In the Media: Canadians mark year since Jack Layton's death
Excerpt from CTV News, 22 August 2012
Former NDP leader Jack Layton is being remembered across the country today, on the one-year anniversary of his death.
Several events are planned in Toronto, where Layton spent many years as a city councillor before turning his attention to federal politics.
His ashes are being interred in a private ceremony with friends and family, and the public is invited to a memorial service that gets underway at the downtown Nathan Phillips Square at 6pm local time.
The local event will feature speeches by Layton's widow MP Olivia Chow and his son, Toronto Coun. Mike Layton, as well as musical performances by a line-up of well-known artists including Raffi, Ron Sexsmith and Loraine Segato.
Just three months after his NDP took on the role of Official Opposition for the first time in its 50-year history, he succumbed to cancer.
NDP Finance Critic Peggy Nash said that was a harrowing time emotionally, to go from the euphoria of election night to the crushing news of Layton's death.
"It's an unbelievable story, and I think it brought our young caucus together in a way... and also caused people to roll up their sleeves and decide 'We are not going to squander Jack's legacy,' she said.
But on the anniversary of his death, Nash is taking time to remember her longtime friend and colleague as both an optimist filled with hope for the future and a pragmatist looking for ways to get things done.
"He was someone who remembered people's birthdays," Nash added. "He liked to connect in a very personal way with people".