OTTAWA— I join all Canadians today in mourning the loss of the Right Honourable John Turner, Canada’s 17th Prime Minister.
Mr. Turner entered politics at age 32, after being elected as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada. He became Prime Minister in 1984. His career spanned one of the most turbulent periods in modern Canadian history: the debates he had and the reforms he championed continue to shape the political sphere today, particularly in areas such as free trade and gender equality. Mr. Turner was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1994, and ensured that his passion for politics was passed on to the younger generation. In 2012, he was among the Canadians who received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for Canada.
Born in England, he came to Canada with his mother when he was still very young, following the death of his father. During his studies in political science, he excelled in athletics, setting a Canadian record and even qualifying for the Olympic Games.
We are grateful for the work accomplished for our nation by a man who shone both as an intellectual and as an athlete. I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to his family, his loved ones and to all those touched by this politician of strong convictions.
Natalie Babin Dufresne
Rideau Hall Press Office