Jack Layton: He always had your back


I saw his face on the monitor at the gym this morning. 

He looked better, youthful. Good, I thought, Jack’s back.

Then I saw the date below the video clip. 

1950-2011.

No, it couldn’t be, I thought. 

In the middle of a full throttle workout, I started to weep. I couldn’t stop.

What will become of us? Finally, there was someone on the political front we could believe in. An honest guy. Even if you didn’t agree with his politics, he was a guy with whom you’d like to talk about Canada over a beer or a cup of Tim’s.

He was so damned likeable.  He seemed invincible.

It simply didn’t seem possible that a man with such vitality and strength could let a little thing like cancer take him. He’d actually convinced us that he could beat it.

We wanted to believe him.

But cancer is a thing you can’t get on your bike and ride away from. It’s the great leveler.

God’s way of telling a guy to slow down.

And so today, we say goodbye to a man with the heart of a lion.

It will be strange to watch the House of Commons without Jack.

He was the voice of our collective conscience, the guy who always had your back.

Who will replace him?

I say no one can.

The mould was broken.

Good night, Jack. 

God bless.

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