Prominent Canadians across the country are paying tribute to former prime minister John Turner, who has died at the age of 91.
Turner was a Liberal MP who held several prominent positions in the party, and led Canada as the prime minister for two and a half months in the summer of 1984 in between Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney.
“He served his country with great distinction and honour,” former MP and former Ontario premier Bob Rae tweeted, calling Turner a friend.
Very sorry to hear this news. John Turner’s vitality and determination, his loyalty to friends, his belief in public service and in Parliament itself – he served his country with great distinction and honour. @aprae and I have lost a friend. Deepest condolences to his family. https://t.co/1mzbvPi9E8
— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) September 19, 2020
Turner was an alumni of the University of British Columbia and ran track while he was in school. University president Santa Ono tweeted his condolences Saturday.
I am saddened to learn that John Turner, Canada’s 17th prime minister and 1949 graduate of the University of British Columbia died yesterday. He ran track for the UBC Thunderbirds and would return to receive an Honorary degree from UBC in 1994. My condolences to his family. pic.twitter.com/asKhNtKva7
— Santa J. Ono (@ubcprez) September 19, 2020
Toronto city councillor Josh Matlow also fondly remembered Turner, who lived in his ward and was a “generous in his advice and mentoring.”
Prime Minister John Turner was my friend, and beloved resident of Toronto-St. Paul’s. He loved our country, and our community, and was always generous in his advice and mentoring. I will miss our time together. My heartfelt condolences to Geills and their entire family.
— Josh Matlow (@JoshMatlow) September 19, 2020
Toronto Mayor John Tory praised Turner for his dedication to the democratic process.
I had the privilege of knowing John Turner for most of my life. He had a distinguished career in law and politics. But more than anything else he was a proud and loyal Canadian who cared deeply about the democratic process.
— John Tory (@JohnTory) September 19, 2020
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Governor General Julie Payette also offered her sympathies to Turner’s family, calling him a “great Canadian.”
Today we mourn the passing of a great Canadian, the Right Honourable John Turner, who served his country with distinction and pride. On behalf of all Canadians, I offer my deepest condolences to his family and his friends. May he rest in peace.
— GGJuliePayette (@GGJuliePayette) September 19, 2020
Several people who met with Turner or interviewed him during his career also remembered him for being smart and sincere.
John Turner former prime minister has passed away at 91. I remember him visiting Cedarbrae CI in 2018 where I got to interview him. He was witty and current and held the students’ attention. My condolences to his family and friends. RIP Mr Turner. pic.twitter.com/z0s6xnovxY
— Mitzie Hunter (@MitzieHunter) September 19, 2020
RIP Former PM John Turner. I interviewed him once for 22. He had no idea who I was but he was patient and generous with his time. A short tenure as PM but at 91 years, he enjoyed a long life and dedicated much of it to our country. Condolences to the Turner family. https://t.co/nPcldlLylK
— Mark Critch (@markcritch) September 19, 2020
As a high school student, I had a chance to visit Rt. Hon. John Turner in his Centre Block office. I didn’t realize then the greatness of his career as a parliamentarian. His legacy of public service is massive and he had an understanding of Canada like few others. pic.twitter.com/uaqxQX18zQ
— Mike McDonald (@BCMikeMcD) September 19, 2020