Memorials for Jack Layton in BC

Jack Layton gave a rousing speech at the 2011 CLC Conference

Jack Layton’s Service
Join Together to Watch and Remember

Vancouver Canada Place Outdoor Video Screen
999 Canada Place (near waterfront skytrain)
10:00 am – Outdoor gathering
11:00 am – Watch Service on Outdoor Screen
Prince Rupert Ocean View Pub
950 1st Avenue West
Kitimat CAW Hall
233 Enterprise Ave
Terrace Community Room – Skeena Mall
4741 Lakelse Avenue
Smithers Alpenhorn Pub
1261 Main Street
Courtenay Florence Filberg Conference Hall
411 Anderton Ave
Nanaimo Diana Krall Plaza
90 Commercial St.
Victoria First Metropolitan United Church
932 Balmoral Rd.
Memorials are planned in many other BC Communities. Contact your local NDP for details.
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Jack Layton: 1950 – 2011

Yes We Can, Jack!

A Fighter to the End, You Always Showed Us the Way.

Our Jack Layton: Always Remembered With Love and Admiration

It is with the greatest sadness that I have heard of the passing of Jack Layton, our great NDP leader. Jack, you have been and remain a great inspiration to so many. Including myself. For that, I thank you.

I had the opportunity to hear Jack speak at many conferences and meetings, and was always inspired by the great Love and passion that he brought to the stage of Politics. There were many who challenged him on those Politics and on his beliefs, but none could find fault with the integrity he brought to his position.

There are also a great many at all levels of Governance who would do well to emulate Brother Jack. We who remain must continue the work that Jack has led us to, and bring into reality just and honest Government at all levels.

I close with Jack’s own words to those who follow him: “Hope and optimism have defined my political career. … As my time in political life draws to a close, I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today.”

Thanks again for your leadership, and for giving so willingly of yourself. Go in Peace, my friend, until we meet again.

 – Stan Pickthall –

PS.  You can visit the NDP site online to leave condolences for Jack’s family – click the picture below: 





I Urge Everyone to take just Five Minutes to Express your Condolences online

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Jack Layton’s Final Message to Canadians

Written 2 days before his passing

August 20, 2011

Toronto, Ontario

Dear Friends,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.

Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.

I recommend that Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel continue her work as our interim leader until a permanent successor is elected.

I recommend the party hold a leadership vote as early as possible in the New Year, on approximately the same timelines as in 2003, so that our new leader has ample time to reconsolidate our team, renew our party and our program, and move forward towards the next election.

A few additional thoughts:

To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.

To the members of my party: we’ve done remarkable things together in the past eight years. It has been a privilege to lead the New Democratic Party and I am most grateful for your confidence, your support, and the endless hours of volunteer commitment you have devoted to our cause. There will be those who will try to persuade you to give up our cause. But that cause is much bigger than any one leader. Answer them by recommitting with energy and determination to our work. Remember our proud history of social justice, universal health care, public pensions and making sure no one is left behind. Let’s continue to move forward. Let’s demonstrate in everything we do in the four years before us that we are ready to serve our beloved Canada as its next government.

To the members of our parliamentary caucus: I have been privileged to work with each and every one of you. Our caucus meetings were always the highlight of my week. It has been my role to ask a great deal from you. And now I am going to do so again. Canadians will be closely watching you in the months to come. Colleagues, I know you will make the tens of thousands of members of our party proud of you by demonstrating the same seamless teamwork and solidarity that has earned us the confidence of millions of Canadians in the recent election.

To my fellow Quebecers: On May 2nd, you made an historic decision. You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal government with something better was by working together in partnership with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the right decision right through to the next election, when we will succeed, together. You have elected a superb team of New Democrats to Parliament. They are going to be doing remarkable things in the years to come to make this country better for us all.

To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.

And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,

Jack Layton


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Jack Layton’s Passing


Jack Layton gave a rousing speech at the 2011 CLC Conference

The Machinists Union mourns the passing of Jack Layton. Jack was Leader of Canada’s New Democrats and of Canada’s Official Opposition. He was 61 years old.

Jack’s vision and his tireless energy transformed the NDP into Canada’s official
opposition. He was someone who believed in social democracy and spent his whole life bringing that message to Canadians.

It is a sad day for Canadians and democracy that this great leader has passed away just as he was reaching his peak. Jack launched the NDP into Canada’s official opposition for the first time in its history after the May 2011 general elections. The dream of forming Canada’s governing party falls to those who follow in his footsteps.

Jack supported the Machinists Union in our many struggles and was always available to speak to us when we needed him.

The Machinists Union in Canada and the officers, staff and members send our deepest condolences and our strength to Olivia and Jack’s family. Jack will be missed by all.

Dave Ritchie
General Vice President IAMAW Canada

Please visit
Jack Layton’s final message to Canadians

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Canadian Labour Congress Constitutional Convention 2011

Over 2,000 Union Delegates Met At Canada Place In Vancouver For the Week of May 9-13

Delegates concentrated on several important areas of business:

  1. Introducing new mechanisms to resolve inter-Union raiding
  2. Restructuring of the CLC Executive to make it more accessible for smaller Unions 
  3. Preparing for the Harper government’s attacks on workers and their families
  4. Promoting improvement to Pensions for all Canadians

Delegates approved amendments to the Constitution creating a new mechanism to mediate disputes between Unions over raiding of members. Previously, all disputes were dealt with by the President and Executive Council. This led to the preception of bias towards the larger Unions. Now an independent Umpire will mediate disputes. Another problem was Union Presidents blaming ‘rogue’ locals for raiding. The ranking Union officer for each of teh 52 affiliate Unions will swear to “not attempt to recruit their [other Union’s] members”. 

The Executive will be replaced as the governing body of the CLC by the Canadian Council which has representation from:

  • all 52 affilliate Unions,
  • 12 territorial and provincial Federations of Labour,
  • 10 women from the largest public and provate sector unions,
  • 2 representatives of workers of ‘colour’,
  • 1 representative of Aborignal workers,
  • 1 resprestnative of disabled workers,
  • 1 represetative of GLBT,
  • 1 young worker representative,
  • 1 representative of retired workers

as well as the CLC President, Secretary-Treasurer, and 2 Vice Presidents

Delegates are heartened by the electoral success of the New Democrats in forming the official oppostion for the first time. It is as strong an opposition as any in Canada’s history. But the joy inthe success of the friends of labour is tempered by the Harper majority government and his undisclosed policies to be implelments to the detrimet of workers in Canada.
Jack Layton gave a rousing speech to the thunderous applause of the delegates.

The CLC policy initiative to improve pensions has nationwide appeal. The banks and Harper are trying to divert this need to create yet another fund for banks to manage and so profit from the basic needs of workers. The CLC will contimue this high profile campaign, looking to enroll the support of Provincial Governments and Canadian from sea to sea to sea.

Panel discussions , with moderators such as Wendy Mesley and Ina Hanomansing of CBC, deal with the topics such as “What Derailed the Post-War Social Contract?”, “The Silent Majority: Starting the Conversation” and “The Solution is Political: Moving to Political Change”. expert panelists gave their opinions and fielded questions from the floor.

Evening sessions included a showing of the Academy Award winning documentary “Inside Job”. The director, Charles Ferguson, spoke at the main session and answered questions before the screening. An International Forum gave delegates a chance to interact with labour leaders from Tunisia, Kenya, Bangledesh, and Columbia.

Dance and music acts started each morning and afternoon session, highlighting the diversity of Canadian culture. Sek dancers, native dancers, a jazz band, Japanese drummers and a blues band were among the highlights.

The last day was taken up with workshops on using the new social media and pension security.

The IAM was represented by 31 delegates from across Canada. The Convention was a great success and every delegate left enthused and ready to face resist the anti-worker agenda of the Harper Government.

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