‘Brian was the co-author of much of what Jack gave to all of us’


The text of a letter from Doris Layton, mother of Jack, that was sent to New Democrats today. Mrs. Layton endorsed Brian Topp last month.

Dear fellow New Democrats,

A value I instilled in Jack from an early age was to build his life on core principles, and his friendships on a shared commitment to justice. These are the family values Jack used to build a party, a caucus, and a winning team. Our party, our Official Opposition, is in some ways the house that Jack built, with our help, based on those shared values.

Always with an eye to social justice and improving Canada, Jack continually expanded that house, building each addition on the foundation of the last. From a caucus of 13, to 29 to 37 to 102, each victory was built on the last — convincing more Canadians of our principles through an ever-clearer message.

I have no doubt that Jack would agree our task now is more than securing the foundation of that house. Our job is to take the final steps towards government by growing our house. We will not do this by seeing our principles as a liability to hide or run away from, but as the backbone that will give us the strength and foundation to grow even larger.

As the senior woman in the Layton family, I’ve seen what it takes to be a good politician, a strong leader and a principled statesman. And like Jack, Brian Topp has what it takes.

I watched while Brian, working hand-and-glove with Jack, brilliantly orchestrated some of the best election campaigns this country has ever seen. I listened while Jack and Brian developed some of the clearest social policy ever brought to our party membership, and I lent my hand when Brian and Jack methodically build a team from Canada’s best and brightest.

Brian not only learned what Jack had to teach, but Brian was the co-author of much of what Jack gave to all of us.

Brian has not only won the confidence of many activists and leaders in our party, his team has been methodically reaching out and signing-up new members in many regions, communities and movements. From over 2,000 in Quebec, to 10,000 signed up in B.C, to thousands more recruited through unions like CEP, Steelworkers and ACTRA. Brian, as always, works through a team effort, and his team has been single-minded in signing up new members and building the party.

Jack always felt comfortable and confident during his election campaigns because he trusted Brian’s guiding hand. One thing Jack always said: “never underestimate, and never count-out Brian, he’ll bring us home to victory.” That was true then, and it’s true now.

Please join me in supporting Brian Topp as our next leader.

Doris Layton


‘Brian was the co-author of much of what Jack gave to all of us’

  1. Distasteful.

  2. Boy the party establishment want topp to win pretty badly, or at least to make sure Mulcair doesn’t.

    My only thought would be, if Brian is such a blue eyed boy then why haven’t those adoring members been more front and centre for him, sustaning him as the front runner? Perhaps they have and Brian hasn’t quite got the job done, or perhaps they haven’t for exactly the same reason? 

  3. This is getting pretty disgusting the way Topp keeps trotting out Layton’s mother. 

  4. Oh lord, I thought it couldn’t get more awkward before the weekend.  One thing I don’t understand is, why isn’t Topp running for Jack’s old seat?  Seems to me if he wants to ride on his coatails, this would be the obvious way to do it.  And now if he should win the leadership he won’t have a seat in the house so the opposition will continue to be without a leader.

  5. “Our party, our Official Opposition, is in some ways the house that Jack built, with our help, based on those shared values … I watched while Brian, working hand-and-glove with Jack …”

    Isaiah 40:31

    But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint