06/02/2012 08:58 EDT | Updated 08/02/2012 05:12 EDT

Jack Layton honoured by civic leaders

A tribute to honour Jack Layton attracted over 1,000 municipal leaders who were in Saskatoon for a convention.

Before becoming leader of the NDP, Layton was heavily involved in local politics, especially in Toronto. He was a member of Toronto city council for 17 years.

The 61-year-old died Aug. 22, 2011, of cancer.

He was president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in 2001 and officials at the Saskatoon FCM convention Saturday announced that a fellowship would be created bearing his name.

The fellowship would provide resources to young leaders to assist them with making changes in their communities.

Olivia Chow, Layton's widow, was at the tribute and spoke of the connection between local and national government.

"Through his work in FCM he understood why a good federal government would invest in communities and cities," Chow said.

She said she was moved by the kinds words she heard from many people at the convention who had known Layton.

"To see so many of his friends here saying that they will continue his legacy by working to get a real deal, a good deal, for cities and communities is just really pleasing for me," Chow said.