Jack Layton, leader of Canada's federal NDP Party, has stepped down temporarily due to a new cancer that was diagnosed last week. Layton was hospitalized last week at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.
"I have a new cancer, non-prostate cancer, that's going to require further treatment," Layton said in a press conference Monday in Toronto. "I'm going to fight this cancer now so I can be back to fight for families when Parliament resumes."
Layton, 61, has recommended MP Nycole Turmel (Hull—Aylmer) be appointed interim leader. Turmel is the national chair of the NDP caucus.
At the press conference, Layton said he's asked NDP president Brian Topp to consult with the parliamentary caucus to hold a meeting of federal council to appoint a temporary leader in his place.
On Wednesday the NDP caucus will meet in Ottawa to be advised of the situation. On Thursday it is expected that Turmel will be announced as the leader of the party during Layton's leave of absence.
Layton had been having medical issues. He entered Princess Margaret Hospital to undertook a series of tests when the House broke. The results came in last week.
Last week Layton sought medical treatment after concerns arise including weight loss. His doctors found that his prostate cancer was undetectable but another cancer had developed.
Layton did not say what type of new cancer has emerged.
Layton fully intends on being back.
"The interim leader will serve until I resume my duties.
I intend to do so when Parliament meets on September 19th."
Layton's wife Olivia Chow will continue to serve her riding as she stands behind her husband.