CORNWALL, Ontario - Local MP Guy Lauzon looked back fondly on the political career of a longtime Canadian finance minister who died suddenly Thursday.
Lauzon said the work done by Jim Flaherty, 64, who passed away following a suspected heart attack, was exemplary.
“(He got) us through the worst recession of 70 years to be one of the lead countries in the G7, to create over a million jobs, and he was on track to balance our budget," said Lauzon. "Jim was bigger than life, but still so human and humble. He was just a wonderful man.
“We knew Jim was sick, but not to that degree. It seemed to me that he was better than he had been six months ago. My condolences go to Christine and the three boys.”
Flaherty has a brother Gerry who lives in Cornwall.
A statement from Flaherty's family was released Thursday afternoon:
"Christine Elliott and her triplet sons, John, Galen and Quinn would like to make Canadians aware that her 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."
Reports from CBC suggest that he might have died of a heart attack.
Flaherty served as an Ontario MPP from 1995 to 2005.
Until March 2014, he served as Canada's Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for the Greater Toronto Area.