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Jim Flaherty, RIP

393px-Jim_Flaherty_2007Jim Flaherty, Canada’s long-serving Finance Minister until he stepped down last month, died yesterday. Flaherty suffered a massive heart attack shortly after noon and, despite the efforts of paramedics and a fellow MP, he was pronounced dead later in the afternoon.

As the news broke, partisanship fell away, as people from all spots on the political spectrum paid tribute to Flaherty. The House of Commons, in session at the time, was suspended and opposition members crossed to floor to offer condolences to Conservatives. It was quite a sight.

Flaherty is survived by his wife, Ontario MPP Christine Elliot, and their three sons.

At times like these, tributes to the recently-departed are expected. We expect people to put aside political grudges and make nice, and we are certainly seeing this now. However, there is a clear sense-backed up by much testimony-that Flaherty was truly liked and appreciated by all politicians, as well as the press who covered them. The grief is sincere, and though the loss is tragic, the display of humanity is beautiful.

Perhaps that’s the best tribute to be given.

Flaherty leaves a mixed record (as all politicians will), but he was, for the most part, successful as Finance Minister. The Canadian economy took a beating from the economic collapse of 2008, but not nearly the beating it could have. Generally speaking, his stewardship was sound, and the respect he garnered from colleagues around the world is testament to that.

I have no grand insights, so I will offer the following links for people who would like to learn more about the man and his legacy:

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim Flaherty’s family, friends and colleagues.

Rest in peace.

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6 thoughts on “Jim Flaherty, RIP

  1. “He was a politician who touched many.”

    Place your obligatory joke here.


    Sorry Jonathon. Did you know the man? I only ask because it doesn’t seem like that momentous a death to warrant a post. And I’m Canadian. If so, my condolences. I just had to make the joke above. Humor is necessary in the face of death.


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