The Honourable Irwin Cotler, MP (Mount Royal) expressed his deep sorrow at today’s passing of Jack Layton, Leader of the Opposition. Said Cotler, “Canada has lost a great Parliamentarian, public servant, and advocate for social justice. Our thoughts and prayers are with Olivia and the Layton family at this difficult time”.
Cotler revealed that he and Layton shared a bond that formed when both men realized their fathers had battled prostate cancer. “When Jack initially announced his illness – and in discussion with him it came out that both our fathers had dealt with this disease – he said ‘My father beat it, and I will beat it’”.
Cotler continued, “He was a person of uncommon courage and determination. Even with the news of his new diagnosis, I believed and hoped, that once again, he would prevail”.
Cotler praised Layton’s political and Parliamentary prowess, saying, “Jack was a consummate Parliamentarian. People may not realize how often he would define the narrative of the day in the House and then take it to the public square. He had a unique talent to articulate the anxieties and hopes of ordinary Canadians, who came to know and love him as ‘Jack’. It was a privilege to serve in the House with him and to witness his indomitable spirit. We shall not see the likes of him again”.