EXPIRED: 08/22/11 – Jack Layton, 61, got married – and entered politics – at the age of 19. Although he lost a bid for Toronto’s mayor back in ’91, he was one of Canada’s most prominent – and controversial – left-wing politicians. He biked to work but slammed into a letter box while riding illegally on a sidewalk. He authored a book on homelessness but lived in federally subsidized housing, despite having an income of $120k. He opposed the popular SkyDome project, advocated for AIDS patients rights, and argued that Toronto’s bid for the 1996 Summer Olympics was stupid.
In ‘04, he recommended getting rid of the Clarity Act, the very thing that keeps Quebec in Canada. He promised, in French, to recognize any declaration of independence by Quebec. The Quebecois loved him.
A champion of universal health care, the Clean Air Act, native Indian rights and the rights of conscientious objectors to the Iraq war, Layton even busked on a busy street corner to raise awareness for the AIDS crisis in Africa.
Battling prostate cancer since 2010, he took time off in July hoping to return to work in September. It didn’t happen. Canada’s loss.