Kamloops This Week
Cathy McLeod will remember Jim Flaherty for his “amazing sense of humour” and for the deep respect he was afforded by members of all political parties.
Flaherty, the longtime Conservative finance minister who only three weeks ago surprised many by stepping away from politics, died suddenly at his Ottawa home on Thursday, April 10.
He was 64.
McLeod, the Conservative MP for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, told KTW from Ottawa she was preparing to enter Question Period when she heard the news.
“We are grieving the loss,” she said, noting she had not heard any news on cause of death, though Canadian Press has reported Flaherty succumbed to a massive heart attack.
“The coming days will be the time to reflect on his legacy,” McLeod said.
“Now is the time to think of Jim and this triplet sons. He had an amazing sense of humour and he had respect from all sides of the House. I will miss his Irish twinkle.”
Flaherty is survived by wife Christine Elliott, herself a member of the Ontario legislature, and their triplet sons — John, Galen and Quinn, all born in 1991.
To most Canadians, Flaherty will always be closely associated with his handling of the global financial crisis that hit Canada in October of 2008.
Economist Jack Mintz, who advised the finance minister during the period, said the crisis was a trial by fire and Flaherty, despite not being an economist, proved his mettle by not only what he did, but also what he didn’t.