Herb Gray Passes Away

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

The Right Honourable Herb Gray has passed away. The former Windsor area member of parliament and deputy prime minister was 82 years old.

“It is with great sadness that I learned Herb Gray has passed away,” says Justin Trudeau, the federal Liberal leader through a statement published on the party’s website. “As one of Canada’s longest serving members of parliament and first Jewish cabinet minister, he has left behind an immense legacy unmatched by most in Canadian history.”

“Sophie and I join in mourning the loss of one of Canada’s great statesmen, and we extend our sincere condolences to his wife, Sharon, and the entire family at this sad time.”

The Liberal party statement also says Gray passed peacefully at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus on Monday. Gray was first elected to the House of Commons in 1962 and would hold his seat through 13 successive elections, holding 11 different cabinet posts.

“He really put Windsor on the map,” says Brian Masse, the MP for the Windsor-West riding Gray held until his retirement in 2002. “For not only just our area but, more importantly for this country and that was a great thing to have.”

“It was clear when I was a city councillor, he always recognized all the politicians and the people in the audiences despite they might have differences of opinion; that’s one of the things I always remember personally as a person that knew Mr. Gray.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper also expressed his condolences through Twitter saying “he was an honourable parliamentarian who served his country well.”

“Last night Ontario and Canada lost Herb Gray, an icon of a man and an éminence grise of politics,” Premier Kathleen when wrote, Tuesday afternoon. “Gray devoted four decades of his life to public service, and served in 11 different cabinet posts, including deputy prime minister. I am indebted to him personally for his devotion to social justice, equality and good governance.”

Gray is survived by wife Sharon Sholzberg and their children, Jonathan and Elizabeth as well as eight grandchildren.

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