“Courage my friends, ’tis never too late to build a better world” was the motto of Jack Layton, leader of Canada’s New Democrat Party, who died of cancer yesterday. His last letter to Canadians ends:
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.
I met Jack Layton with the NDP caucus in 2002 when there were less than twenty of them. Earlier this year he led the NDP from 37 seats to 103 seats in a magnificent campaign. He swept the board in Quebec even though he was not French-speaking, but they called him “le bon Jack.” An inspiring leader, a fighter for rights, a man of peace and of the people. He will be missed. The tributes are here.