Canada's New Democratic Party Leader to Speak at Duke

Jack Layton is also expected to discuss his opposition to Canada's entry into the U.S. ballistic missile defense program

DURHAM, N.C. -- Jack Layton, the leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada, will speak on Canadian foreign policy on Thursday, Feb. 12, at Duke University.

The 12:30 p.m. lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Rare Book Room at Perkins Library, on Duke's West Campus.

Michael Byers, a law professor and director of Duke's Center for Canadian Studies, said he expects Layton to discuss Canada-U.S. relations and his opposition to Canada's entry into the U.S. ballistic missile defense program.

The NDP, a social democratic party, has formed governments in four of the 10 Canadian provinces and held as many as 43 seats in the federal House of Commons.

Layton, who holds a doctorate from York University in Toronto, was elected to the Toronto City Council in 1982. He then served as president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. He was elected leader of the NDP in January 2003.

"Canada has always served as a model for progressive initiatives in the United States," Byers said. "And progressive developments in Canada are driven by Jack Layton and the New Democratic Party. For Americans concerned about the future of health care, education and environmental protection, Layton offers a clear vision of one possible future."

For more information, contact Byers at (919) 613-7016 or byers@law.duke.edu.