This just in -

This just in


The NDP has announced that Jack Layton will make an “announcement about his personal status and his immediate future as NDP leader” at 2pm in Toronto.

He will apparently not be resigning. But his announcement will have something to do with his health.

CBC now reports that Layton will announce he has prostate cancer.

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This just in

  1. Dammit, Jack, how dare you upstage Wherry's chat!

    • On the bright side, it'll give us something to talk about.

    • Hmm, the politician gets the first name address, and the journalist gets the last name without the "Mister" title. I wonder how a linguist-wonk might interpret that.

      • "Wherry" is Mr. Wherry's code name. "Jack's" departure (?) from the national scene will liberate the name for us humble low-profile Jacks, so that we're not constantly doing double-takes as the informal-minded hoi polloi go on about how Jack's 'stache is looking especially bushy today and you have to do a quick lip-grab just to confirm you're not in the Twilight Zone.

        • For what it's worth, I always assume a news report about "Jack" is about you, unless I see the word Layton or unless the name is accompanied by an exlamation mark: Jack!

        • One fewer carved pumpkin for Harper's walkway.

  2. Does this mean he's quitting? I hope not, Layton is decent leader.

    Is there any other reason why he's talking about 'his immediate future as NDP leader'? Maybe Layotn's going to do Clement-like press conference and confirm that he's working with Canadians as leader and he likes it.

    • Whoa, too much content, let's just leave it at "working with Canadians."

    • maybe he's going to run for mayor of T.O. – a new set of leftist policies to fix the old ones.

    • Maybe Layotn's going to do Clement-like press conference and confirm that he's working with Canadians as leader and he likes it.

      Maybe he is going to announce he's working on Canadians and they don't like it.

  3. So, Jack is retiring, eh? It might be enough to shift the current political stalemate if the NDP vote were to implode somewhat. I don’t care for his smarminess myself, but it seems effective with a certain demographic.

  4. If he quits, will there be a spring election? Could this be the excuse the NDP need to support the government?

  5. Jack is throwing himself under the bus? Very ecological.

  6. Is he running for mayor? There hasn't been any of the kind of rumours normally leading up to such an announcement.

    • But what about Giambrone? He's the former NDP President, seems odd that Layton would run against him seeing as they would be trying to gain the support and money from the same crowd.

  7. Can Jack still run for Mayor of Toronto? Or is it too late.

    Seems silly to confirm you are staying, but it has happened before.

  8. Perhaps he has been diagnosed with a serious health condition and needs to put all his energy into combatting that, and thus cannot continue to serve as NDP leader? Or, he's gotta admit he's had an affair? Or, he's coming out? Or, someone in his family is ill and he has to support them? Or, he's just damn tired of it all and wants to switch gears?

    • Bob Fife was just on CTV News Channel, saying Layton would likely not be resigning, but will be taking some time off to have back problems treated. I guess we'll see.

      • "but will be taking some time off to have back problems treated."

        Seriously? That's even more boring than 'running for mayor' reason.

        • Unless you spice it up with "…and will be flying to an undisclosed location in the US for treatment".

      • Seems like something along these lines. Party sources confirm he is not resigning – and all the mention of announcement about "immediate" future suggests a short term leave for some reason.

        • Well, now that it's been disclosed, I have nothing but the sincerest of hopes my MPP gets better soon, and sympathy for him and his fam. And this is of course a timely reminder to all of us xy's TO GET OUR PROSTATES EXAMINED REGULARLY FOR CANCER. And to regulate our diets (less meat!) and get exercise. I'm gonna try to quit smoking in solidarity with Jack.

  9. And while we're speculating based on nothing at all.. why not a merger.. with the Greens.

    • I was just trying to balance the quitting for political reasons with quitting for very personal reasons. I hope he and his family are in good health, and it isn't anything like that. I would prefer it to be a scandalous intern or a run at mayor (although he'd have to be goshdarn crazy on backpain meds to try that).

      Maybe he's being appointed Senator?

  10. Good guess. Sounds reasonable to me but who knows.

    I hope he's quitting for something scandalous with interns or somesuch but that rarely happens here so it will probably be something boring like running for mayor.

    • Wells rule … will be the least interesting

      • agreed.

        • Wells rules wins again!

          I am hearing it's a leave of absence and it's over health issues.

  11. If Jack departs and Mulcair wins leadership I would give serious consideration to support now and then on a probationary basis as I like Thomas his take on CPAC is always spot on and the guy has a sense of humour as well.

  12. I am sure he´s coming out of the closet…

  13. I really hope he doesn't leave. It will make it awfully hard for the NDP to vote for an election if they don't have a leader. Hopefully he can stay in for another year or so at least.

    He's done a very good job, taking the NDP from 12 seats to 37 and exerting fairly strong influence on policy, particularly under the Martin government. There's several MPs capable of taking over the job if he does decide to go, though – Peter Stoffer generally gets good reviews, although he has to get rid of that mustache.

    • I disagree. I think Jack has taken the NDP about as far as he can. He did a good job rescuing them from the political wilderness that his predecessors led them to but his cliches are simple and tiresome (if I hear about one more kitchen table…), and I don't think he really has anything new to say. It's time to let Mulcair or someone else steer the ship.

      He missed his opportunity in the last election to capitalize on the weakest Liberal leader since John Turner by pretending he was going to be PM. He had a shot (a longshot of course, but still a shot) at being opposition leader but blew it by losing focus.

      • I don't believe he's going, but if he was, the members have a tradition of picking someone other than the obvious choice. Mulcair wouldn't be a shoe-in. (shoo in?)

        • I think that Dewar (if he wants the job) has a stronger chance than Mulcair considering the NDP base.

          That being said, no need for all this speculation since Layton is not stepping down.

  14. Layton and Baird starting new political party?

    • The Spittle & Stache party

      • I can't believe I missed this one…

        The Spittle and Moustache Party, which would of course be the S&M Party.

        • "The Spittle and Moustache Party, which would of course be the S&M Party."


    • I never saw that coming but it will make a cute Christmas card picture.

  15. I'm not sure that "Smarmy Bastards" would fly well with the focus groups.

  16. He's been approached by the Toronto Maple Leafs and is leaving politics to take up a spot on their roster. Knowing this is the only thing that could really send Stephen Harper into a never ending spiral of depression, Jack had to jump at the chance.

  17. and in a twist so is Olivia!

  18. It's the moustache. He is going to shave it off.

  19. He's spent so much time talking about the kitchen table that Rona is hiring him as their new national spokeman.

    • Ambrose or Hardware?

  20. Karl Belanger, Layton's press secretary, said in an e-mail to Canwest News Service that Layton is not stepping down. He also said he was not running for Toronto mayor.

  21. I am hearing from some that he is taking a "leave of absence" because of "health issues".

    I'm done making jokes about Jack. (At least today.)

    If it's his back, I can sympathize. If it's something else, all the best to him.

  22. Coalition announcement?…

    Although the press conference would have to include Ignatieff, so not likely.

  23. Hey! The thumbs have colours….sweet.

    • first you notice the color on the thumbs! … then you start to hear the little voices in your head …. then the voice build up to crescendo .. screams inside the ol noggin – shoot them all and let god sort it out! – next stop praise god and pass the ammunition!

      • That's a very troubling sequence of events, very troubling indeed….I'm not looking forward to it at all.

        From your own experience can you tell me about how long I have until I reach the last phase? ;-)

        • you are well into the terminal part now and the efficacy of modern pharmaceuticals are of little avail there is only one solution and you won't like it all – you have to thumb up all neo-con posts on web forums .. I know I know you don't think you can manage it … but … speaking from personal experience it is the only therapeutic model that has any success – however the little voices only get quieter only to come roaring back – the only real cure is to sign up with the neo-cons and vote for harper – ala a fate worse than death – I think not~!

  24. Mustache reconstruction surgery. It's mainly been held together by dyed thermosetting resins for years

  25. I hope for the best for Mr. Layton if he is resigning.

  26. Toronto Star says he's "seriously ill". While I can't stand the guy, I hope he recovers from whatever his illness is. Now… the question will be whether those who went on the war path (essentially the loony left) because Danny Williams went to the US for heart surgery and therefore didn't use the Canadian health care system, will insist that Layton remain in Canada for whatever his treatment should be.

    • casual observer, i'm embarrassed for you.

    • I don't give a damn what the loony left has to say. If he is seriously ill, he has my best wishes and he should seek the best help from wherever he can find it.

  27. PolJunkie I don't know you therefore I don't care. That said, everyone went ape#$% because Danny Williams went to the US and didn't use Canadian health care, it's a fair observation given that left wing whack jobs are painting Williams as a hypocrite because he opted to head to the US.

    • Do you ever think before you post? If "everyone" went ape…. logic would indicate that must include right wing whack jobs. Your meds must need adjusting.

      • Only meds available in our fine Canadian health care system.

    • So common for some who are self "right"chous to label anyone else a "left wing whack job". Can't you do better than that??

  28. If Prostate Cancer it is a serious but "cureable" thing. Thats the piece I couldnt figure out, serious enough to step down but not a permanent move.

    Anyway, whats important is he gets treatment and gets better.

    • I had a very fit friend, younger than Layton, who had to take a lot of time to get better. Need to take care of yourself and reduce your stress, not just keep going, especially for poltical leaders who work a lot harder than most of us, whether we agree with their priorities or not.

      • Prostate cancer is one of those things that … a lot of times … allow you to live long
        enough that something else kills you first. In other cases metastases from a primary
        prostate sites can damage other, more vital , organs .. liver, bowel,lungs … and can
        have a poor prognosis. I can only wish him well.

  29. Prostate cancer according to the Star

  30. I have always thought Layton would make a great opposition leader, he is a good politician, his downfall is that he takes it personally and when you do that you tend to make a lot mistakes…. Too bad Gary Doer is not available, he is great, I voted for him when I lived in Winnipeg even though I wasn't NDP. Best wishes to him…

  31. Get well Mr. Layton.

  32. I am (reluctantly) one of Jack's constituants and do not particularly like him. That said I do respect him and anyone else who has the courage to publicly defend political beliefs and principals (this excludes stephen Harper who obviously has neither). I wish Jack a speedy recovery.

  33. How can he stay on as leader while going through chemo? It seems to me that he has to step down temporarily and make way for an interim leader (Libby Davies?)

    • You'd think wouldn't you, but at the same time I respect his courage for staying on the job and fighting through it. Although I can't imagine he'd want to try to fight an election campaign and chemo at the same time…an election has to be pretty grueling even on a healthy politician.

      Awful news. Get well soon Mr Layton.

  34. Interim leader would be Mulcair wouldn't it?

    All the best to Layton.

  35. Hey Jack! Y'all come back! Get well soon, bud.

  36. Wells wins!

    • Wells' first rule is genius because it is true 99.999999% of the time.

  37. Or the reverse.. it's going to shave him off and take control of the party.

  38. He has prostate cancer, he is not steping down…Best wishes to him!!!