People & Places

POLITICS CHATTER: Pondering the wisdom of casting Jack Layton as a saint in CBC TV’s upcoming biopic “Jack”

Rick Roberts plays Jack Layton, while Sook-Yin Lee takes the part of Olivia Chow in the made-for-TV movie "Jack"

Politics Chatter by contributing editor Mark Bourrie is published weekly at Follow him on Twitter @IsotelusRex.

Well, all we need is the blessing of the next Pope, and Jack Layton will officially become a saint.

The CBC has worked hard to fast-track the canonization. On March 10, TV viewers will forgo the delights of NetFlix and TLC’s Gypsy Sisters, to sit, enthralled, in front of the magic box, watching a biopic called JACK, the story of Jack Layton’s rise to greatness.

The makers of Jack are having an invitation-only launch at the Mayfair on March 5. If you’re really lucky, you can score an invitation to the opening at the downtown Winnipeg IMAX two days later. The IMAX should be a delight. You’ll feel like you were there.

Which, for me, is sort of true. I was there through Layton’s career on the Hill. Jack Layton scolded me every time we talked. I was not impressed by him as a speaker or parliamentarian, but I was shocked when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I had expected him to beat it — several friends and acquaintances did manage to do that — so it was a double, saddening shock when the disease killed him.