada to efficient lighting. I was pretty enthusiastic about Layton then, although my hopes faded with the years. I had some renewed hope when the NDP finished ahead of the Liberals and it appeared that things could change for the better after the next election. Now, that future is in doubt.

Years after I met Layton he obliged my request for a video clip, and with the help of Stephen Taylor, this was shot:

Everybody in Canada knows Jack Layton, and wants to say goodbye.
Is there a state funeral? There should be. The nation needs to say goodbye to the man, and to what could have been.

UPDATE: There is a state funeral.
“Layton will be honoured with a state funeral Saturday in Toronto, senior NDP officials have told CBC News.”

ADDED: Layton’s farewell letter.

One response to “RIP Jack Layton #CancerTagFail

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