Hope and Optimism, Jack

Looking gaunt and tired, federal NDP leader Jack Layton stepped aside yesterday to focus on a health battle against a new diagnosis of cancer.

I’ve shared my thoughts on Jack before. If not for his hardline socialist values he would make a damn fine Prime Minister. I’d rather deal with a guy who may or may not have been to a rub-and-tug parlour as it was being raided than a guy who creates a policy of secrecy from the media, like Stephen Harper. But I digress.

close-up of Jack Layton

A year ago Jack told us he was battling prostate cancer. Yesterday he said his prognosis on that front was looking very good and that his weight loss was due to treatment and to a radical change in his diet. But now he’s got another “non-prostate” cancer, the nature of which he doesn’t want to disclose, and we should give him that privacy. He’s taking time off to undergo treatment and spend time with his family.

Here’s a bit of what Jack had to say in his prepared statement yesterday. Politics aside, I think we all want these things. I wish him well and hope he’s back to be a worthy foe in parliament in September.

“If I’ve tried to bring anything to federal politics, it’s the idea that hope and optimism should be at their heart. We can look after each other better than we do today. We can have a fiscally responsible government. We can have a strong economy with greater equality in our society, greater equality that’s so important in days when we see inequality growing. A clean environment. We can accomplish these things. We can be a force for peace in the world.”