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"I'm going to fight this cancer now, so I can be back to fight for families when Parliament resumes"
July 25, 2011 12:31 PM   Subscribe

CanadaFilter: Jack Layton, Leader of the Official Opposition following the New Democrats historic electoral victory this spring, announces he will step aside temporarily after second cancer diagnosis. Nycole Turmel recommended as interim leader.

Text of official statement here.
posted by mazola (28 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I couldn't believe how he sounded, like a totally different person.
posted by Chuckles at 12:39 PM on July 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


If anyone can do it, Jack Layton can.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:50 PM on July 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Really too bad. Hope he recovers and comes back...
posted by wowbobwow at 12:51 PM on July 25, 2011


I wish him well.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:11 PM on July 25, 2011


BREAKING: Jack Layton informs Canada that "cancer didn't know what was good for it" so he has to temporarily step down and "make cancer cry like a little girl."
posted by mightygodking at 1:26 PM on July 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I doubt Jack Layton would say something so stupidly sexist.

I wish him well, and hope he gets better very soon so that our parliament doesn't end up in even worse shape.
posted by jeather at 1:37 PM on July 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


It is hard to see him so thin and without his characteristically strong voice. We need people like him, who talk about the possibility of Canada as a force for peace in the world. He has a spirit that contrasts radically from what we find in the governing party.

I'm often tempted to be too cynical about politicians, but they don't have an easy job either. Our national discourse will be poorer without him.
posted by beau jackson at 2:08 PM on July 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


BREAKING: Jack Layton informs Canada that "cancer didn't know what was good for it" so he has to temporarily step down and "make cancer cry like a little girl Tory."

Fixed that for you.
posted by In The Annex at 2:08 PM on July 25, 2011 [19 favorites]


It was shocking to see him so gaunt at the news conference. I hope he has a healthy recovery. Him and the NDP gain has been a light to me in the darkness of our current government.
posted by kanata at 2:22 PM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


What got me was that shot of Jack all bundled up in a freakin' hockey sweater at the Gay Pride Parade just a few weeks ago. That was a pretty damn warm June day, but the man was in layers, while Olivia was in a sleeveless dress. But even then, he didn't look as gaunt as he does now. I don't think there's going to be a good outcome, damn it.
posted by maudlin at 3:38 PM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


We heard it live in the car on the radio and I couldn't believe it was him, sounded like a different guy.
I wish him all the best and hope he comes out on top but man he sounds ravaged.
posted by chococat at 3:50 PM on July 25, 2011


On a personal, human level this news made me sad. I send Jack my best wishes.

From a government standpoint, this rookie opposition just got a lot more 'rookier'. This makes me sad in an entirely different way.

:(
posted by mazola at 3:53 PM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Get well, Jack
posted by Hoopo at 3:59 PM on July 25, 2011


Fuck! I hope we don't lose Jack.
posted by Mitheral at 4:00 PM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Incredibly sad. I'm not an NDP'er or anything, but just as a human being, it was so shocking and sad to see the footage of him today looking and sounding so weak and sick. It reminded me of my Dad in his last days. I hope and pray that Jack can fight the good fight, he seems like a good man as well as a positive addition to Canada's political scene.
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:26 PM on July 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


i caught layton speaking on radio after the start of the press conference today and wondered: when is jack going to come on? his voice seemed to have aged 30 years since the campaign.

here's wishing for a full and fast recovery for the sake of him, his family and canadian politics.
posted by ecourbanist at 6:31 PM on July 25, 2011


It reminded me of my Dad in his last days.

Me too. I've seen this movie before. I know how it ends.

For all of the brave talk, I wish I could believe it. Such a fast deterioration, such a sea change in his appearance, and speaking purely anecdotally, how many times can one 'beat' cancer or 'beat' one type of cancer before another form finally does the deed -- I wish I could share the optimism of his words. I really do.

I think that's the elephant in the room, that this is far more serious than is being admitted. When Jack signed off in French, saying "a la prochaine", he didn't seem to believe it himself. And if it's only a leave of absence until September, why do it at all? Why tap someone for an interim leadership who wouldn't be a serious candidate for the leadership on a permanent basis? If this was revealed to the party high-ups on Wednesday/Thursday, why the need for three or four days of discussion and strategizing of what is -- in message -- only a temporary, fixable thing?

I wish him well. I really do. But if I could believe in his words of optimism, this wouldn't be affecting me as greatly as it does.

Godspeed, Jack.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:25 PM on July 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Capt. Renault: I've got to imagine being the leader of the opposition is a lot of stress, and getting rid of it for 2 months might help a lot. It would also be a chance to let someone else get used to the reigns without totally giving up control.
posted by Canageek at 10:22 PM on July 25, 2011


I should also add: A few years ago I sprayed him with a water gun while he was at the Toronto pride parade. He just smiled and hid behind a pride flag. Greatly increased my respect for him, that he didn't take himself too seriously or get pissed off or anything.
posted by Canageek at 10:24 PM on July 25, 2011


:(
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:26 PM on July 25, 2011


If he dies, who is most likely going to get the new position, and what do we know about her?
posted by PinkMoose at 11:53 PM on July 25, 2011


"If he dies, who is most likely going to get the new position, and what do we know about her?"

i think it is a bit early to be thinking about horse racing like that, and the idea of attempting to establish a preordained order of succession outside the party's internal democratic process strikes me as something better suited to the Liberal Party, not the NDP.

most importantly, i don't think people ought to be buying the 'they're all rookies, the party will be lost without Jack' narrative that the canadian media seems to be pushing.

screw that. Layton has brought in and brought up some serious political talent to the NDP, both in parliament and within the party apparatus. there is a reason the NDP did so well in the last election, and it wasn't entirely due to Layton's charm.

it had just as much to do with unpretentiously clear messaging across the board, a keen understanding of the canadian zeitgeist, as well as an deftly crafted policy positions that finally allowed the NDP to build a critical mass of popular support without scaring people off.

.. so i'm some combination of sad and angry over this news, but not hopeless or despondent. Jack Layton is not the NDP, and we have Jack Layton to thank for that. i think canadians will be surprised by how well the party performs in his absence, however long that may be.
posted by striatic at 1:19 AM on July 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am sad for Jack and his family. I wish them well.
Much of the NDP surge seems to have been based on his character.
Now what?
This is going to be interesting.
posted by dougzilla at 1:33 AM on July 26, 2011


Argh. I heard Jack Layton on the radio this morning and, like so many others above, did not realize who it was at first. It made me sad to hear how sick he sounded.

He's done so much for the NDP and for Canada...but now I hope he feels like he can just take time for himself and be with his family. Take care, Jack.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:52 AM on July 26, 2011


Fucking cancer. I wish him well. The cancer is a hard thing to be rid of, ever.
posted by chunking express at 4:40 AM on July 26, 2011


I can't bring myself to watch/hear the announcement based on all the reactions to his appearance. It will make me too sad. I hope he's ok.
posted by aclevername at 6:42 AM on July 26, 2011


I think that's the elephant in the room, that this is far more serious than is being admitted.

This.


most importantly, i don't think people ought to be buying the 'they're all rookies, the party will be lost without Jack' narrative that the canadian media seems to be pushing.

screw that. Layton has brought in and brought up some serious political talent to the NDP, both in parliament and within the party apparatus. there is a reason the NDP did so well in the last election, and it wasn't entirely due to Layton's charm.


True, but it's hard to imagine the NDs getting to where they are today without the face and brand of Jack Layton, at least in the public eye.

We've seen what Jack has done to build this party and, make no mistake, it has been a fight to bring the factions within the party to where we are today. It's a shame we may not see him take it to the next level and define what the party can do as Opposition. If anyone's earned that privilege, it's Jack.

This was a watershed election for the NDs. I guess this will lay bare how deep, unified, and coherent the party actually is.

Good rundown here.
posted by mazola at 9:24 AM on July 26, 2011


I didn't realize that he fractured his hip while working out. I fear that perhaps he has some form of bone cancer or a cancer that metastasized to the bone, which would likely cause the fracture in his hip. Perhaps he's had this for awhile but put off treatment, public statements, etc. until after the elections. So sad. I just watched the video of his statement again and then watched his victory speech, he's really gone downhill quickly, bless him.
posted by 1000monkeys at 6:15 PM on July 26, 2011


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