Jack Layton front pages

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what would make the front pages of the papers on Tuesday. Not only was Jack Layton a larger-than-life figure, and the first leader of the opposition to die in office since Wilfrid Laurier in 1919 (at least, that’s what Wikipedia says), but he conveniently died early on a weekday morning, giving newspaper editors a full working day to decide how they would honour him on their front pages.

The Globe and Mail (above) got a lot of buzz on Twitter, but it wasn’t the only one to use a sketch of Layton, and certainly not the only one to quote from the end of his letter to Canadians, as you’ll see below. Different papers chose different file photos, but the headlines of his obituary were written by Layton himself. (Maybe with some help from a talented speechwriter.)

 

10 thoughts on “Jack Layton front pages

  1. malstain

    Why does the fact that he used a speechwriter to help him write the letter merit any surprise (let alone the criticism in Christie Blatchford’s beneath-contempt evaluation?) He was a career politician, he wanted to make a memorable statement, and he was on his deathbed!

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  2. Jimmy Jack

    Ya, it’s always sad when someone dies, but I have been trying to think of something Layton did to change my life and I am coming up with nadda. Why do politicians get an inflated send off? Most people work hard and do many things to make the world better. Is accusing Canadian soldiers of war crimes make him a great Canadian? I have no doubt that if Layton ever became PM, every last dollar in my wallet would have gone to pay for a vastly expanded government.

    Christie Blatchford was spot on.

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    1. Fagstein Post author

      I have been trying to think of something Layton did to change my life and I am coming up with nadda.

      Layton had a substantial effect on the 2005 federal budget under the Liberal minority government (so much so that Layton referred to it as the “first NDP budget”). Negotiations in minority governments under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives also led to compromises in exchange for NDP votes. It may not have had a huge impact on your daily life, but much of what the federal government does doesn’t really affect people in a noticeable way.

      Why do politicians get an inflated send off?

      Because they’re celebrities, and celebrities are not normal.

      I have no doubt that if Layton ever became PM, every last dollar in my wallet would have gone to pay for a vastly expanded government.

      I don’t recall the NDP having a 100% tax rate in their platform anywhere. In fact, their policy was to increase the corporate rate a few points, but not the personal income tax rates. That might not have been enough to pay for their promised spending increases, but criticism of a hypothetical NDP budget doesn’t have to descend into hyperbole.

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      1. Jimmy Jack

        So, what you are saying is he did his job? The one he was very well paid in salary, pension and expenses?

        Hyperbole? Try reading your newspaper if want hyperbole. How come the Gazette hasn’t printed any of the Twitter’s that lamented it wasn’t Harper that died? That not news? Doesn’t fit the “love in” narrative does it?

        http://mooseandsquirrel.ca/2011/08/22/13:28/rip-jack-layton-if-your-supporters-will-let-you/

        Whats next? rename Yonge Street to Jack Layton Boulevard? Rename Hudson, Layton?

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        1. Fagstein Post author

          So, what you are saying is he did his job? The one he was very well paid in salary, pension and expenses?

          Yes.

          How come the Gazette hasn’t printed any of the Twitter’s that lamented it wasn’t Harper that died? That not news? Doesn’t fit the “love in” narrative does it?

          Hateful things are said on the Internet all the time from people all over the political spectrum. I don’t speak for The Gazette, but I don’t think some anonymous person wishing for the prime minister’s death is automatically news.

          Whats next? rename Yonge Street to Jack Layton Boulevard? Rename Hudson, Layton?

          Some people are calling for renaming Highway 401 (the most congested road in all of Canada) or Sherbrooke St. in Montreal, which I think is ridiculous.

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          1. Jimmy Jack

            Good luck with that. I can just see the optics of removing “Highway of Heroes” from the Trenton – Toronto portion of the 401 to name it after Layton. You think veterans and current military would put up with that? Besides it’s already the “MacDonald-Cartier Freeway” Named after a couple of guys of some more historical importance that Jack.

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  3. Nancy

    I have to agree with Christie on this one (and I don’t always agree with her). I just have a very strong antipathy toward people out-weeping one another in public. Let’s face it, in a week Jack Layton will be forgotten and his message of love and optimism will be lining bird cages. That’s not his fault, it’s just the way people are. So Christie didn’t jump on the bandwagon. Good for her.

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  4. AlexH

    I can only hope they give an equally impressive and teary goodbye to Ed Broadbent when he passes in 30 or 40 years (damn, he keeps going strong!)

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  5. Fassero

    Broadbent? Heck, they didn’t give squat relatively speaking to David Lewis and I’d say even he accomplished more than Layton. Mr. Layton’s take on the 2005 Liberal budget pales to Lewis who basically forced Trudeau into heavily socialistic budgets and programs in the first half of the 70’s while he had the so-called “balance of power” (never mind the all-too-many Quebecers these days who obviously forgot Lewis’ opposition to the implementation of the War Measures Act in ’69, which went against the Ottawa tide.)

    And, quite frankly, this “would be PM” whitewash of history is pretty silly. The same media that has been in a week-long contest of out-weeping each other were often the same people whom in some cases days earlier were ruminating about Layton’s success as some kind of one-term blip. Heck, he got about no credence during the election campaign until, debateably, the final weekend (outside of Gilles Duceppe who deemed him a pretty serious threat after Layton really caught the eyes of the Quebecois during his first campaign appearance on “Tout le Monde en Parle”.)

    Layton’s great accomplishments were taking that election to pretty much wipe the BQ off the political map and perhaps finally getting the federal Liberals to realize that their “party of entitlement” logic needs a serious rethink. For that, Canadians from coast-to-coast owe their gratitude. Even so, I think Blatchford did a fantastic job. In fact, I’d argue she showed restraint by not lampooning some of the candidates he put up for election (some of whom won), his extremely autocratic leadership of the party that the same media often castigate Stephen Harper about with his party, and the rather handsomely taxpayer-funded expense accounts he (and his wife for that matter) ran up on an annual basis.

    I’ll disagree with Barbara Kay on the merits of a state funeral (there was no protocol here – Laurier was the only opposition leader ever afforded one but that was after he was Prime Minister for 15 years. Harper made the right – even if political poll-friendly – call.) And I have to actually even laugh at all the grief outpouring in Toronto where, outside of his district, Layton was often lambasted (never mind his failed mayoral campaign there where he couldn’t even beat good ‘ole “Babs” Hall). Yes, cancer sucks especially when it takes the life of a guy who transformed himself into a vegan and kept himself in good physical shape (and we’ll whitewash all his years as a chain-smoker too). But seriously – the degree of spectacle to which he’s being eulogized only confirms that way too many in the media and in assorted walks of life are excessively over-medicated.

    Would be PM? That is to laugh. Since his electoral “success” can almost entirely be summed up in one word (“Quebec”), chances are just as good he would have gone down in flames in the next election, much like – well, whadda you know? – Lewis.

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