HOPE IS BETTER THAN FEAR reflects upon and looks forward on a number of issues that Jack Layton championed over the course of his extraordinary career as an activist, city councillor and federal politician, including homelessness, feminism, civic engagement, the environment and–very dear to his heart–the Native experience, which is why Random House of Canada is donating its net proceeds from the sale of this e-book to aboriginal youth initiatives, as designated by his widow, the MP Olivia Chow. Taking up the charge to inspire and challenge readers and tap into Jack’s energy, optimism and drive, contributors Tzeporah Berman, Jane Doe, Pierre-Luc Dusseault, David Miller, Rex Murphy and Steven Page, among others, pay tribute to Jack’s record and point out what we need to do next. With this book, we are both honouring his life and work and paying Jack forward.
Barely two decades ago the world’s experts in housing policy were giving Canada high marks for its progressive housing policies. Until recently, our own common understanding of homelessness had been limited to occasional wanderers, eccentrics, boozers or addicts. Yet, as a new century dawns, homelessness as we recognize it has changed and grown, offering painful reminders of the soup-kitchen lineups of the depression era.
Homelessness is a rapidly growing social problem. Measured in terms of displaced persons, the dimensions of the crisis rival those found during natural disasters such as the Quebec and Manitoba floods, or the great ice storm of ’98.
Today’s homelessness in Canadian communities represents a relatively new phenomenon, difficult to comprehend in this land and time of plenty. How did this happen? How did we get here? What can be done to solve it?
Jack Layton, one of this country’s leading experts and outspoken activists on housing issues, addresses the crisis from its roots, in order not only to understand the problem, but to find workable solutions. With a stunning combination of rigorous research and compelling personal anecdote, and trenchant and timely analysis from such wide-ranging sources as social scientists, housing economists, mayors, journalists, clergy and the homeless themselves, Homelessness offers insight, perspective and proactive solutions to a seemingly intractable crisis.
From the charismatic new leader of the federal NDP comes this practical handbook for all Canadians. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, Speaking Out: Ideas That Work for Canadians offers practical solutions to key challenges—from the erosion of health care and public education to the threat to our environment and the independence of our economy. What kind of life does Canada offer its 32 million inhabitants? And perhaps, more importantly, what promise does it hold for future generations of Canadians? Jack Layton brings theory to life by drawing on his hands-on experience in politics and community work to tackle key economic, environmental, and health issues. A call to action, this short book will inspire Canadians across the country to become more involved in their communities, and to embrace new solutions to old problems. In Speaking Out, Jack Layton offers a new vision for Canada, a vision that introduces the best and most exciting ideas available today. By working together, Canadians can build a vibrant economy that protects the environment, and a just society that provides equality and services to all the people who call Canada home. (March 2004)
Jack Layton: Art in Action is a book of anecdotes and commentary about Jack Layton and his involvement with Canadian arts and cultures. He himself was a master of the art of politics. His canvas was Canada and his influence and inspiration ongoing: Never turn down an opportunity to serve!
An Ottawa Citizen Notable Book for 2012
When Jack Layton died unexpectedly in the summer of 2011, millions of people mourned the loss of a man who had emerged as a much-loved political leader. They saw him as someone who combined values they shared with a personal style they admired.
In this book, co-editors James L. Turk and Charis Wahl have gathered stories and anecdotes about Jack Layton from a wide range of people who knew him at different stages during his life and career. These contributions offer an engaging and informal biographical portrait of Jack as a young man in Hudson, Quebec, as a lecturer at Ryerson University, as a Toronto city councillor, and as the leader of the NDP.
The contributors include family and friends, colleagues, politicians, and constituents. Among them are Ed Broadbent, Sarah Layton, Svend Robinson, Tim Flannery, Peggy Nash, Jean Charest, Brian Topp, Cathy Crowe, Libby Davies, Joe Mihevc, Brad Lavigne, Anne McGrath, Shawn Atleo, and Adam Vaughan.
With the blessing of Jack’s family, James L. Turk and Charis Wahl have put together a portrait of Jack which is by turns warm and funny as well as honest and illuminating.
Royalties from the sale of this book will go to the Broadbent Institute.
The only book written by Jack Layton (1950-2011) on his political life and vision, this is the former NDP leader’s passionate call to action and will inspire all Canadians to embrace a better future.
On August 22, 2011, Jack Layton, Official Opposition Leader, died as he lived, with dignity, bestowing to his country a message of hope. Canada was in mourning and within hours of his death, tens of thousands of Canadians — from NDP supporters to political opponents — paid tribute to the man and his legacy through public vigils, memorials, and expressions of grief.
Originally published in 2006, Speaking Out Louder represents Layton’s “blueprint for Canada” Highly acclaimed and powerfully written, this book captures Jack Layton’s political vision and exemplifies the optimism that marked his life’s work. In it he shares personal stories and fascinating, behind-the-scenes details of his career in national politics and talks about the big issues (poverty, AIDS and healthcare, childcare, housing, education) and the ideas that work for Canadians.
Jack follows the 2011 election campaign that began with Layton on crutches and down in the polls, to leading his party to its largest mandate since the party was formed. The movie also traces the love story between Layton and his wife Olivia Chow, through their years in civic politics and finally onto the national stage.
Olivia Chow—Member of Parliament, seasoned politician and widow of former New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton—tells her story in this candid memoir
What drives Olivia Chow? How did she emerge from a turbulent childhood to become an inspiring political force? What influences and events have shaped her life? And how is she continuing her quest after losing her partner in life and politics?
When she was thirteen, Olivia’s middle-class family moved from Hong Kong to Toronto, but the transition was difficult. Her mother went from having a maid to being a maid. Her father failed to carve out a working life for himself in Canada—frustrated and bitter, he lashed out at Olivia’s mother and violence darkened their lives. A rebellious yet playful child, Olivia discovered self-discipline and became an excellent student in Canada, studying fine art and philosophy at university. After graduating, Olivia worked for a time as a sculptor. Then, driven by a desire to achieve social change, the artist became an activist, and she launched her political career.
As a popular and much-admired school trustee and Toronto city councillor—the first Asian woman in that role—Olivia honed a grassroots approach and crafted progressive programs that enhanced the lives of others, especially children. Strong-willed, focused and passionate, Olivia got things done by bringing together people from all parts of the political spectrum.
In the mid-1980s, Olivia met Jack Layton. Their dynamic partnership, unprecedented in Canadian political life, made a powerful impact in Toronto, and on the national stage. Together, they forged a strong vision for a better country and for enlightened political change. But when her beloved partner and political soulmate died in the summer of 2011, how did she find the strength to move forward? What might we learn from her inspiring story? Those answers are here, in Olivia: My Canadian Journey.