Michael Den Tandt: Flaherty grew from ideological pit bull to pragmatic moderate

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National Post | Full Comment

Jim Flaherty’s untimely and sudden passing at the age of 64 marks the end of an era in Canadian and Ontario politics. It leaves the federal Conservative movement bereft of one of its most experienced, wise and compassionate voices. Flaherty was one of those rare politicians who grew while in office, both in the breadth of his vision of the country, and his approach to the work of politics itself.

His death, which comes just a month after he stepped down from cabinet, is sure to be taken as another indicator of the toll that public life can exact. Widely reported Thursday to be due to a heart attack, Flaherty’s passing will hit all the harder because of the stoicism he displayed these past 18 months, soldiering on despite suffering from a painful and rare skin disorder, Bullous Pemphigoid, that required treatment with steroids and at times made it difficult…

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