There will be a state funeral for Jack Layton in Toronto this Saturday, party officials confirmed. The funeral, which will be open to the public, will be held at 2 p.m. ET at Roy Thomson Hall. State funerals are automatically given to current and former governors general and prime ministers, and to sitting cabinet ministers. However, prime ministers are able to extend the honour to other “eminent Canadians,” said Dmitri Soudas, spokesperson for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Soudas said Harper made the offer to Layton’s wife on Monday, and she accepted. Layton died early Monday morning less than a month after announcing he had developed a second form of cancer. The late NDP leader had already been diagnosed with prostate cancer. NDP constituency offices across the country are allowing the public to sign books of condolence this week, prior to Saturday’s funeral. Books will also be available at Toronto City Hall and on Parliament Hill. The NDP is also accepting donations in Layton’s memory to the Broadbent Institute, a social democratic think tank affiliated with the NDP.
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