Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia MPs wish Layton well

Nova Scotia's New Democrat MPs are rallying around leader Jack Layton, who is taking a leave to fight a new cancer.

Nova Scotia's New Democrat MPs are rallying around leader Jack Layton, who is taking a leave to fight a new cancer.

Layton's announcement on Monday afternoon was a surprise to even veteran politicians like Peter Stoffer.

Stoffer, MP for Sackville-Eastern Shore, heard the news on television. He wishes his leader a quick recovery and hopes he's back when Parliament resumes on Sept. 19.

"If there's one person in Canada who can beat this it's Jack Layton. He's been a fighter his entire life, and I just wish him and his family the best," Stoffer said.

Halifax MP Megan Leslie declined an interview on Monday afternoon. A note at her constituency office said the office was closed because of an illness in the family.

On Tuesday morning, she told CBC it's been an emotional time for everyone.

"We just will come together," she said. "We're close. We're like a family and we will get through this."

Leslie said all cancus members will meet this week to discuss Layton's recommendation to place Nycole Turmel, the NDP's national caucus chair and rookie MP for the Quebec riding of Hull-Aylmer, as interim leader.

Layton, 61, stepped down temporarily last fall to fight prostate cancer. He walked with a cane while campaigning in the spring federal election.

He led his party to record gains in the last election and Official Opposition status in the House of Commons.

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