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

‘Our schools are safe’

Mission school superintendent Angus Wilson says training, protocols in place

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Mission proposes big jump in business licence fees

Some companies could go from $148 to $10,000 per year

Fraser Valley real estate predicted to slow down in 2018

B.C. Real Estate Association forecasts a cooling market

Two charged in relation to 2017 house-party shooting

Four people were injured in incident a year ago in Abbotsford

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Horse found stuck in muddy field rescued in Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge firefighters set up a pulley system to drag the horse to solid ground

VIDEO: Two Maple Ridge contortionists have sights set on Cirque

The Pair competed at the Viva festival in Vegas and are now auditioning for spot on America’s Got Talent

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

Most Read