State Funeral of Jack Layton – August 27, 2011 at ROY THOMSON HALL

State Funeral of Jack Layton

August 26, 2011

Their Excellencies to Attend State funeral for the Honourable Jack Layton

OTTAWA—Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston will attend the State funeral for the Honourable Jack Layton, leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. The ceremony will take place at Roy Thomson Hall, in Toronto, on Saturday, August 27, 2011, at 2 p.m.





On February 5, 2010, Layton announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He noted that his father Robert Layton had suffered from the same type of cancer 17 years before and recovered from it. His wife, Olivia Chow, had also battled thyroid cancer a few years before. He vowed to beat the cancer and said it would not interrupt his duties as member of Parliament or as leader of the NDP.

Following the 2011 federal election, a frail-looking, gaunt and hoarse-sounding Layton announced on July 25, 2011, that he would be taking a temporary leave from his post to fight an unspecified, newly diagnosed cancer. He was hoping to return as leader of the NDP upon the resumption of the House of Commons on September 19, 2011. Layton recommended that NDP caucus chair Nycole Turmel serve as interim leader during his leave of absence.

Jack Layton died at 4:45 am ET on August 22, 2011, at his home in Toronto.

Upon hearing the news, the governor general, David Johnston,[140] Prime Minister Stephen Harper, NDP deputy leader Libby Davies, and United States Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson issued statements praising Layton and mourning his loss. Layton’s family released an open letter, written by Layton two days before his death. In it, he expressed his wishes regarding the NDP’s leadership in the event of his death, and addressed various segments of the Canadian population, concluding: “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.”

Layton was accorded a state funeral by the Governor General-in-Council, which is taking place between August 25 and 27, 2011, with the final memorial at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. He will be cremated following the funeral; his ashes will later be interred in Toronto.

For more information about the State funeral for the Honourable Jack Layton, please contact the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Media information:

Marie-Ève Létourneau
Rideau Hall Press Office
[email protected]

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
[email protected]

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