04.10.2014 02:24 PM


I once said to a Conservative who was a friend of his that I thought he’d been a not-bad finance minister. She didn’t believe me. So I wrote this.

Apparently it amused him when he saw it; I was amused to hear that he was amused.

Anyway. Condolences to his family. Big shock.



  1. Matt says:

    Suspected massive heart attack.

    Police are investigating his death, as is the standard operating procedure when a death occurs outside a medical facility.

  2. VC says:

    We have much to be proud of and we should be thankful for Jim’s service. While he was a “not-bad finance minister” (in a position that is easier to be a “bad finance minister” than otherwise) I understand that he was very, very caring (when I saw his emotional response to Rob Ford’s troubles). We need people who care, just as Jim Flaherty did.

  3. KenzoS says:

    full disclosure: I am both a progressive and recovering politico. I have been out of politics as a livelihood for some years and do not miss it a whit. I will never again in my life do any kind of political work for a living.

    That said, friends and colleagues and team mates who are somewhat less politically attuned will often try to engage me on either the issues or the personalities of the day. So often I have found myself stating words to the effect of, “Make no mistake, it is war. You have no idea how hard working most politicians are. How emotionally and psychologically draining the job is. It is utterly exhausting for the soul and spirit. For most, there is nothing left afterwards.” Or some such.

    For a few, this not true. For the Rob Anders of the world, it is a chance to catch up on (much needed) rest.

    For a truly dutiful public servant though, it will take everything they have and then some. Godspeed Mr Flaherty.

    • Swervin' Merv says:

      Anyone who has served a cabinet minister, federal or provincial, knows they are not always recognized for working incredibly hard–which is why many of them develop feelings of entitlement. Flaherty seemed to have a decent and deep commitment to public service. But Philip Seymour Hoffman was a better actor.

  4. Houland Wolfe says:

    Here it is, hours later, and we’re still waiting for Justin Trudeau’s response. Although I disagreed with most of Flaherty’s policies, he was feisty, forthright, unflappable and good natured. It’s a loss for the country and very sad for his boys and partner.

    • Matt says:

      To be fair to Trudeau (which is rather unusual for me 😉 ) I think he is travelling back to Ottawa from BC (?) so he might still be in the air.

      • david ray says:

        Matt. If you’re going to lob softballs like “he might still be in the air” you won’t mind if some of us hit it out of the park:-)

    • m5slib says:

      That’s fucking stupid. This isn’t about Trudeau, and he shouldn’t be in some pissing contest trying to be the most saddened. The house rightfully shut down today to leave politics aside. Take the hint.

  5. Matt says:

    Kind of sad it takes someone’s death for that to happen though.

  6. Paul Brennan says:

    God bless…always felt he cared about folks and loved Canada…

  7. JH says:

    Not always a fan of his, but respected the job he was trying to do. This certainly this should give pause to those who made all the mocking comments about his illness, use of makeup etc. this past year. Proves once again uber partianship can come back to bite you.

  8. Cameron Prymak says:

    Condolences to the Flaherty family.

  9. Steve T says:

    Flaherty was one of the most forthright, straight-shooting politicians the media has seen. That may have made him some enemies, but he didn’t engage in much of the doublespeak bafflegab (saying a lot, without saying anything) that most politicians do.

  10. Jerry says:

    I gave it a day of silence: The cult of Jim Flaherty is offensive: Great Public Servant? He spent his career trying to privatize the public realm. Great Finance minister? He never balanced a budget in his professional life, he helped Janet Ecker conceal 5.6 billion from the Ontario legislature, lying to say there was a balanced budget. (Which allowed the Sun to paint your former boss Dalton McGuinty and the newly elected Liberals as Fiberals, because they couldn’t keep their campaign promises.) He did nothing to collect taxes from the millionaires and billionaires hiding money in offshore accounts, he was a friend of big corporations, who instead of investing in the economy after all the tax beaks he gave them, stuffed their saved cash in even more offshore accounts. He may have been good for upper middle class professionals, but he was – like all Harrisite/Harpercons a bane to the poor and lower middle class; he used austerity measures to sweeten the profits and bonus structures of the Conservative Party’s owners in the oil patch, he gave Harper every dime he wanted for Action Plan Adscam, and for other Con Party scheme to empty the public offers so they could cut services. Forthright? He was a corporate weasel. Enough of the cult.

    • Iris Mclean says:


      • Paul Brennan says:

        tough disrespectful crowd…so you have your own spin on how he did..good for you ….

        • Iris Mclean says:

          I recall the Harris government cutting welfare benefits by 22% across the board and scrapping rent controls at the same time. I recall the huge spike in the homelessness rate, and freezing suicide rates.
          I never met the man, but by all accounts he was quite a jolly fellow.

    • Niall says:

      Official Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair’s statement on Jim Flaherty’s passing:

      “It is with great sadness that Catherine and I learned of Jim Flaherty’s passing today. We join all New Democrats in offering our most sincere condolences to his family, loved ones and colleagues in this difficult time.”

      “As Minister of Finance, Mr. Flaherty served his country with dedication and conviction, even as he faced mounting health challenges. As both a man and a politician, I will remember him for his pleasant demeanour and strength of character.”‎

      “Today we all mourn this most proud Canadian.”

      You Jerry, on the other hand, are a real piece of ‘work’

      Niall from Winnipeg

      • Jerry says:

        Niall, nice saga, Mulcair needs right wing anti-liberal voters, and sure Flaherty probably had the charm of the Irish, and was much loved at home, I sincerely hope he was, but all this fawning going on in the corpporate media and on CBC make me sick. I gave him a day of respect, no way he gets a minute more. This kind of populist revisionism may work with people with lots of money and their white trash hangers on, but he’s just another Thatcherite thug to me. He may have come from the working class, but he never did anything for anyone but the monied, and the beautiful irony of it is that he thought it was a two way street, he thought he was a powerful man, he thought if her brokered benefits for the rich they would pay him back by hiring some of the victims of his policies, just to help him balance his karmic books and help the Corporatist Party of Canada get re-elected. The 1% that people like Flaherty and the CPC work for, buy and sell men like Jimbo by the baker’s dozen. There’s always another running dog willing to do their dirty work. Let heaven sort him out, I’m not saying he belongs in hell, but I hope purgatory has a recap of all the misery he caused to the blessed poor for him to endure before he gets passed the pearly gates.

    • Really? says:

      Don’t forget the part where he wanted to criminalize homelessness.

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