Goodbye Jack, we’ll miss you.

It was with great sadness that we heard the news today that Jack Layton, leader of the Federal NDP passed away earlier today. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends, our thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

Jack Layton was not your average politician. He was a great man, genuinely committed to making Canada a better place. He was respectful, a strong leader, and had a personality and charm that could win just about anyone over. Even his fiercest opponents speak of him with great respect. He has had a huge impact on our country, and I believe he will be remembered well into the future for his tireless commitment to Canadian ideals. We, as young Canadians, will honour his memory by answering his call to put our energy and passion to work to create a better country.

I had the honour of first meeting Mr. Layton long before he made the jump to Federal politics, back when he was a city councillor in Toronto. I was a high school student, working with other high school students to help improve our schools through the TDSB’s Student Environment Network. We held a retreat on the Toronto Islands, and Jack Layton came out to join us. He rode his bike there, and spent an evening with us talking about how we could make a difference. None of us lived in his ward. None of us were old enough to vote. I still measure the other politicians I meet against his solid handshake that night… So far none have measured up.

Gabriela

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