Layton will be second only to Tommy Douglas himself, says writer

Many political strategists will judge Jack Layton’s achievements by the

number of seats he won for his party over the years, but behind those

electoral victories was a leader who remained steadfastly committed to his

principles above all.

I met Jack Layton shortly after his arrival in Ottawa as leader of the NDP,

and watched him in the years that followed as he became a good friend of the peace movement.

He spoke up for diplomatic efforts and dialogue with insurgents to end the

war in Afghanistan, years before it became a fashionable position. At the

time, he was derided by his critics, taunted and called names by

Conservative Party members and even had his patriotism questioned.

But today, Layton’s vision is shared widely in capitals around the world as

the only workable solution in that strife-torn region.

There are many other stories like this where Jack endured shameful attacks

from his political opponents while he stood by his principles.

I am certain that Jack Layton will be remembered as second only to Tommy

Douglas himself: one of Canada’s greatest Canadians.

Steven Staples

Rideau Institute, Ottawa