Canada Finance Minister Flaherty dies at 64
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[April 11, 2014]
By Randall Palmer
OTTAWA (Reuters) — Former Canadian
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, 64, died on Thursday, just weeks
after stepping down following eight years in his post.
His family said in a statement that he died peacefully in Ottawa,
but did not mention the cause of his death. An unnamed source close
to the family told CBC television the cause was a massive heart
The House of Commons suspended its session until Friday after the
government confirmed Flaherty's death, spokeswoman Heather Bradley
"Jim Flaherty was an extremely dedicated public servant," opposition
New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair told reporters outside
the House, choking back tears. "He's a good person."
Flaherty had been suffering acutely from a rare skin disease, but at
the time of his resignation in March denied that the decision had
anything to do with his health.
The Conservative politician, Canada's third longest-serving finance
minister, helped steer the economy through the global financial
crisis, leaving the country on track to balance its books by 2015.
He was replaced on March 19 by then-Natural Resources Minister Joe
Oliver, currently in Washington for a meeting of international
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Flaherty had planned to take some time off after the grueling
schedule required of a Group of Seven finance minister, and was
expected to eventually take on a role in the private sector.
Flaherty introduced tax cuts after the Conservatives took power in
2006 and then ran up Canada's largest budget deficit in nominal
dollar terms to counter the Great Recession.
(Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson, Bernadette
Baum and Mohammad Zargham)
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