Former MP Remembers Herb Gray

Former Windsor area MP and Deputy Prime Minister Herb Gray (L) with federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau. (Photo courtesy Cynthia Munster via

Reaction continues to poor in following the passing of Herb Gray.

Former Chatham-Kent-Essex MP Jerry Pickard served with the Liberal Party from 1988 until 2005, and just got word of Gray’s death this morning. He remembers when they were the only two Liberals elected in the Essex County area in 1988.

Pickard says Gray was a man of the people, but he was so busy with his various portfolios he’d ask him to go to meetings in his place. “I often said, ‘Herb why do you go to every union meeting they have in Windsor?’ And he said, ‘you know Jerry, I get the background of their thoughts but I also know if I’m there they won’t say negative things about me, and if you go and represent me (laughing) they won’t say negative things about our policies either.'”

Gray died yesterday at the age of 82. He was born in Windsor and first elected to the House of Commons as a Liberal in the riding of Essex-West when he was 31 years old in 1962. He won 12 elections after that, serving on 11 different cabinet posts and became Canada’s first Jewish cabinet minster. He retired from politics in 2002 as the deputy prime minister of the country — moving onto a position as the chair of the International Joint Commission of Canada and the U.S.