MONTREAL, Sept. 19, 2020 /CNW/ -
It is with profound sadness that Sheila and I learned that John Turner has passed away.
John lived a life that was rich and accomplished, full and fulfilling. A Rhodes Scholar and Olympic-qualifying track and field star, he distinguished himself early in life, establishing a pattern of achievement that defined the rest of his days. Early in his career, he was seized by the notion of public service. It led him to Parliament where he made an immediate impact. In the House of Commons John was at ease and at his best. Parliament was a life-long love and in retirement he spoke of its importance to our democracy with limitless passion.
His distinguished career reached new heights in 1984 when he returned to public life as our country's 17th Prime Minister. He knew the odds of success in the coming general election were long but he threw himself into the role with unqualified energy. In the years after, John rebuilt the Liberal Party of Canada, restoring its vitality and health as a national political institution. He attracted an entire new generation of young people to its ranks and paved the way for its return to power.
Our memories of John are many. He was an enormous source of support and advice to me during my years in office. But one of the moments that stands out most was when my Dad had just lost his campaign to become Liberal leader and Prime Minister ? in a race that John had also unsuccessfully contested. However, my father was at the end of his career and John's was only beginning. What John did was to invite our family to his home the day after the convention for brunch. The kindness, respect and generosity he exhibited with that invitation touched me deeply.
Sheila and I extend our deepest sympathies to Geils and the entire Turner family. He was, to borrow one of his favourite phrases, a truly great Canadian.
SOURCE The Right Honourable Paul Martin