The spectre of Jack Layton looms large over the provincial NDP campaign as candidates knock on doors and find voters still want to discuss the late federal leader.
With grief continuing to swirl over Layton’s death last month, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath finds his legacy is top of mind as the Oct. 6 election campaign begins.
“That Jack Layton, he was a good man,” Lesbert Campbell told Horwath as he stopped to shake her hand Tuesday on Bloor St. in the hotly contested Davenport riding.
Campbell, who voted New Democrat in the May 2 federal election, said he’d cast a ballot for the provincial NDP, too.
As Horwath campaigned many stopped to offer their condolences and share some thoughts on Layton. “It’s on people’s minds, people are still thinking about it,” she said. “The election campaign is bringing it all back again for people.”
Horwath tries to steer voters back to the issues she is campaigning on — job creation, child care and making life affordable. “I would never want to shut people down and say, well, this is not about Jack,” she said.
“People need to get this off their minds and their chests. If this is the first time they can do that with someone they feel is connected to Jack then I am okay with that,” she said. “But again, it isn’t something I bring up but it is something I am certainly prepared to empathize with.”