NDP Leader Jack Layton, who led Canada's Official Opposition, has died at his Toronto home at age 61 after a battle with cancer. The depth of sorrow I feel at the loss of this man is profound. He had brought the NDP into their first term as the federal opposition, something many of us in the NDP had only dreamed of. And he did it by fighting fair, by daring to use the words 'love' and 'hope' and 'dreams'. He cared about health care, about women's rights and vulnerabilities, about the poor and the environment. In speech, and more importantly, in deed, he demonstrated that courage had nothing to do with bravado, and wisdom nothing to do with rhetoric.
I was a slow convert to Jack's smile. I'd spent many hours on doorsteps and polling stations, hoping that the NDP would make the sort of gains that they did under his leadership but I had become jaded. He unjaded me in his last two campaigns. The one he won and the one that today, he lost. Thank you Jack. You gave us everything and more and we will surely miss you.