Statement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the passing of Jim Flaherty
April 10, 2014
“Dear friends, today is a very sad day for me, for our Government and for all of our country.
“I learned a short while ago that our colleague, my partner and my friend, Jim Flaherty, has passed away suddenly today.
“This comes as an unexpected and a terrible shock to Jim’s family, to our Caucus, and to Laureen and me.
“And it is with the heaviest of hearts that I offer my family’s condolences, and I know the condolences of the entire Parliament and Government of Canada, to Jim’s wife Christine, and his sons Quinn, Galen and John at this tragic time.
“Christine, Quinn, Galen, John, you’re in all of our thoughts and prayers.
“Jim will be sorely missed, not only by his many friends on both sides of the House, I know particularly his friends in this Caucus among whom he was held unanimously in great, a combination of great respect and affection.
“But he will also be missed by the countless thousands of Canadians that he devoted himself to and whom he helped during his long and successful career in public life.
“The days ahead will provide more suitable occasions for all of us to reflect on the legacy of Jim’s life in public service and for me to talk about the special relationship that I shared with Jim.
“But for now, to he and all of his loved ones, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Statement by John Walsh, President of the Conservative Party of Canada, on the passing of Jim Flaherty April 10, 2014
“It’s with the heaviest of hearts that I pass along the condolences of the entire Conservative Party family to the friends and family of Jim Flaherty. Jim’s passing is a significant loss to our party, and to our country.”
“Jim wasn’t just a very good friend to us all, but he was, at so many times, the life of the party – our party. He was a tireless worker as Finance Minister, and this carried over in helping to build our Conservative Party, and the conservative movement, both in
and across Canada.
Jim made Canada
a better place and his legacy is second to none.”
“To his wife Christine, and their three sons, Quinn, Galen and John, you remain in all of our thoughts and prayers, and we all share in your loss today.”
G20 ministers remember former colleague Jim Flaherty who died Thursday
By Alexander Panetta, The Canadian Press
The sudden loss of
Canada's former finance minister
shocked longtime colleagues gathered for the G20's spring meeting — the first
time in a decade such a meeting was attended by a Canadian finance minister
other than Flaherty.
It was under a cloud of tragedy that Flaherty's successor entered the club.
Joe Oliver said his predecessor would be remembered as a great Canadian statesman for his influence on policy, and also for his role among decision-makers who steered the world through the post-2007 financial crisis.
"I also want to say how much I appreciated Jim's personal kindness and assistance when I was a candidate, and later a cabinet colleague," Oliver said during a round of tributes, as G20 ministers and central bankers gathered for a working supper.
"This was who he was — a kind and generous man — and why he was so admired and held in such affection by so many people. I'm sure all Canadians, and many others, will join me in offering my deepest condolences to his wife, Christine Elliott, and his sons, John, Galen and Quinn."
The remarks from
Britain's well-known central banker
struck a particularly personal note. Mark Carney pointed out that he'd
collaborated with Flaherty through a turbulent era, when he headed the Bank of
"I had the great privilege of working closely with Jim Flaherty for the past decade — in good times and in bad," Carney said.
"Much of what he contributed turned the bad times back to good. He had an enormous influence around this table — on global policy, he had a direct influence on Canadian prosperity, and he had an enormous influence on me, personally, and I will miss him tremendously."
In a rare move, the G20 dinner was opened to droves of international media so they could record the pre-meal tributes.
Flaherty himself has since reminisced about that pivotal 2008 meeting in
held as the global economy was disintegrating. A Canadian election campaign was
also just a few days away, making it awkward for the government to make major
But he said the crisis required some high-stakes improvisation.
"The practice in international fora is for public servants to prepare communiques before the meetings. This time we acted differently," Flaherty told a
think-tank three years later, in 2011.
"We agreed around the room that we would tear up the communique, and that we needed a one-page document, something that would help restore confidence. We came up with a five-point plan on one piece of paper, which the G7 people around the table all endorsed. And fundamentally, the conclusion was that we would not allow any more systemically important financial institutions to fail."
Flaherty was the longest-serving finance minister in the G7 when he stepped down last month. That, combined with
position during the crisis, raised his and Carney's international profile
Carney made reference to Flaherty's famous pugnacious streak and his preference for conservative monetary policy.
"He led, he cajoled, he urged members around the table to pursue the right policies in order to really deliver strong, sustainable and balanced growth and he wouldn't settle for anything less," Carney said.
"He believed in fixing the banks. He believed in sound money... And (he was) a strong believer in balanced budgets."
Carney added in French: He gave more than he took, and won more often than he lost.
The head of the International Monetary Fund, the French finance minister, and other colleagues also shared their memories of Flaherty at other venues Thursday.
As for the supper, it began with a few words from the treasurer of
which is chairing this year's G20.
"The most generous thing you can say about a person in
that they've been a very decent human being," Joe Hockey said, as he
opened the working dinner.
"Jim Flaherty was a very decent human being. He is someone who was heartfelt in his determination to deliver to the people of
a few months ago he reflected on the fact that he wanted to see a better world
left to his three children...
is poorer — we are all poorer — for the passing of Jim. He only recently
retired and he so thoroughly deserved the opportunity to spend more time with
his previous family. Sadly, that's not going to happen."
With that, he expressed sadness that
finance minister was joining the group under such somber circumstances.
And he turned the microphone over to Oliver.