Jim Flaherty, one of Canada’s longest serving and most recent Finance Minister, has died at the age of 64.
Emergency crews were called to his home in Ottawa Thursday afternoon. The cause of death has not been released.
MPs suspended the House of Commons just before the daily question period, around 2:15 p.m. ET, as news of Flaherty’s death made its way through Parliament Hill. Many Members looked very emotional as they passed by the usual scrum of journalists.
Flaherty, who had stepped down from the cabinet less than a month ago, had suffered over the last year from a rare and painful but treatable skin disorder. In his statement however, Flaherty said his health did not play a part in his decision to quit politics. He resigned March 18.
In his resignation statement, Flaherty noted that he was most proud to be part of a government that lowered corporate taxes to the lowest level in the G7, introduced the tax-free savings account and reduced taxes 160 times.
Until he left politics, he had been the only Finance Minister to ever serve under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Image: Flickr | Jason Ransom