Monday, August 22, 2011

61歲傑克·林頓因癌症去世 / Jack Layton Died of Cancer at Age 61

The news of Jack Layton passing away at age 61 came as a shock!!!

He announced his stepping down as leader of NDP to fight cancer only two weeks ago.

He will be remembered, among other things, as the politician who led the NDP to become the official Opposition Party for the first time in Canadian history.

RIP Jack, leader of NDP and the "Orange Crush" !!!

Sent from BlackBerry


Updated Aug 26, 2011 12h44:

The ending of Jack's "Letter to Canadians" will be remembered for a long time (please click on comments to see full text posted by blogger friend Mind Necessity).


Love is better than anger 仁愛勝於憤怒,

Hope is better than fear 希望勝於恐懼,

Optimism is better than despair 樂觀勝於絕望,

So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic 就讓我們用仁愛丶希望丶和樂觀,

And we’ll change the world. 去創做一個更美好的世界。


Updated Aug 22, 2011 21h51:

Photo Credit:
* Video capture of the wedding picture of Jack Layton and Olivia Chow in 1988. It was his second marriage. 鄒至蕙與傑克·林頓於1988年拍攝的結婚相片,這是林頓的第二段婚姻。

Brief bio of Jack Layton:

According to Wikipedia


傑克·林頓,全名:約翰·吉伯特·林頓(John Gilbert "Jack" Layton,1950年7月18日-2011年8月22日),加拿大政治人物,2003年至2011年間擔任聯邦新民主黨黨魁,並曾於2004年至2011年間任加拿大國會下議院議員,代表多倫多單福選區。在他的領導下,新民主黨所佔的國會下議院議席數目從2003年的14席增至2011年聯邦大選後的103席,為該黨歷來之最。新民主黨並憑此佳績首度成為官方反對黨,林頓亦兼任官方反對黨黨魁。在投身聯邦政壇之前,林頓曾任多倫多市議員,期間也曾間中擔當副市長和署理市長等職務。



John Gilbert "Jack" Layton, PC, MP (July 18, 1950 – August 22, 2011) was a Canadian social democratic politician and the Leader of the Official Opposition of the 41st Canadian Parliament. He was the leader of the New Democratic Party from 2003 to 2011, and previously sat on Toronto City Council, serving at times during that period as acting mayor and deputy mayor of Toronto. He was the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Toronto—Danforth from 2004 until his death.

The son of a Progressive Conservative cabinet minister, Layton was raised in Hudson, Quebec. He rose to prominence in Toronto municipal politics where he was one of the most prominent left-wing voices on city and Metropolitan Toronto councils, and was also a Board member for the Toronto Port Authority. In 1991, he ran for mayor, but lost to June Rowlands. Remaining on council he rose to become head of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. In 2003, he was elected head of the NDP on the first ballot of the convention. Under his leadership, the NDP considerably increased their support, almost doubling the party's popular vote in the 2004 election, though vote splitting with the Liberals limited their gain in seats. Layton's NDP held balance of power in Paul Martin's minority government, where in May 2005 the NDP supported the Liberal budget in exchange for major amendments, in what was promoted as Canada's "First NDP budget". In November of that year, Layton worked with other opposition parties in bringing down the Liberal government over the findings of the Gomery Commission.

The NDP saw further gains in the 2006 and 2008 elections, in which the party won more seats than it had since its 1980s peak. The NDP's tally of 37 MPs under Layton in the 2008 election was just six seats short of the party's previous all-time high under Ed Broadbent. In the 2011 election, Layton led the NDP to a historic total of 103 seats and formed the Official Opposition. The success of the NDP in the election was unprecedented, making Layton the most successful leader electorally in the party's history in terms of seats won.

Layton died on August 22, 2011, aged 61, after suffering from prostate and an undisclosed type cancer. His cause of death has not been released. He was married to fellow MP Olivia Chow.


Updated Aug 30, 2011:

"Stephen Lewis's eulogy to Jack Layton" Aug 27, 2011 Canadian Press:

Never in our collective lifetime have we seen such an outpouring, so much emotional intensity, from every corner of this country. There have been occasions, historically, when we've seen respect and admiration but never so much love, never such a shocked sense of personal loss.
Jack was so alive, so much fun, so engaged in daily life with so much gusto, so unpretentious, that it was hard while he lived to focus on how incredibly important that was to us, he was to us. Until he was so suddenly gone, cruelly gone, at the pinnacle of his career.

To hear so many Canadians speak so open-heartedly of love, to see young and old take chalk in hand to write without embarrassment of hope, or hang banners from overpasses to express their grief and loss. It's astonishing.

Somehow Jack connected with Canadians in a way that vanquished the cynicism that corrodes our political culture. He connected whether you knew him or didn't know him, whether you were with him or against him.

Jack simply radiated an authenticity and honesty and a commitment to his ideals that we know realize we've been thirsting for. He was so civil, so open, so accessible that he made politics seem so natural and good as breathing. There was no guile. That's why everybody who knew Jack recognized that the public man and the private man were synonymous.

But it obviously goes much deeper than that. Jack, I think, tapped into a yearning, sometimes ephemeral, rarely articulated, a yearning that politics be conducted in a different way, and from that difference would emerge a better Canada.

That difference was by no means merely an end to rancour, an end to the abusive, vituperative practice of the political arts. The difference was also, and critically, one of policy — a fundamentally different way of viewing the future of Canada.

His remarkable letter made it absolutely clear. This was a testament written in the very throes of death that set out what Jack wanted for his caucus, for his party, for young people, for all Canadians.

Inevitably, we fastened on those last memorable lines about hope, optimism and love. But the letter was, at its heart, a manifesto for social democracy. And if there was one word that might sum up Jack Layton's unabashed social democratic message, it would be generosity. He wanted, in the simplest and most visceral terms, a more generous Canada.

His letter embodies that generosity. In his very last hours of life he wanted to give encouragement to others suffering from cancer. He wanted to share a larger, bolder, more decent vision of what Canada should be for all its inhabitants.

He talks of social justice, health care, pensions, no one left behind, seniors, children, climate change, equality and again that defining phrase, "a more inclusive and generous Canada." All of that is entirely consistent with Jack's lifelong convictions. In those early days of municipal politics in Toronto Jack took on gay and lesbian rights, HIV and AIDS, housing for the homeless, the white ribbon campaign to fight violence against women and consecrate gender equality once and for all.

And of course a succession of environmental innovations, bike lanes, wind power, the Toronto atmospheric fund — and now Michael, his progressive and talented son, as councillor can carry the torch forward.

And then came his tenure as president of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities, where he showed that growing deftness of political touch in uniting municipalities of all sizes and geographic locations, winning their recognition of the preeminence of cities and the invaluable pillar of the public sector. Jack made the leap to federal politics look easy.

The same deeply held principles of social democracy that made him a superb politician at the city level, as I know, transferred brilliantly to federal politics. And also, from the many wonderful conversations we had together, I know led him to a formidable commitment to internationalism.
He was fearless in his positions once embraced. Thus, when he argued for negotiations with the Taliban to bring the carnage in Afghanistan to an end he was ridiculed but stood firm. And now it's conventional wisdom. I move to recall that Jack came to the New Democratic Party at the time of the imposition of the War Measures Act, when tanks rolled into the streets of Montreal and civil liberties were shredded, and when the NDP's brave opposition brought us to our nadir in public opinion.

But his convictions and his courage were intertwined — yet another reason for celebrating Jack and for understanding the pain and sadness with which his death has been received.

Above all — and his letter makes this palpably clear — Jack understood that we are headed into even more perilous economic times. He wanted Canadians to have a choice between what he described as the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and an economy that would embrace equity, fairness, balance and creative generosity.

This was the essence of the manifesto. That's why he insists that we're a great country, but we can be a better one — a country of greater equality, justice and opportunity. These were not rhetorical concepts to Jack. They were the very core of his social democratic philosophy. He was prepared to do ideological battle, but as all things with Jack there was nothing impulsive or ill-considered.

He would listen as he always listened — he was a great listener — he would synthesize thoughtfully as he always did, and he would choose a political route that was dignified, pragmatic and principled. He was so proud of his caucus and what they would do to advance the agenda of social democracy.

He cultivated and mentored every member of that caucus, and as the country will see, that will speak volumes in the days ahead.

The victory in Quebec — and I will be followed by a eulogist in the francophone language — the victory in Quebec was an affirmation of Jack's singular personal appeal, reinforced by Quebec's support for progressive values shared by so many Canadians. And his powerful belief and trust in youth to forge the grand transformation to a better world is by now legendary. Indeed, the reference to youth spawns a digression.

From time to time, Jack and I would meet in the corridors of my foundation, where his supernaturally competent daughter Sarah works, and we would invariably speak of our grandchildren. You cannot imagine — I guess you saw it in the video — the radiating joy that glowed from Jack as he talked of Sarah's daughter, his granddaughter Beatrice, and when he said as he often said that he wanted to create a better world for Beatrice and all the other Beatrices to inherit, you instantly knew of one of his strongest and most compelling motivations.

He was a lovely, lovely man. Filled with laughter and affection and commitment. He was also mischievous and musical, possessed of normal imperfections but deeply deserving of the love you have all shown. His indelible romance with Olivia was beautiful to behold, and it sustained them both.

When my wife and I met with the family a few hours after Jack died, Olivia said, as she said in the video, that we must look forward to see what we all can accomplish together.

I loved Jack's goodness and his ideals in equal measure. Watching all of you react so genuinely to his death, the thousands upon thousands who lined up for hours to say a last goodbye in Ottawa and Toronto, it's clear that everyone recognized how rare and precious his character was.
We're all shaken by grief but I believe we're slowly being steadied by a new resolve and I see that resolve in words written in chalk and in a fresh determination on people's faces. A resolve to honour Jack by bringing the politics of respect for all, respect for the Earth and respect for principle and generosity back to life.

My wife Michele reminded me of a perfect quote from the celebrated Indian novelist, activist and feminist Arundhati Roy. Jack doubtless knew it. He might have seen it as a mantra. "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing."

Thank you Jack.


the inner space said...

Oh really shocking for his sudden passing away, my condolence to Olivia and the family!

however Olivia not likely to be the NDP new leader!

Haricot 微豆 said...


The death of Layton has been a real shocker and ppl are talking abt him on the streets, in restaurants, on radio/TV, etc.

Nycole Turmel will remain the interim leader and we shall see who will put their names into the hat.

the inner space said...

HBB it was early in Ottawa did you suffer from occasional insomnia last night?

WELL about the stone formations those I have seen in the past the artist did not put cement to hold them together,purely a well balance act!

Haricot 微豆 said...


Yeah, I shouldn't have stayed up so late!!

Yes, a balancing act indeed.



".... In the north, An inuksuk (plural inuksuit) (from the Inuktitut: ᐃᓄᒃᓱᒃ, plural ᐃᓄᒃᓱᐃᑦ; alternatively inukshuk in English or inukhuk in Inuinnaqtun) is a stone landmark or cairn built by humans, used by the Inuit, Inupiat, Kalaallit, Yupik, and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America. These structures are found from Alaska to Greenland. This region, above the Arctic Circle, is dominated by the tundra biome and has areas with few natural landmarks.

The inuksuk may have been used for navigation, as a point of reference, a marker for travel routes, fishing places, camps, hunting grounds, places of veneration, drift fences used in hunting or as a food cache. The Inupiat in northern Alaska used inuksuit to assist in the herding of caribou into contained areas for slaughter.

Varying in shape and size, the inuksuit have longtime roots in the Inuit culture..."

the inner space said...

Jack Layton's last letter to Canadians

August 20, 2011
Toronto, Ontario

Dear Friends,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.

Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.

I recommend that Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel continue her work as our interim leader until a permanent successor is elected.

I recommend the party hold a leadership vote as early as possible in the New Year, on approximately the same timelines as in 2003, so that our new leader has ample time to reconsolidate our team, renew our party and our program, and move forward towards the next election.

A few additional thoughts:

To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.

To the members of my party: we’ve done remarkable things together in the past eight years. It has been a privilege to lead the New Democratic Party and I am most grateful for your confidence, your support, and the endless hours of volunteer commitment you have devoted to our cause. There will be those who will try to persuade you to give up our cause. But that cause is much bigger than any one leader. Answer them by recommitting with energy and determination to our work. Remember our proud history of social justice, universal health care, public pensions and making sure no one is left behind. Let’s continue to move forward. Let’s demonstrate in everything we do in the four years before us that we are ready to serve our beloved Canada as its next government.

To the members of our parliamentary caucus: I have been privileged to work with each and every one of you. Our caucus meetings were always the highlight of my week. It has been my role to ask a great deal from you. And now I am going to do so again. Canadians will be closely watching you in the months to come. Colleagues, I know you will make the tens of thousands of members of our party proud of you by demonstrating the same seamless teamwork and solidarity that has earned us the confidence of millions of Canadians in the recent election.

the inner space said...


To my fellow Quebecers: On May 2nd, you made an historic decision. You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal government with something better was by working together in partnership with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the right decision right through to the next election, when we will succeed, together. You have elected a superb team of New Democrats to Parliament. They are going to be doing remarkable things in the years to come to make this country better for us all.

To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.

And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

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.

All my very best,

Jack Layton

Haricot 微豆 said...


Thank you for posting Jack Layton's letter to Canadian which he wrote 2 days before his death.

The letter is another example of Jack's ability to connect with Canadians from all walks of life. His charisma really shone through during the last federal election and many ppl voted for unknown NDP candidates in their ridings solely based on their favourable impression of Jack.

Canadians don't always call politicians by the first name. But Jack is the name we call Layton, as if we personally knew him, as if he were out next door neighbour. Even for ppl who disagreed with his political agenda often conceded there was something about Jack.

Haricot 微豆 said...


The ending of Jack's letter to Canadians will be remembered for a long time.


love is better than anger 仁愛勝於憤怒,

Hope is better than fear 希望勝於恐懼,

Optimism is better than despair 樂觀勝於絕望,

So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic 就讓我們用仁愛丶希望丶和樂觀,

And we’ll change the world. 去創做一個更美好的世界。

the inner space said...

DEAR HBB,so sorry to say LOOKS similar to 明報加東版譯出的部份!

the inner space said...

p.s. I hope I could see the net broadcast of his funeral at Toronto Roy Thomson Hall on CBC or CP24 SAT afternoon 2pm Toronto time!

the inner space said...

am watching Jack Layton's funeral at Roy Thomson Hall live on CBC net NOW!

Haricot 微豆 said...


>> .... LOOKS similar to 明報加東版譯出的部份!

I am not a subscriber/reader of 明報加東版.

The English text is quite straight forward, so is the Chinese translation.

Haricot 微豆 said...

SBB: I am glad to learn you were able to watch the event via internet.

Haricot 微豆 said...


Right-leaning columnists of the Ottawa Sun are saying the leftists (aka NDPers) "used" Jack Layton's funeral to spin communist propaganda. They are esp upset with Stephen Lewis who reportedly praised Jack Layton's proposal to talk to the Taliban.

the inner space said...

明報加東版 is available for free!

I am not familiar with Stephen Lewis however,I remember someone named Stephen Leacock (spelling?)who was the latter?

Anonymous said...


Thank you for the link to Ming Pao.

According to Wikipedia:

Stephen Butler Leacock, FRSC (30 December 1869 – 28 March 1944) was an English-born Canadian teacher, political scientist, writer, and humorist. In the early part of the 20th century he was the best-known humorist in the English-speaking world.


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