In Honour of Jack Layton

With the untimely passing of Jack Layton, Toronto has lost a great champion and passionate voice for social justice.

Jack’s work on Metro Council and Toronto City Council was always groundbreaking. He championed the leading environmental role that cities should and could play, spearheading innovative programs for energy retrofits and water efficiency, cycling infrastructure, recycling and waste diversion.

He was instrumental in establishing the Toronto Atmospheric Fund long before there was a mainstream realization of climate change.

In the mid 1980’s he led Toronto’s successful initiatives on Aids prevention at Toronto Public Health. He persevered until homelessness and housing were on the local and national agenda.

Jack established the White Ribbon campaign to counter violence against women and was an early supporter of same sex marriage and LGBT rights.

As President of Federation of Canadian Municipalities he negotiated the first ever transfer of federal gas tax for public transit. As leader of the federal NDP, he negotiated the introduction of the first national childcare program.

In our local community Jack left his mark with the redevelopment of Don Mount Court, creating Toronto’s first Chinese Archway in East Chinatown, the development of the first model of full day kindergarten at Bruce Public School and establishing the first Taste of the Danforth among a myriad of other successful efforts.

He accomplished all of these things with the support and partnership of fellow Councillor and then MP, and love of his life, Olivia Chow. Jack was fiercely proud of his son Mike and daughter Sarah and adored his beloved granddaughter Beatrice.

Jack will be greatly missed by his many colleagues and friends and constituents whose lives he touched deeply.

I will always deeply value Jack’s friendship, support and wise counsel and will work to continue his legacy, turning challenges into lasting achievements and working for a better world for all.

 

Messages of condolence can be sent to Jack’s family through his son Michael Layton at [email protected] or c/o Councillor Michael Layton, C-47, Toronto City Hall, M5H 2N2

Sincerely,

Paula Fletcher,

City Councillor Ward 30

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