Topic: Jack Layton

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John Gilbert "Jack" Layton, PC (July 18, 1950 – August 22, 2011) was a Canadian social democratic politician and the Leader of the Official Opposition. He was the leader of the New Democratic Party from 2003 to 2011, and previously sat on Toronto City Council, serving at times during that period as acting mayor and deputy mayor of Toronto. He was the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Toronto—Danforth from 2004 until his death.

The son of a Progressive Conservative cabinet minister, Layton was raised in Hudson, Quebec. He rose to prominence in Toronto municipal politics where he was one of the most prominent left-wing voices on city and Metropolitan Toronto councils, and was also a Board member for the Toronto Port Authority. In 1991, he ran for mayor, but lost to June Rowlands. Returning to council he rose to become head of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. In 2003, he was elected head of the NDP on the first ballot of the convention. Under his leadership, the NDP considerably increased their support, almost doubling the party's popular vote in the 2004 election, though vote splitting with the Liberals limited their gain in seats. Layton's NDP held balance of power in Paul Martin's minority government, where in May 2005 the NDP supported the Liberal budget in exchange for major amendments, in what was promoted as Canada's "First NDP budget". In November of that year, Layton worked with other opposition parties in bringing down the Liberal government over the findings of the Gomery Commission.

The NDP saw further gains in the 2006 and 2008 elections, in which the party won more seats than it had since its 1980s peak. The NDP's tally of 37 MPs under Layton in the 2008 election was just six seats short of the party's previous all-time high under Ed Broadbent. In the 2011 election, Layton led the NDP to a historic total of 103 seats and formed the Official Opposition. The success of the NDP in the election was unprecedented, making Layton the most successful leader electorally in the party's history in terms of seats won.

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