rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

James Laxer's Blog

James Laxer's picture
James Laxer is regularly asked to comment on current national and global issues by the Canadian media and frequently writes columns in major newspapers and periodicals.

We'll miss you, Jack

| August 22, 2011

To lose Jack Layton at the height of his capacity as a person and as a political leader, is especially sad.

When Jack walked into my graduate course at York University in the early 1970s, it didn't take me long to see that this was someone very special. The energy and the luminous intelligence were on full display, as well as his respect for others, and the joy he took in meeting people.

Through the decades, he joined every political battle with unique optimism. In municipal politics, in the fight for environmental reform, in his support for the homeless and the poor, he threw himself into what he did with the conviction that he could be on the winning side. Jack had no use for fashionable pessimism.

When he became NDP leader, he took a party that had seen better days and led it to become a force that can win the next election. His breakthrough in Quebec is historic, a transformative event in Canada's political history.

We'll miss Jack's energy and his capacity to rise from setbacks and carry on. We'll need to take those qualities to heart in the days ahead. We'll miss you, Jack.

To Olivia and the members of his family, I offer my condolences.

This article was first posted on James Laxer's blog.



We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.