We all knew Jack had been battling prostate cancer for about the last 18 months or so and then he had hip surgery early in the spring but yesterday was the bomb shell. Looking very thin and frail, voice weak and raspy, he announced he was taking a leave of absence to focus on the lastest fight a new cancer.
It was shock to all of us even Jack's MPs were caught off guard. PM Stephen Harper expressed his feelings about Jack Layton's stunning news saying,
"I was deeply saddened today to hear that Jack Layton is temporarily leaving his post as leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition and leader of the New Democratic Party.
"Mr. Layton is passionate about his convictions and the future of our great country. I would like to wish Jack a successful recovery so he can quickly return to his post.
"I salute the courage Mr. Layton continues to show in his fight against cancer, a fight that more and more Canadians are winning. We are all heartened by Jack's strength and tireless determination, which with Mr. Layton will never be in short supply.
"On behalf of Laureen and myself, and on behalf of our entire Conservative caucus, I would like to offer our heartfelt support to Jack, Olivia and their family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time."