POLITICS

Some key dates in the life of former finance minister Jim Flaherty

04/16/2014 12:09 EDT | Updated 06/16/2014 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - A look at the life of former finance minister Jim Flaherty, who died last week at the age of 64:

Dec. 30, 1949: James Michael (Jim) Flaherty is born in Lachine, Que. He goes on to earn a bachelor's degree from Princeton University and a law degree from York University's Osgoode Hall Law School, and then becomes a founding partner in the firm Flaherty Dow Elliott.

1990: He unsuccessfully enters provincial politics in Ontario, losing in the riding of Durham Centre.

1991: Triplet sons, Quinn, Galen and John, are born to Flaherty and his wife, Christine Elliott.

1995: Flaherty wins the Whitby-Ajax seat in the Ontario legislature.

1997: He joins the Mike Harris cabinet as minister of labour and later serves as attorney general, finance minister, enterprise minister and deputy premier under Harris and his successor, Ernie Eves.

2002: Flaherty runs unsuccessfully to succeed Harris as Ontario Conservative leader, losing to Eves.

2004: Runs unsuccessfully to succeed Eves, loses to John Tory.

2006: Flaherty wins the federal riding of Whitby-Oshawa and becomes the finance minister of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's new Conservative minority government.

2006-2008: He institutes a series of tax cuts, including shaving two percentage points off the GST to fulfil a campaign promise. He brings in a registered disability savings plan to help Canadians with disabilities and their families and introduces tax-free savings accounts, which allow people to earn tax-free investment income.

January 2009: Flaherty's first budget after the global economic crisis contains a $40-billion stimulus package, as Canada plunges into deficit.

March 2012: Flaherty's budget kills the penny, which he said took 1.6 cents to produce.

January 2013: Flaherty addresses months of speculation about his health by acknowledging publicly that he is taking steroids for a skin condition.

July 2013: Flaherty takes ill during a G20 conference in Russia, and misses two days of meetings.

Feb. 11, 2014: Flaherty tables his final budget which underlines his pledge to erase the country's deficit by 2015. He comes close to balance by presenting a budget that carried a $2.9-billion deficit with a $3-billion contingency fund.

March 18, 2014: Flaherty abruptly resigns as finance minister. He declares that he is "on the road to a full recovery'' and that his decision to leave politics was not related to his health.

April 10, 2014: Flaherty dies suddenly, and in the words of his family "peacefully,'' at his Ottawa home.

April 16, 2014: Gov.-Gen. David Johnston and the country's top political leaders join hundreds of other mourners to remember Flaherty at a state funeral in downtown Toronto.

(The Canadian Press)

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