04/10/2014 04:05 EDT | Updated 04/10/2014 06:59 EDT

Jim Flaherty's Wife, Triplet Sons Mourn His Sudden Death At 64


Jim Flaherty's family is mourning the former finance minister's passing after he was declared dead from a suspected heart attack at the age of 64 on Thursday.

His wife, Ontario MPP Christine Elliott, and their triplet 22-year-old sons John, Galen and Quinn issued the following statement:

Elliott, who represents the riding of Whitby—Oshawa and is deputy leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, was in a scrum after question period earlier in the day, Globe and Mail reporter Adrian Morrow tweeted.

Flaherty had a challenging job as the steward of the country's finances for eight years, and sometimes his professional and family life intersected.

In 2011, he cried during an announcement on Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP), which helps parents of special needs children save money to support them.

The announcement struck a personal chord: Flaherty's son, John, has a learning disability and has been involved in the Special Olympics program, though he didn't talk about that at the announcement.

"I'm just happy that the prime minister supported innovation in Canada. This is an initiative that other countries in the world are looking at," he said.

Flaherty and Elliott had been deeply involved in issues related to children with special needs for several years. The minister played a key role in establishing the RDSP in 2007.

The couple also passed their passion for politics to their children.

Galen fielded calls from constituents for Toronto Councillor Doug Ford in 2011, The Globe and Mail reported.

He has since moved on to a role in Ottawa, working as an executive assistant for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.

Family photos were also posted to Flaherty's Facebook page over the years.

Photo gallery Jim Flaherty Through The Years See Gallery