Only a month and a half ago, things were looking up for Jack Layton. The NDP leader had just led his party to one of its best electoral showings of all time, and a freak political storm was about to carry New Democrats into power as part of a coalition with the Liberals. And despite his party being the junior member of the partnership, Layton was essentially the public face of the government-in-waiting, picking up the slack when Stéphane Dion and his team proved unable to do the job.
But shortly thereafter, things fell apart. Parliament was prorogued, Michael Ignatieff became Liberal leader, and opinion polls showed that most Canadians rejected the proposed coalition as undemocratic.
Since then, Layton has stayed pretty much out of sight. To be fair, he simply doesn't need to be in the public eye at the moment as much as his rivals. Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty are busy managing public expectations over the upcoming budget, and Michael Ignatieff is introducing himself to Canadians and rebuilding his party's still-tarnished image.
But Layton's absence from the public eye is, as much as anything, an admission of defeat, a sign that the NDP considers the coalition to be essentially dead. It may also be an attempt to wipe the memory of the whole sordid affair from the minds of Canadians, though that conclusion is slightly more speculative. Source...
Meanwhile, Mother Nature sent central Canada into a deep freeze Wednesday, as it joined the Prairies in a cold snap expected to stick around for a few days and move into the Maritimes. It felt between –30 C to –50 C with the wind chill for a frigid swath stretching from Saskatchewan to Quebec in the morning and eased only slightly later in the day, according to Environment Canada.