Finance Minister Jim Flaherty takes part in a TV interview on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 21

Former Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty dies at age 64

The House of Commons has been suspended as MPs pause out of respect, and Premier Christy Clark says she is 'shocked and saddened'.



Former Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty has died at the age of 64.

Flaherty’s family – his wife, Christine Elliott and her sons John, Galen, and Quinn – have asked for privacy and issued the following statement (via Global News):

“We appreciate that he was so well supported in his public life by Canadians from coast to coast to coast and by his international colleagues.”

Police, fire, and ambulance services were called to his home in Ottawa on Thursday afternoon, and the House of Commons was suspended as MPs and those on the Hill heard of his passing.

MPs from the Liberal Party and the NDP crossed over the floor to shake hands with the House’s Conservative MPs, upon hearing of the news.

He had resigned from cabinet in March, after serving his position since 2006.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford tweeted about Flaherty’s death, saying, “Devastated to hear news of my friend Jim Flaherty passing. My prayers go out to Christine Elliott & family. The Ford family is heart broken”.

Federal NDP MP Libby Davies also posted her thoughts on Twitter with, “You know we all scrap like hell in #HoC but time like this we grieve together the terrible loss of Jim Flaherty”.

From B.C., Langley MP Mark Warawa – also sitting in Ottawa – said his colleagues on Parliament Hill were shocked by Flaherty’s passing, and also said he had no indication that the former finance minister was seriously ill.

“This helps us to realize how precious life is,” Warawa told the Langley Times. “There were a lot of tears and hugging on all sides of the House when this became known.

“We are all at a loss for words.”

Premier Christy Clark released the following statement:

“I was shocked and saddened to hear that Jim Flaherty has passed away.

“This is a terrible loss for our country. Jim was a great leader and Canadian. He served with distinction in both provincial and federal politics, and made a difference in both. Under his watch, Canada returned to stability and balanced budgets.

“And while his achievements in Toronto and Ottawa will stand the test of time, perhaps his most important legacy was as a family man. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Christine and their three sons.”

“He was a man of integrity, vision, and he was forthright in his leadership,” said B.C.’s finance minister Mike de Jong (also in a statement). “His resilience guided Canada through a challenging economic period, and our country has emerged on an even-stronger footing.

“In the opportunities I have had to work with Minister Flaherty, I saw a man guided by his principles and commitment to a strong and united Canada.”

Flaherty had battled health problems, revealing a skin condition in January, 2013 – although his director of communications had referred to that condition as “non-life threatening” (CBC News). Flaherty also said his March resignation was not because of his health, saying at the time, “I am happy to report that I am on the road to a full recovery and the decision to leave politics was not related in any way to my health.

“This decision was made because it is the right one for me and my family at this time.”

More to come…

Just Posted

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

Whooping cough detected in Claremont student

15 Greater Victoria schools have been informed of a student with pertussis since September

Langford loses bid to host Amazon HQ2

Mayor hopes to attract more tech jobs to city

VIDEO: Protesters chain doors shut at DFO office in Saanich

Fish farm protesters removed from Commerce Circle for a second time

Plans in place for Cordova Bay mixed-use residential and commercial development

Staff approve proposal for 91 residential units and 46,797 square feet of mixed-use for Cordova Bay

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Fines and extra patrols not happening at this time as ban begins Monday

Funding brings more tech spaces to UVic and Camosun

Students can look forward to the addition of hundreds of tech-related seats… Continue reading

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Most Read