How Layton won a council seat in 1982

Frustrated tenants in Toronto’s Ward 6 helped hand [Jack] Layton [MA ’72, PhD ’83] his first major victory in the 1982 municipal election, wrote The Globe and Mail Aug. 23, in a story about the late NDP leader’s early political life.

Layton, then a political science professor at York University, was considered a dark horse candidate who amassed groundswell support on a campaign for stronger rent controls, wrote the Globe. The election was dismal for most NDP candidates, but Layton defeated “Conservative golden-boy” Gordon Chong by 1,709 votes.

  • Jack Layton’s fingerprints are all over Toronto as we know it today, wrote the National Post Aug. 23. “You don’t see people like him in politics very often,” said former Toronto mayor John Sewell, who first met Layton in the 1970s, while he studied at York University and taught at Ryerson University.  
  • Jack Layton, 61, the feisty leader of Canada’s left-leaning opposition party who was at the height of his political career, died Aug. 22 at his home in Toronto. He had cancer, wrote The Washington Post Aug. 23.
    He was a  1970 political science graduate of Montreal’s McGill University. At York University in Toronto, he received a master’s degree in 1972 and a doctorate in 1983.
  • David Bell, professor emeritus in York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, spoke about Layton on CBC Newsworld Aug. 22.
  • Dennis Pilon, political science professor in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, spoke about Layton’s death and what it means for the future of the NDP, on Calgary’s QR77 Radio Aug. 22.
  • York grad and former member of the York Federation of Students executive, Shamini Selvaratnam [BA ’07], spoke about Jack Layton on CP-24TV Aug. 22.

AGO vault houses priceless Lodz ghetto photos

Thousands of unique and priceless photographs of the Lodz ghetto yet to be exhibited have been stored in a vault in the Art Gallery of Ontario for the past four years, wrote the Canadian Jewish News in its Aug. 25 edition.

The photographs of everyday life and deportations in the last ghetto in German-occupied Poland to be liquidated by the Nazis were taken by Henryk Ross on behalf of the Jewish Council, led by Chaim Rumkowski [and donated by an anonymous collector].

“From my perspective, these photographs are of extreme historical value,” said Maia-Mari Sutnik, the AGO’s curator of photography, in an interview last week. “This is very emotional material. It may be difficult for people to understand the circumstances under which these photographs were taken.”

The collector is deeply interested in material that portrays conflict, war and personal life, said Sutnik, who [studied] art history at York University and graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design.

On air

  • York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri was featured in an item about immigrant students choosing to attend university in Canada on Omni News’ South Asian Edition Aug. 23.