Jim Carr, a Liberal member of Parliament from Winnipeg and a former cabinet minister, has died. He was 71.
Winnipeg MP Kevin Lamoureux asked the House of Commons for a moment of silence before question period Monday. The parties then agreed to suspend the House for the rest of the day.
Mr. Carr had represented the riding of Winnipeg South Centre since 2015.
He served as minister of natural resources then minister of internal trade diversification between 2015 and 2019.
In 2019, the day after being re-elected as an MP, he was diagnosed with the blood cancer multiple myeloma. He underwent a stem cell transplant in 2020.
“Over the past three years, he fought these diseases bravely and courageously with the incredible support of his staff, colleagues and loved ones,” Mr. Carr’s family said in a written statement.
“As a dedicated elected official, business and community leader in Manitoba for over 30 years, Jim was loved and respected by so many and we know he will be profoundly missed.”
Tributes poured in soon after the announcement.
“As a neighbouring MP, I know how dedicated Jim was to serving his constituents,” Leah Gazan, the New Democrat MP for Winnipeg Centre, posted on Twitter.
“A life dedicated to public service and making a difference. Jim will be sorely missed,” posted Nate Erskine-Smith, a Toronto-area Liberal MP.
Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson recalled working with Mr. Carr on many projects over the years.
“I always admired his unfailing commitment to the betterment of Winnipeg, Manitoba & Canada,” Ms. Stefanson said on Twitter.
Jeff Kovalik-Plouffe, who managed some of Mr. Carr’s election campaigns and worked with him as an adviser for many years, said Mr. Carr cared more about results than scoring partisan political points.
“He didn’t take a hard stance on anything. He would listen to people and wanted to hear different points of view before he made decisions,” Mr. Kovalik-Plouffe said in an interview.
“For whatever persona he gave off publicly, he was a thousand times kinder, wiser, [more] respectful and loving as you could hope for in someone you work with.”
Mr. Carr’s last vote in the House of Commons was to approve the implementation bill for the fall fiscal update.
That came a day after the passage of his own private member’s bill on Wednesday. The bill would require the minister responsible for economic development on the Prairies – currently Manitoba MP Dan Vandal – to develop a framework to “build a green economy” in the region.
If the bill passes in the Senate, Mr. Vandal would be required to come up with a plan within a year of it becoming law.
“I want to start by expressing some deeply held emotion. I love this country, every square metre of it, in English, in French, in Indigenous languages and in the languages of the newly arrived,” Mr. Carr said in a speech Tuesday.
While the speech was ostensibly about the bill, he added some reflections on the state of Canada’s democracy.
“My respect for Parliament has grown by leaps and bounds. The wisdom of inviting witnesses to add thoughtful commentary and an opposition that has been respectful though occasionally dissenting are what a democracy is all about, and it is always rooted in strengthening the national fabric, woven as it is from those mini threads that make Canada the envy of the world,” he said.
“With resources, natural and human, comes responsibility to each other and to the world itself. How could we not be humbled by the greatness of this magnificent country?”