Jack Layton, the leader of the federal NDP party, has died. Layton died peacefully at his Toronto home at 4:45 a.m. Eastern (5:45 a.m. Atlantic time) on Monday, Aug. 22 surrounded by family and loved ones.
He was 61.
Just weeks ago Layton announced he was taking a leave of absence to fight a second bout of cancer. His goal was to be back in the House of Commons when it resumed in September.
In the May 2 federal election Layton had led his NDP party to a historic win. The party won 103 seats to propel it to official opposition status.
Messages of condolence are pouring in across the country following Layton's death.
Here are what the party leaders in Nova Scotia had to say:
Premier Darrell Dexter issued the following statement after the death of Jack Layton, federal leader of the opposition:
"I want to start by sending my condolences to the family of Jack Layton. I know how deeply Jack cared for his family. I know how devastated they must be this morning.
Today is a sad day for Jack's family and friends. It is a sad day for New Democrats. And it is a sad day for Canada.
Today Canadians lost a man with the rare ability to both lead and unite our country - a man with an infectious enthusiasm and a fighting spirit that so many of us came to admire and love.
It is so difficult to have this tragic day arrive so soon after Jack's tremendous success in the federal election. It is left now to others to honour Jack by taking up the great opportunity he left this country.
Nova Scotians, like all Canadians, are grateful for all that Jack Layton accomplished by being a progressive voice on so many important issues.
We will Miss Jack.
On a personal note, I've known Jack for a long time. He was a friend, a mentor and at the heart of it all, a great Canadian.
Jack and I spoke during difficult times, we spoke during some of the great moments in our lives.
No matter the circumstances, I could always count on my good friend Jack Layton.
I will miss him."
Liberal leader Stephen McNeil said with Jack Layton’s death, Canada lost a dedicated parliamentarian and representative:
“Jack Layton was tirelessly committed to improving the lives of Canadians,” said McNeil. “He embodied the sincerity and respect that should guide each one of us in our professional lives.”
"Our hearts and our thoughts are with Jack Layton’s family at this incredibly challenging time,” said McNeil.
Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie expressed sadness over the death of federal NDP leader Jack Layton:
“Today is a sad day for all Canadians, regardless of Party. Our country has lost a strong political voice just as he was reaching the pinnacle of a distinguished career of public service. On behalf of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Caucus, I extend my condolences to the family and friends of Jack Layton during this difficult time,” said Baillie. “Jack’s strength and determination as he fought his latest bout of cancer was an inspiration to all Canadians. He will be missed.”