Jack Layton

Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada
Born Jul 18, 1950

John Gilbert "Jack" Layton, PC was a Canadian social democratic politician and Leader of the Official Opposition. He was leader of the New Democratic Party from 2003 to 2011, and previously sat on Toronto City Council, occasionally holding the title of "Acting Mayor" or "Deputy Mayor" of Toronto during his tenure as city councillor. He was the Member of Parliament for Toronto—Danforth from 2004 until his death.… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Jack Layton.

  • The Lesson From Alberta: It’s Important To Know Who You Are
    iPolitics - May 08, 2015
  • Olivia Chow's 'my Journey' An Exhausting Attempt At Legacy Building National Post
    Google News - Jan 17, 2014
  • Justin Trudeau's Liberals Take Comfortable Lead In Poll Toronto Sun
    Google News - Nov 30, 2013
  • Full Pundit: What Would Jack Layton Do?
    Natiobak Post - Sep 18, 2013


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Jack Layton.


1950 Birth Born on July 18, 1950.


1969 18 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1969–70, he was the Prime Minister of the Quebec Youth Parliament. … Read More
1970 19 Years Old In 1970, the family moved to Toronto where Layton graduated the following year from York University with a Master of Arts in political science; and later in 1983, he completed his Doctor of Philosophy in political science at York.


1974 23 Years Old In 1974, Layton became a professor at Ryerson Polytechincal Institute (now Ryerson University). … Read More


1982 - 1984 3 More Events
1985 34 Years Old In 1985, he moved to the Metropolitan Toronto council, in the first direct elections for members of that body.
1988 37 Years Old 1 More Event
In the 1988 municipal elections, Layton traded places with city council ally Dale Martin, with Martin going to Metro and Layton returning to Toronto City Council. … Read More
1990 39 Years Old 1 More Event
Layton and Chow were also the subject of some dispute when a June 14, 1990, Toronto Star article by Tom Kerr accused them of unfairly living in a housing cooperative subsidized by the federal government, despite their high income. … Read More


Originally known for coming to council meetings in blue jeans with unkempt hair, Layton worked to change his image to run for mayor in the 1991 civic election. … Read More
1993 - 1994 2 More Events
1997 46 Years Old Federally, he ran again in the 1997 election, this time in the neighbouring riding of Toronto—Danforth, but lost to incumbent Dennis Mills by a wide margin.
1999 48 Years Old In June 1999, as chair of Toronto's environmental task force, the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, he was instrumental in the preliminary phases of the WindShare wind power cooperative in Toronto through the Toronto Renewable Energy Co-operative.


…  He was leader of the New Democratic Party from 2003 to 2011, and previously sat on Toronto City Council, occasionally holding the title of acting mayor or deputy mayor of Toronto during his tenure as city councillor.
Layton did not seek election to the House of Commons by running in a by-election, as is the tradition among new party leaders without a seat. Instead, he waited until the 2004 federal election to contest the riding of Toronto—Danforth against Liberal Dennis Mills. … Read More
2005 54 Years Old In mid-November 2005, when Liberal support dropped after the Gomery Commission delivered its first report, Layton offered the Prime Minister several conditions in return for the NDP's continued support, most notably on the issue of privatization of health care in Canada, where Layton wanted strict provisions for controlling public spending on private health care delivery, saying that without "significant action" on the issue, "Mr. Martin can't count on our support." … Read More
The NDP saw further gains in the 2006 and 2008 elections, in which the party elected 29 and 37 MPs, respectively.
On June 3, 2008, Layton voted to implement a program which would "allow conscientious objectors... to a war not sanctioned by the United Nations... to... remain in Canada " Layton led the NDP to be instrumental in taking action on the peace issue of Canada and Iraq War resisters.
On January 28, 2009, the Liberals agreed to support the Conservative budget with an amendment, ending the possibility of the coalition, so Layton said "Today we have learned that you can't trust Mr. Ignatieff to oppose Mr. Harper. … Read More
2010 59 Years Old Layton's son, Mike was elected to Toronto City Council in the 2010 city council election. … Read More


In the 2011 election Layton led the NDP to the most successful result in the party's history, winning 103 seats—enough to form Canada's Official Opposition. … Read More
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