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29 2011

An Astonishing Day in Toronto’s History

Syndicated from: Steve Paikin

Saturday saw some unprecedented scenes in Toronto's history.  If you missed the memorial service for Jack Layton at Roy Thomson Hall, see the pictures below. Crowds gathered as never before to remember the fallen leader of the opposition.     As Layton's body emerged from the hearse, people began to applaud.   Pallbearers on the left of the casket included former NDP leader Ed Broadbent and former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow. On the right side, Canada's Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer (the former premier of Manitoba), and former NDP leader Alexa McDonough.   One of the most emotional things I've ever seen in watching Canadian politics for three decades: Layton's widow, Olivia Chow, flanked by Layton's children, Mike and Sarah and their spouses, walking behind the casket, south on Simcoe Street.   It was Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to have a state funeral for Layton. The crowd seemed to appreciate it, as the PM received warm applause after exiting his vehicle, along with wife Laureen, and Rev. Brent Hawkes, who presided over the service.   Now that Layton has been cremated, the conversation will inevitably turn to the future of the NDP, as the party considers who will replace the former MP for Toronto-Danforth.

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