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NDP leader Jack Layton dead at 61; passes away "peacefully" at home surrounded by family

Charismatic leader lifted party to official opposition status after campaigning through cancer, hip surgery.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Federal NDP leader Jack Layton passed away at age 61 after a second bout of cancer.

He was surrounded by his wife, NDP MP Olivia Chow and other family and friends, and died “peacefully at his home,” according to a statement issued by his wife and children Monday. 

The popular politician, known as led the NDP into Official Opposition status during the federal elections in May, and had named interim leader Nycole Turmel before going on temporary leave to battle cancer. 

Known as "Le Bon Jack" in Quebec, his party won a majority of seats in the province traditionally dominated by the Bloc Quebecois. He had campaigned for issues such as homelessness and AIDS, and played an important role in the Canadian government's official apology to aboriginal survivors of residential schools in 2008. 

For a timeline of his political career, click here

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