In memorium: Jack Layton, PhD, MP, YorkU Grad
Jack Layton was, among many things, a graduate of York University. He earned his master's degree and his PhD here before embarking on a career as a professor, then a city councilor in Toronto for many years, then as a member of Parliament, then also as leader of the "third party" in Canada - the New Democratic Party - and raising it up to the Official Opposition in the May 2nd election this year. He thus became the Leader of the Official Opposition but succumbed to cancers early Monday before Parliament could resume in September after the summer recess. He brought his party to second place in the election (the "Orange Tide") - a first - as was pushing the Liberals to third - a first for them in our history.
Today, the flag was lowered to half-staff and will remain that way until sunset on Saturday - the day of his state funeral - a rare honour usually reserved for prime ministers and governors general but, at the discretion of the prime minister, for other significant Canadians. Jack was a Canadian worthy of the honour. His career was a fascinating one. I got to meet him a two or three years ago when he returned to YorkU for an open discussion.
This will likely be the last act for the flagpole at its current location. It is to be moved next week because of the subway construction.
He was a proud graduate of York University and we were proud of his success and his humanitarian work and his classier brand of politics. Rest in peace, Jack.
York University's obituary on YFILE written by my friend and colleague, Martha Tancock.
Toronto Star coverage
CBC News coverage
Globe & Mail coverage