NAME: Jack Layton
OCCUPATION: Career politician. Former Toronto city councilor and tenured professor at Ryerson University.
FAMILY: Wife Olivia Chow is former Toronto city councilor and now New Democrat member of Parliament for a district in Toronto. Two children, Sarah and Mike, from a previous marriage. Mike is a Toronto city councilor.
POLITICAL: Entered politics 1982 as leftist Toronto city councilor; president of Federation of Canadian Municipalities; elected leader of federal New Democrat party, January 2003; won seat in Toronto-Danforth in June 2004 federal election and has held it since. The New Democrats are a union-backed party with socialist roots.
BACKGROUND: Layton was born in Montreal and later moved to Toronto. He is the son of a former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister and the grandson of a cabinet minister in Quebec provincial politics. Layton ran to become Toronto's mayor in 1991 and lost. He opposed Toronto's bid for the 1996 Summer Olympics which ultimately failed.
QUOTE: "Canadians deserve a prime minister they can trust, a prime minister who will focus on the priorities of today's families, a prime minister who is really ready to roll up the sleeves, put the partisanship aside and work with others to get the job done."