Jack Layton held a surprise news conference yesterday to announce that he was temporarily stepping away as leader of the NDP to focus on his physical health; he also announced that he has been diagnosed with a new form of cancer not related to his recent bout with prostate cancer. Layton shocked the nation with his announcement, as he looked and sounded much more frail than he had just weeks ago when last seen in the media. Lorraine Michael, the leader of Newfoundland and Labrador’s NDP said she believes Layton can fight the disease just as he battled his earlier diagnosis. “I want that for him, I want that for him as his friend, and I want that for us as a country.” In the meantime, Nycole Turmel – former union head but rookie MP – has been appointed the temporary leader of the federal party.