Jack Layton passed away this morning and I feel that in his passing we need to remember all the good that he has done for Canada. Obviously, it is in no way a good thing that Canada has lost such a strong and inspiring leader, but it is up to Canadians now to keep his momentum of positive change moving forwards.
To me, Layton was a beacon of hope in a rough political sea that used dirty tactics and horrible policies to further confused political or ideological goals. Layton always relied on honesty, facts, and a commitment to the betterment of all of Canada to get his political goals met.
Under his leadership the NDP gained historic victories against a rising tied of overtly hostile Conservative recklessness and a growing apathy about Canada and Canadianism amongst the people of Canada. Throughout his political career from city councillor to federal opposition leader he spoke passionately about his beliefs and lived up to them. He inspired many young Canadians to get into politics and to be passionate about their beliefs. He encouraged people to stand up for what’s right; to champion the causes of the downtrodden, the oppressed, working families, the environment, the right to a good education, and all other causes of social justice.
Indeed, if Layton wasn’t around to lead the NDP when he did I fear what Canada could have become. It is now up to all Canadians to carry forward the torch of positive change and to champion social justice. As Canadians we need to live up to what Jack Layton wanted Canada to be: a caring country that espoused respect and honesty within and outside our borders.
We have lost one leader in Canada, but we must not forget all the good that Layton has done. We need to remember, we need to keep makings all things good.
The CBC has a good obituary on his political career.
Edit: Layton’s final letter to Canadians can be read after the break: