EDITORIAL: Thank you Mr. Layton

Left, right or indifferent, the loss of Jack Layton was a blow to Canadian politics.

Left, right or indifferent, the loss of Jack Layton was a blow to Canadian politics.

Layton, who led Canada’s official opposition, died Monday morning at 61 in his Toronto home after a battle with cancer.

Condolences, tributes and memories have flooded every medium, while huge crowds gathered near the Centennial Flame at Parliament Hill. Many left flowers, cards, notes and cans of Orange Crush, the party’s official colour.

Politicians from all political stripes have issued emotional statements, highlighting Layton’s integrity, strength and perseverance.

“Canada has lost a great politician. A man who believed in working for the public good. And I’ve lost a personal friend,” longtime NDP leader and MP Ed Broadbent said.

It’s heartbreaking to note this collaboration, this sharing of grief is what is finally pounding this great leader’s message across.

But surely, if there’s a silver lining, it’s the shedding of party lines, if only momentarily, to come together in celebration of a man who had all Canadians best interests at heart.

Layton’s last words to the country and its citizens to which he dedicated decades of his life has been copied and pasted on thousands of Facebook profiles:

“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.”

Thank you, Jack Layton, may you rest in peace.

—Quesnel Cariboo Observer