Editorials and commentary on Jim Flaherty
The sudden death of former finance minister Jim Flaherty brought forth tributes from across Canada and from across the political spectrum. Here are some excerpts from editorials and commentary in Canadian media on the death of the former finance minister:
Halifax Chronicle Herald, April 10, 2014
Editorial: Flaherty was a stalwart minister
Jim Flaherty was a good man in a crisis. Canadians grew to learn that over his eight years as their federal finance minister. First, as he deftly steered the country through the double maelstrom of the 2007 world credit crunch and the 2008 great recession. Second, as he struggled with his own health problems in the last 18 months of his tenure. He soldiered on with a heavy international workload of confidence-and-recovery-building measures as well as the slogging job back home of bringing the budget back to balance, all the while dealing with the pain and the medication impacts of a severe skin disease he had contracted. Hard work and intelligence earned Mr. Flaherty a well-deserved reputation at home and abroad as a respected and capable minister, a stalwart figure in the Harper government.
Montreal Gazette, April 10, 2014
Editorial: Flaherty appreciated the value of public service
Flaherty was an exemplary leader in the federal cabinet; indeed, in many ways he represented the sunnier nature of the Harper government. He was, in the final analysis, the only person in the cabinet who could offer an authoritative challenge to Harper on issues of finance - and get his way on those issues He had strong views, and wasn't afraid to make those known publicly, as he did on the issue of income-splitting. Like all elected officials, he was definitely a partisan, but those who worked with him, even on the opposition benches, came to recognize very quickly that he was not mean-spirited. One could disagree with him; but he was never disagreeable.Flaherty was a good man, a good father, a good husband and a good public servant. He took public service very seriously. He was the personification of the motto of all-boys Loyola High: 'Men for Others.'
National Post, April 10, 2014.
Full Comment by John Ivison: The respect paid to Jim Flaherty across party lines was not fake
Kellie Leitch, the labour minister, was inconsolable as she gathered with her colleagues to listen to the prime minister eulogize Jim Flaherty, who died suddenly Thursday. As she explained later, Mr. Flaherty, 64, encouraged her to get into politics and had been her mentor. "He was my champion. Canada has lost a giant," she said. Mr. Flaherty would have laughed at that. The former finance minister started every speech with the same joke: "I'm already short, so I'll be brief…." But he would have been touched by the outpouring of genuine grief from those who loved and respected him on all sides of the House. "It's like losing a father," said Regan Watts, who was on Mr. Flaherty's staff for years. The former finance minister commanded, and received, loyalty, which he was conscientious to repay.
Maclean's, April 10, 2014.
Political Editor Paul Wells remembers Jim Flaherty:`Each of us should contemplate Jim Flaherty's example'
It will often be said over the next few days that they don't make politicians like Jim Flaherty any more, but come on: when did they ever? In 2002 Mike Harris stepped down as leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservative party and opened his succession to an array of singularly bloodless potential successors: Ernie Eves, Elizabeth Witmer, Chris Stockwell. Tony Clement for fun. And Jim Flaherty, a smirky leprechaun like an Irish cop from central casting. He wanted to jail the homeless. He sent a Queen's freshman dressed as a waffle to bedevil Eves on the campaign trail. He read his campaign speeches from Teleprompters, exotic behaviour in those simple times. Covering him, I thought Christmas for pundits must have come early.
Toronto Star, April 10, 2014
Editorial: Jim Flaherty: Cheerful Tory warrior with a heart
During his time in Ottawa as Harper's right-hand man and the MP for Whitby-Oshawa, Flaherty steered the Canadian economy through the Great Recession of 2008-2009 with a steady hand. Slow as he was to acknowledge the growing storm clouds and ideologically averse as he was to deficit spending, Flaherty proved to be a consummate pragmatist, eventually pouring $47 billion into stimulus to avert another Great Depression. As the Star noted when he stepped down, that will be remembered as his biggest and best legacy. It preserved the core economic strength that Liberals Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin had worked hard to generate. On his watch Canada weathered the storm better than most countries. And he will be remembered as well for introducing a savings plan to help people with disabilities and their families. Canadians recognized and respected him for the workhorse he was, stubbornly battling a debilitating disease even as he hacked away at the federal deficit to generate the surplus that may allow Harper and the party to dole out tax breaks in the next federal election.