Bill Graham, ex-interim Liberal leader and post-9/11 foreign affairs minister, dies
OTTAWA — Condolences from Canadian politicians past and present poured out Monday as they learned about the death of Bill Graham, who served as foreign affairs minister when the country decided against joining the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
“Mr. Graham will be remembered as a master negotiator and a skilled statesman who shared his love for Canada with the world,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement Monday evening.
Former Liberal MP John English told The Canadian Press that Graham died Sunday, according to a member of his family who shared the news with him earlier Monday.
English said Graham had cancer and died peacefully after being in poor health for some time.
“He was a fun guy. I went out with him for drinks just three or four weeks ago. He wasn’t drinking … He enjoyed a good glass of wine but he couldn’t join us,” he recalled.
“He’s such a wonderful presence. So positive, so optimistic. He’s a person to be taken seriously, but he never took himself seriously. He was full of laughter. He laughed very easily.”
Graham, 83, was serving as chancellor of Trinity College at the University of Toronto. Both he and his wife, Catherine, were students there and married in the chapel. They had two children: Katy and Patrick.
Graham was first elected as a Liberal member of Parliament for the riding then known as Toronto Centre-Rosedale in 1993, after two unsuccessful runs.
Former colleagues eulogized Graham as a skilled MP, having spent time on the backbenches before entering cabinet, and someone who demonstrated a deep passion about helping those in his community.
George Smitherman, who represented the same downtown Toronto area for the Liberals provincially as Graham had federally, said Graham had a remarkable way of connecting with people, no matter their background.
Smitherman, who is gay, said he first arrived in what is now known as Toronto Centre as a kid finding comfort with his sexuality and at the time Graham and the local Liberals had embedded AIDS activism in their politics.
“That, to me, was one of the most defining attributes of the way political parties ought to operate,” Smitherman said.
“It was really a huge impact on me in my life.”
Longtime Liberal MP John McKay said Graham was a “complete politician.”
“A good constituency person, a good national person and a good international person. Not many people can say that,” said McKay, who represents the Toronto riding of Scarborough-Guildwood.
“He was (an) immensely smart, decent, classy man,” he added.
In January 2002, months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks shook the world, Graham was appointed to serve in cabinet as foreign affairs minister by then-prime minister Jean Chrétien.
At that time, Canada had to decide whether to join the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and then navigate its relationship with its closest ally when it opted against doing so.
Graham was roundly praised for not only assisting in that decision, but his overall handling of the role at a turbulent time in international relations.
“He was an outstanding minister of foreign affairs and a skilled parliamentarian,” tweeted John Baird, who served as foreign affairs minister under former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper.
After his time in foreign affairs, Graham was moved to the defence portfolio.
Eugene Lang was his chief of staff at the time and said Graham, who was well travelled before entering politics, was well liked by most everyone, including MPs of different political stripes and public servants.
“He treated everybody with a huge amount of respect. There was no arrogance in Bill.”
Lang said while Graham was only in the role of national defence minister for less than two years, he had many accomplishments, including securing a funding boostand also recommending the appointment of Rick Hillier as chief of defence staff.
Former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin released a statement after learning of Graham’s death, saying he “helped our government and the country navigate a challenging period of history as we deployed into Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.”
“His loss will be felt by all who knew or worked with him.”
After the Liberals lost government to the Conservatives in 2006 and Martin resigned, Graham stepped into the role of the party’s interim leader.
“The Liberal party owes him a huge debt of gratitude,” said McKay, who said he was an obvious choice for many.
Harper said Graham was the first official Opposition leader he faced after winning government.
“Bill was always a gentleman,” he tweeted.
“He always kept the best interests of the country in mind.”
Former Liberal cabinet minister Ralph Goodale, who was Opposition House leader when Graham was interim Liberal leader, called his former colleague “wise and thoughtful, especially in matters of foreign policy and defence.”
“In an era of deep polarization and extremist populism, Bill’s sense of moderation, propriety and balance is sorely missed. Our love and respect surround his family, friends and colleagues,” Goodale said in a statement.
Longtime Liberal cabinet minister Carolyn Bennett said she remembers Graham as someone who was comfortable around everyone and a generous listener in conversation.
“There’s no one else you’d rather have dinner with. And I think that’s what a lot of us feel,” she said Monday.
“He just was so special. It’s just really hard to believe he’s gone,” Bennett said, her voice breaking.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 8, 2022.
— With files from Allison Jones and Jordan Omstead in Toronto
Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly referred to Liberal MP John McKay, who represents the Toronto riding of Scarborough-Guildwood, as a former MP.
World Down Syndrome Day in Canada – CTV News
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) is sharing a new awareness campaign featuring photos of older people with Down syndrome.
The ‘Here I Am’ photo gallery was launched today, to mark World Down Syndrome Day, and showcases portraits of older Canadians living with the condition.
“People age 40 and over are hugely underrepresented in all aspects of media, social media pictures, they’re just not visible,” Laura Lachance, executive director of CDSS told CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday. “So we embarked on this campaign to bring these faces to the front.”
According to the organization, the life expectancy of Canadians with Down syndrome has doubled in the past 40 years, from 25 years in 1983, to more than 60 years in 2023.
“What’s changed is advances in medical technology, both in diagnostics and in treatment,” Lachance said. “So a lot of children who used to die in their early years are now surviving, taking advantage of all the interventions and living a long healthy life.”
Although many are living into adult life, Lachance said the challenge of finding caregivers who understand Down syndrome remains.
“As more of the Boomer parents are living longer, there’s going to have to be some kind of initiative by employers to perhaps take a look at how they can support their employees who need to take time away from work or work differently in order to care for their loved one,” Lachance said.
The photo gallery features only people over the age of 40 who are living with Down syndrome. The portraits were captured by Hilary Gauld from One for the Wall and CDSS.
Hear the full interview with Lachance by clicking the video at the top of this article.
Russia summons Canadian diplomat to protest 'regime change' statement – CBC News
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it had protested to Canada’s top diplomat in Moscow over comments by Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly about “regime change” in Russia.
Russia called Joly’s comments a ‘Russophobic attack’
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it had protested to Canada’s top diplomat in Moscow over comments by Foreign Minister Melanie Joly about “regime change” in Russia.
The ministry said it summoned Canadian charge d’affaires Brian Ebel on Monday and told him Joly’s comments were unacceptable.
Canadian media quoted Joly as saying at a news conference on March 10: “We’re able to see how much we’re isolating the Russian regime right now — because we need to do so economically, politically and diplomatically — and what are the impacts also on society and how much we’re seeing potential regime change in Russia.”
The Russian statement condemned the “Russophobic attack” and said it would have serious consequences for relations. Russia reserved the right to take “appropriate counter-measures” depending on Ottawa’s further steps.
Canada, a member of NATO and the Group of Seven (G7) leading economies, has joined its Western allies in imposing sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
On Friday, it welcomed the International Criminal Court’s move to issue arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his children’s commissioner over the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia since the start of the war.
Worst city in Canada for bed bugs revealed | CTV News – CTV News Toronto
A Canadian city has just been named the worst in the country for bed bugs for the third year in a row.
Orkin Canada, a pest and wildlife control services organization, revealed in a release Tuesday that Toronto was the city in which it carried out the highest number of commercial and bed bug treatments in 2022.
Following Toronto in second is Vancouver, B.C. then Sudbury, Ont. in third.
London, Ont., which went unranked in 2021, is new to the list this year, clinching the eighth spot in the top 10 “buggiest” cities in the country in 2022
Ontario dominated the top 10 list with a total of eight cities across the province being ridden with bed bugs, including Oshawa, Ottawa, Scarborough, Sault Ste. Marie, London, and Hamilton.
“Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, but are excellent at hiding. Involving a trained professional to identify bed bugs that have been introduced or are in the early stages of an infestation is recommended,” Dr. Alice Sinia, a Ph.D. Entomologist at Orkin Canada, said in the release.
“Bed bugs are extremely resilient, making them difficult to control. As people begin to ramp up their travel plans this year, it’s important they know how to protect themselves through pest identification and proper control.”
Sinia explains bed bugs can hide in taxis, buses, trains, and airplanes, so travellers should regularly check their clothes and luggage for any unwanted passengers.
To avoid a bed bug infestation while travelling, Orkin recommends the SLEEP method – survey your hotel room for any bed bug symptoms, lift and search typical bed bug hiding spots like mattresses and underneath cushions, elevate your luggage, examine your personal items, and place your clothing in the drier for up to 45 minutes on the highest setting.
At home, Orkin recommends decluttering your space, and thoroughly inspecting second-hand furniture for dark ink-like blot marks or whitish egg clusters.
These are Canada’s 25 “bed buggiest” cities, in order:
- Toronto, Ont.
- Vancouver, B.C.
- Sudbury, Ont.
- Oshawa, Ont.
- Ottawa, Ont.
- Scarborough, Ont.
- Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
- London, Ont.
- St. John’s, N.L.
- Hamilton, Ont.
- Winnipeg, Man.
- Montreal, Que.
- Windsor, Ont.
- Edmonton, Alta.
- Timmins, Ont.
- Moncton, N.B.
- North York, Ont.
- Etobicoke, Ont.
- Calgary, Alta.
- Mississauga, Ont.
- Whitby, Ont.
- Prince George, B.C.
- Regina, Sask.
- Brampton, Ont.
- Halifax, N.S.
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