Happy birthday to the late John Gilbert Layton (aka Jack) born this day in Montréal QC in 1950. After leading his SAC in Hudson he graduated in Political Science at McGill in 1970 and then finished graduate degrees at York in Toronto.
Jack served first as a Toronto counsillor in 1982 and would run unsuccessfully for Mayor in 1991. Twelve years later he became leader of the federal New Democratic Party and the following year won a seat in the House of Commons.
Jack Layton died of cancer in August of 2011, having run the most successful Federal campaign in recent history just months before. His party gained 67 seats and for the first time became Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.
The outpouring of emotion at the news of his passing was widespread, palpable and effusive. He accomplished something very few other national leaders had done or even dreamed of: capturing the quiescent soul of a great and disparate nation.