Remembering My Friend, Jim Flaherty

April 14, 2014

Beyond Jim's magnificent management of the Canadian economy, his high-profile leadership on the world stage as weaker economies struggled to survive the global economic downtown, his personal commitment to support children with learning disabilities, his dazzling green ties and wicked sense of humour, Jim was, for me, a friend and mentor.

When I made the late-life decision to move from journalism to politics, Jim was there with advice and support.

When I failed in my first campaign, he encouraged another try, and helped me win in Thornhill in 2008. Jim was a wonderful caucus and cabinet colleague, though a tough man to pitch on spending initiatives.

That said, he supported prudent investment in conservation and conservation partnerships of all sorts.

A favourite shared moment for me during my term as Environment Minister came with
Jim's enthusiastic support for creation of the Rouge National Park, Canada's first urban national park. On the day of the funding announcement in 2012, as we looked out over the magnificent marsh on the Lower Rouge, Jim muttered, "OK, you've got the budget; now get it done, on time, on budget!"

I'm hoping that, when Parks Canada completes this unique project around the end of this decade, there will be an interpretive centre or trail that prouldly bears the name, Jim Flaherty.

Hon. Peter Kent PC MP