Thursday, July 26, 2012 by: Carol Martin
The Broadbent Institute wants to know how Jack Layton's message has inspired Canadians in the year since he lost his battle with cancer.
One year ago Wednesday Federal NDP leader Jack Layton told the country he was stepping down, "at least for now".
A "new form of cancer", he said, was discovered the week before and he would be unable to stand as the official Leader of the Opposition.
The news came in wake of his meteoric rise in popularity during the 2011 Federal election campaign, a campaign he started shortly after hip surgery.
In February 2010 he had also announced that he been diagnosed with prostate cancer but he said it would not interfere with his duties as leader of the New Democratic Party.
He proved himself a more-than capable leader during the 2011 leadership debates and, under his leadership, the party won 103 seats, more than double its previous high, in the 41st Canadian General Election on May 2, 2011.
Layton led his party and the Opposition for almost two months before Parliament rose for the summer on June 23.
By the end of the 2011 election campaign 97 percent of Canadians beleived Layton was the man who would make the best Prime Minister of Canada.
But he left behind a message of love, hope and optimism.
"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,"
he wrote in a letter he gave to his partner, Olivia Chow, to share with Canadians, "in the circumstance in which I cannot continue," he said.
Canadians now have an opportunity to share what Layton's message has meant to them through DearJack.ca They are invited to sign in and tell the world how his message has inspired them to change the world.
On the first anniversary of Layton's passing many of his family and friends will visit Nathan Phillips Square on to celebrate Jack’s message of love, hope, and optimism.
Canadians are also encouraged to organize gatherings and events to mark the date of his passing on August 22 and to share those events at DearJack.ca