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Calgarians react to Jack Layton's passing
Published Monday, August 22, 2011 4:53PM MDT
While Jack Layton's New Democrats did not win many seats in Alberta, Layton earned the respect of many in our province.
Nicholas Methot is working in Calgary for the summer. The McGill student, enrolled in economics and political science, says Jack Layton played a role in his career choice.
Methot had the opportunity to hear Layton speak in person and found the experience inspirational. He even had a chance to meet the NDP leader on Parliament Hill.
"I was in this big group of people and we all mobbed Jack Layton," says Methot. "He sat there for 20 minutes, and he was obviously going to a caucus meeting or something, and he shook our hands, and we took pictures, and he didn't complain once until it was absolutely the bare minimum when he had to go, and he was smiling the entire time."
Methot says when Jack Layton spoke it felt as if he was speaking to individuals rather than crowds.
"Whether it's here in Canada, or around the world, individual people like Jack Layton can really inspire entire generations to do something."
Many Calgarians are saddened by his passing.
"He had so much to offer," says Gerry Daly. "I was so thrilled for him and his party. To not be able to enjoy the fruits of his labours, it's just so sad."
Cori Bowhay believes Jack Layton's passing will have a large impact on federal politics.
"He did so much for the party," says Bowhay. "I think it's going to be a huge shift in Canadian politics. They're going to have to find someone to take over the leadership, and someone who was such a strong leader like he was."
Political scientist Duane Bratt had the chance to meet Layton at a Stampede breakfast.
"There are politicians that are cold, and ones that know your name, but are very back slapping and phony," says Bratt. "Jack Layton would know your name and back slap, but it would never come across as phony. It became a part of his identity.
"He was a very optimistic soul."