The former federal finance minister and MP for Whitby-Oshawa (my riding) is reported to have died earlier today:
Jim Flaherty, Canada’s finance minister, smiles while speaking during a press conference after releasing the 2014 Federal Budget on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. Flaherty ramped up efforts to return the country to surplus in a budget that raises taxes on cigarettes and cuts benefits to retired government workers while providing more aid for carmakers. Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Former finance minister Jim Flaherty has died. He was 64.
Emergency crews were called to his Ottawa home Thursday afternoon. The cause of death has not been released.
He was one of the longest serving finance ministers Canada has ever had and until he left politics, was the only one to ever serve under Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He stepped down on March 18.
A Conservative MP for the Toronto-area riding of Whitby-Oshawa, Flahery was first elected in 2006.
Flaherty has suffered over the last year from a rare and painful but treatable skin disorder. In his statement, Flaherty said his health did not play a part in his decision to quit politics.
My deepest condolences to his wife Christine Elliot, and their sons John, Galen, and Quinn (Galen and Quinn were players on soccer teams I coached a decade or so back).