Leadership : Jack Layton

by Vishnuka Sivapoologasundaram

About Jack Layton

John Gilbert "Jack" Layton was the former leader of the NDP ( New Democratic Party ). Jack Layton was born in Montreal on July 18, 1950. He came from a long line of political enthusiasts, dating back to his great grand-uncle, who was a Father of Confederation and his grandfather Gilbert Layton, who was a member of Quebec's Legislative Assembly in 1936 as a member of the "Union Nationalle". Once Jack reached high school, it was

apparent that he had picked up a few tips and tricks from his family, as he was elected head of the student council and school president. This was the start to a long career in

government and politics.

A little about his political life

From 1969-1975 he was also attended McGill University and studied political science.


In 1970, Jack Layton began his career in parliamen by joining the Youth Parliament in Quebec as the premier. After graduating from McGill, he moved with his wife to Toronto where he attended York University, and obtained his master's degree in political

science. In 1971, he joined the New Democratic Party, as an active member.


In 1974, Jack became a professor a York University, teaching political science for the next 9 years. During that time, Jack Layton began working with a few politicians such as John Sewell. Jack Layton began to take interest in some political issues such as poverty and homelessness, affordable housing and responsible development.


After Jack Layton that he left York University to join the Toronto City Council.


~fast forwarding~


From the late 80's until the early 90's, Jack Layton tired hard to become the Mayor of Toronto. He worked with NDP members from Toronto. Unfortunatly, he lost against the June Rowlands.

Quitting is leading too

One of Nelson Mandela's 8 lessons of Leadership is : Quitting is leading too.

He ones said that moving on from failure is alright! You have to try once again and that is what Jack Layton did.



After the failed election for mayor Jack Layton did not stop. From 1994 and 2003 when he was elected head of the NDP, Jack Layton gained an interest in the Eco-friendly field. He founded a group named the "Green Catalyst Group Inc.", which specialized in creating green products and raising awareness about the environment. This caught the attention of the public.

Appearances matter -- and remember to smile

Another one of Nelson Mandela's 8 lessons of Leadership is : Appearances matter -- and remember to smile. This quote tells you that whatever is going on in your life as a leader you need to smile and not let your problem affect other people.


On Feb,5th 2010 Jack Layton announces that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. After he made the announcement he still carried on living his daily lifestyle and smiled.


Even at his last moments, he wrote and inspirational letter to his fellow Canadians.

My favorite quote from his letter is:


"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."

Jack Layton's letter

Inspirational Traits and Work


  • He is a Passionate and Optimistic
  • He is also a social activist
  • Encourages the Youth to follow their dreams
  • White Ribbon Campaign ( violence against women)
  • Does charity work
  • Tries to get better pensions for seniors and child benefits
  • Wants to build homeless shelters and make housing affordable
  • Ways to live eco-friendly
  • Respects all cultures and Reglions

These are just some things that he wanted to do to make Canada a better for everyone to live in.

Work Citation

News, Cbc. "Jack Layton: A Timeline of His Accomplishments - Canada - CBC News." http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/08/22/f-jack-layton-timeline.htm


Ndp, Jack Layton. "Jack Layton (1950-2011)." http://www.ndp.ca/jacklayton


http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/jack-layton/