OTTAWA (NEWS1130) – Former finance minister Jim Flaherty has died.
Paramedics showed up at his Ottawa home earlier today and found him in grave condition.
Flaherty served as finance minister from 2006 until his resignation on March 18, 2014. He denied his health played a role in his resignation.
Over the last year, Flaherty has suffered from a rare but treatable skin disorder.
There are reports he died of a heart attack, but the cause of his death has not been confirmed.
The House of Commons has suspended its work.
This was the last tweet sent from his Twitter account:
Statement from Flaherty’s family:
Christine Elliott and her triplet sons, John, Galen and Quinn would like to make Canadians aware that [their] beloved husband and father passed away peacefully today in Ottawa.
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.
The family asks for privacy at this time.
SFU Economist Richard Harris says Flaherty was a very capable and dedicated finance minister, guiding our country through the 2008 recession. “Canada’s fiscal policy record during that period was excellent. Certainly, he deserved a great deal of credit for that.”
“I think he will be regarded as one of our very good finance ministers; he’ll go down in the history books,” adds Harris.
The BC Chamber of Commerce is in shock over the news of Flaherty’s passing. President John Winter says Flaherty didn’t just take charge of the country’s finances; he also made significant contributions to BC.
“Over the course of his tenure as finance minister, he was a party to significant amount of investment in British Columbia’s infrastructure, starting with Asia-Pacific Gateway and working through things like the Olympics and other things that brought a great deal of prominence to British Columbia.”
Winter says while practicing a great deal of restraint on a national and federal level, he was also able to make considerable funds available for our infrastructure needs.
BC Premier Christy Clark says she was shocked and saddened to hear the news of Flaherty’s death
“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,” she says in a statement.
“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,” she adds.
Messages have been pouring out over Twitter, with many talking about Flaherty’s passion for serving the public.
Flahrety was 64.