On July 25, 2011, Jack Layton, the NDP Leader and newly elected Leader of the Official Opposition announced that he was battling a new round of cancer.
A little less than a month later Jack passed away.
Jack had fought a remarkable campaign during the 2011 federal election, connecting with Canadians across the country. His message of hope and optimism also struck a chord in Quebec where the NDP elected 58 new MPs.
We were all amazed at the strength Jack showed during that campaign, having just defeated his first battle with cancer and hobbled by his recent hip surgery.
Jack would let nothing stop him.
A year later, Jack would certainly be smiling at what we see today: an NDP that has united behind a strong new leader, Tom Mulcair; a group of new young Quebec MPs who are solidifying the party’s support in the province; and rising opinion polls that have the NDP ahead of the Conservatives and truly proving to be a government-in-waiting.
Jack touched us all in so many ways, and in his passing ignited us to work even harder to build the country and the community we know we can be.
In advance of the one-year anniversary of Jack's death, the Broadbent Institute has launched a website, DearJack.ca, to give all of us who were touched by Jack's message the opportunity to write back and keep it moving forward. Please visit DearJack.ca, to share how Jack’s message of love, hope and optimism lives on in your life, and to tell the world how you are helping to change it.
And on August 22, 2012, join others across the country to mark the one year anniversary of Jack's passing. In Toronto, a celebration of Jack's life will be held at 6 p.m. at Nathan Phillips Square in front of Toronto City Hall where your Dear Jack messages will be part of the tribute. All are welcome, in person or online, to honour Jack's vision and renew our commitment to make it a reality.