Olivia Chow says goodbye to Jack Layton


All Canadians watched Olivia Chow’s grief as she shared a moment in front of her husband’s Jack Layton’s casket on Parliament Hill. The two have been together for 25 years, married for 23 years since 1988 working hand in hand, dedicated to the welfare of the Canadian people.

Olivia Chow, the new widow was remarkably poised and composed throughout the last week, giving Canadians a glimpse of the woman who is a true partner in life and in politics with one of Canada’s great leader.

Political leadership is just one dimension of Olivia Chow. She is a passionate gardener, artist, reader, outdoor enthusiast, a swimmer and cyclist. After learning English as a teenager, she studied fine arts at the Ontario College of Art and Philosophy and Religion at the University of Toronto while working as a volunteer counselor in crisis intervention at the emergency ward of Toronto General Hospital – an indication of the kind of multi-tasking that has made her such an effective leader. Olivia earned an Honours BA in fine art from the University of Guelph in 1979, and supported her career as a sculptor by working for a number of social service agencies. For five years, she also taught at George Brown College’s Assaulted Women and Children Counseling and Advocacy Program.

Canadian immigrants can warm up to Jack Layton’s family values. He and Olivia Chow live with Olivia’s mother Ho Sze Chow in Toronto’s Trinity-Spadina Chinatown. How many son-in-law is willing to share his wife with a mother-in-law?

More from Family

Canadian immigrant trapped between two cultures

Mina and her husband are a ordinary Canadian immigrant family with a male dominated structure.  Husband is the provider, and works to support the family.  Mina stayed home to look after the two children.  Mina gets a good allowance to … read more

Canadian Immigrant’s Halloween Surprise

This new Canadian immigrant was delightfully surprised with the Canadian Halloween tradition. She finds the practice amusing and a little wasteful. “Coming from a third world country, I found it hard to waste a pumpkin, when it could be food. When I helped my kindergarten son carved his pumpkin, I wanted to save every pulp and every seed and made them into food.” Read about the amusing experience as viewed from the perspective of a new Canadian immigrant. read more

Canadian Thanksgiving 2009

“Thanksgiving weekend is a time when Canadians everywhere pause for the weekend to celebrate with family, friends and communities. “Many Canadians use the long weekend to catch up with loved ones, take a break from hectic lives and take part in activities that remind them how important those around them truly are. read more

Long Lost Son Returns to China

This is the story of a adopted teenager, Christian Norris who was reunited with his biological parents after being separated for 10 years. His was an unusual case. He was the favored boy, the second son, illegal baby because of the one-child policy. He was raised by his uncle and grandmother. One day, during a bus excursion, he was lost in a crowded bus station, and ended up in an orphanage and picked up for adoption… read more

Chinese-Canadian Modern Wedding Tea Ceremony

The Chinese has a long history with many traditions dating back to ancient times. One of the strongest tradition is the Chinese wedding ritual of tea ceremony, where the bride and groom offers tea to the parents of both families … read more