Jack Layton

Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada (1950-2011)

John Gilbert "Jack" Layton (July 18, 1950August 22, 2011) was a Canadian politician and leader of the Official Opposition. He was leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) from 2003 to 2011 and previously sat on Toronto City Council, occasionally holding the title of acting mayor or deputy mayor of Toronto during his tenure as city councillor. He was the member of Parliament (MP) for Toronto—Danforth from 2004 until his death.

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.

Quotes edit

  • "If it's a flash it's been an awfully long flash. I've been around for 20 years in one of the largest media and political markets in the country, so I'd call it more of a slow burn."
  • We want to challenge the established ideas with new ideas.
  • This gorgeous Chinese girl gets up and I fell in love instantly.
  • Politics matters. Ideas matter. Democracy matters.
    • First sentence in his 2004 book, Speaking out.
  • I believe that when Paul Martin cancelled affordable housing across this country it produced a dramatic rise in homelessness and deaths due to homelessness and I've always said I hold him responsible for that.
  • I ask you to join me in saying that enough is enough with Liberal arrogance and scandals and enough to the vote-buying promises of the Conservatives. There's a better choice, a third option, the NDP
  • Layton: After all these years of inaction, will the Prime Minister finally get something done and do something the former government would not do and that is to cancel the subsidies to big oil and big ass--I mean big gas and start putting--
    Stephen Harper: Mr. Speaker, I promise to get to the bottom of it.
  • This debate is coming down essentially to two visions — Mr. Harper's vision for Canada and my vision for Canada, and to a decision to be made by people disappointed by Mr. (Stephane) Dion
    • On polls showing his New Democrats were gaining on the Liberals, Sept. 2, 2008[citation needed]
  • He's put a lock on the door of the House of Commons and he refuses to face the people of Canada through their elected representatives
  • This is a budget that does not protect the vulnerable, it doesn't protect the jobs of today and it doesn't create the jobs that we need for tomorrow.
  • I remember a Stephen Harper once upon a time... You've become what you used to oppose... Mr. Harper, what happened to you? What changed?
  • Spring is here my friends and a new chapter begins.
  • "I've always favoured proposition over opposition. But we will oppose the government when it's off track.We'll support positive suggestions that we'll bring forward and support the government when it's making progress."
  • It's a privilege and it's an honour and Olivia and I are certainly looking forward to visiting this beautiful, historic building and being able to stay there during the session when we're here in Ottawa.
  • (The lockout) makes no sense unless you put it in the context of a wider strategy, which is to somehow weaken Canadians' commitment to Canada Post so that ultimately, when the government gets out there to privatize it, they think they can get the public on their side
  • I think we've come to where we are because of those positive ties and working together for working families. That's our priority and continues to be. It's been there since our founding and we've now achieved the best success we've ever had electorally. So I think you want to continue with what's working[citation needed]
  • Why has he closed the door on Canada Post? Here's a guy who says he was a terrific manager of the economy and all things economic yet he's shut down our postal service. It's certainly the wrong thing to do and it sends a very bad signal out to the working people that tromp up and down our sidewalks and deliver our mail … that he doesn't really respect the bargaining process.
  • If I've tried to bring anything to federal politics, it's the idea that hope and optimism should be at their heart; we can look after each other better than we do today.
  • 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.
  • Mes amis, l’amour est cent fois meilleur que la haine. L’espoir est meilleur que la peur. L’optimisme est meilleur que le désespoir. Alors aimons, gardons espoir et restons optimistes. Et nous changerons le monde.

Quotes about Layton edit

  • It’s about saying, ‘Hi Olivia. How’s Beatrice doing?’ It’s about remembering each other and our loves and our lives together. Over the next few years, we won’t not be able to say, ‘Hi Jack. How’s Olivia doing?’ But you can say, ‘Hi Jack. How are we doing?’
  • Inevitably, we’ve 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.
  • Twenty years ago, he co-founded an organization dedicated to eliminating men’s violence against women the White Ribbon Campaign. What started as a meeting has grown into a movement against violence spanning 60 countries. Not long ago, my dad offered the new executive director some advice that I’ll share with you now. He said, ‘Always have a dream that’s longer than a life-time. If faut toujours avoir des rêves qui dépassent la durée de la vie. Friends: be loving, be hopeful, be optimistic. Together we can build the world of our dreams.’ And as he always said, ‘Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done.’

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