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

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…

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A member of the Belmont Secondary School in Langford has tested positive for COVID-19, the Sooke School District announced Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Positive COVID-19 case identified at Belmont Secondary School in Langford

Other school members could’ve been exposed on April 20

The Art of Kindness youth arts exhibition opens May 5 at the Gallery by Sooke Arts Council. The exhibition runs through to May 16. (Contributed - Diane Moran)
Student artists explore the meaning of kindness

Sooke Arts Council hosts The Art of Kindness youth arts exhibition

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
BCCDC says fresh COVID-19 cases down in most Island Health areas

Nanaimo sees its fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

The Sooke Regional Spotlight, presented by the Federation of B.C. Writers (FBCW), features readings by nine established and emerging Sooke Region authors. (Pixabay.com)
Sooke authors to shine in province-wide event

Nine local writers star in an online ‘spotlight’ presentation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial: Victim left to conclude out-of-court settlement on the day he disappeared

Trial of Richard Alexander in death of John Dillon Brown continues in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria

Most Read