CORNWALL, Ontario – A former local MP who rode a wave of conservatism into public office in the mid-1980s has passed away.
Norm Warner, who was battling cancer, was 70.
Warner was elected in the 1984 general election when the Progressive-Conservatives led by Brian Mulroney won the biggest landslide in Canadian history, while their archrival Liberals suffered what at the time was the worst defeat by a governing party at the federal level.
Warner unseated long-time Liberal MP Ed Lumley.
During his only term in the House of Commons Warner tried, unsuccessfully, to have the government declare nearby Akwesasne an international banking centre. At the time the federal government was mulling a similar plan for Montreal and Vancouver.
He did not contest the 1988 election, instead preferring to return to the insurance business and spend more time with family.
Kevin Wilson, a local radio personality and long-time friend of Warner said his buddy was always someone looking to help others.
They became fast friends in the 1980s while working as members of the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce. Warner is a past president of the agency.
“Almost every time I saw him he’d say ‘You got a joke for me?'” laughed Wilson. “I always found him to be someone who was interested in helping others.
“He always wanted to know how things were going, and how he could help.”
Warner’s son Mike said his father was an “adventurer” who was always up for a good time.
“One of the many things about him is at the age of 60 he started running,” said Mike. “Between the ages of 60 and 70 he ran in 14 marathons and three ultra-marathons.”
Warner was awarded the Cornwall Multisport Club Male Runner of the Year 2010.
Warner is survived by Mike, daughter-in-law Steffi, former wife Elizabeth, brother John and his family Shirley, Sebastian and Miranda.
Norman Warner Insurance Brokers offices were located in Cornwall, Ingleside, Avonmore and Maxville. He was president of the Cornwall and Area Insurance Brokers Association and Director of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church on Monday at 3 p.m., at 310 York St., Cornwall.