Canada

‘He served his country with great distinction and honour.’ Politicians across country mourn death of former PM John Turner

Politicians past and present offered their condolences after news broke of the death of former prime minister John Turner on Friday night at his home in Toronto. He was 91.

Turner served as the 17th prime minister of Canada from June 30 to Sept. 17, 1984.

Politicians across the country paid tribute on social media to the man they say devoted his life to serve Canadians.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he will never forget all that Turner contributed to Canada and called him “one of a kind.”

“An honourable gentleman and an upstanding Canadian, John cared deeply about democracy, equality, and those he served,” Trudeau said in a tweet.

“His optimistic outlook, energetic approach, and tireless service inspired many — and our country is a better place for it.”

Former prime minister Stephen Harper said Turner served his family and country “with great dignity.”

“His legacy and commitment to public service will be remembered for generations,” Harper said in a tweet.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford offered condolences to Turner’s family and friends.

“He was a dedicated public servant who devoted decades of his life to making Canada a better place,” Ford wrote.

Former Ontario premier Bob Rae said he was very sorry to hear the news of Turner’s death.

“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,” Rae tweeted.

Former PM Jean Chretien released a statement honouring his “long-time colleague and friend.”

“John and I served together for many years as Members of Parliament and cabinet colleagues in the governments of Lester B. Pearson and Pierre E. Trudeau,” Chretien said. “During his tenure as Prime Minister, I was honoured to serve as his Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister. More than anything, John was a House of Commons man and an outstanding public servant. He revered our democratic institutions like no other and served his constituents and Canada with great distinction. He will be greatly missed.”

In addition to his career in politics, Turner was also an accomplished athlete with Olympic potential when he was studying at the University of British Columbia.

“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,” tweeted UBC president and vice-chancellor Santa J. Ono.

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