Senator John Lynch Staunton 1930-2012 R.I.P.

Written by  //  August 20, 2012  //  Absent Friends  //  No comments

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Why he switched: John Lynch-Staunton glances toward Premier Bertrand while speaking in October 1968. The Union Nationale candidate for NDG explained why he switched from the Liberals. It was, he said, because he trusted Mr. Bertrand as a man who keeps his word, wants to protect English rights and wants to keep Quebec in Confederation.
 

John George Lynch-Staunton, former Conservative senator, dies at 82
Throughout his time as the Conservative leader in the Senate, John George Lynch-Staunton tackled everything from terrorism to official languages, the Quebec school system to celebrating prime ministers’ birthdays.
But despite his years in Ottawa’s service, Lynch-Staunton will be remembered by many for his love and devotion to Montreal.
A former right-hand man to Mayor Jean Drapeau and the first leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Lynch-Staunton died Friday at the age of 82.
Born and raised in Montreal, he began his career in municipal politics, working closely with Drapeau for 14 years, first as a city councillor representing the Côte des Neiges district in 1960, later as vice-chairperson of the city’s executive committee.
After being elected and re-elected three times, he lost in 1974 to Nick Auf der Maur. He then became president of John de Kuyper Ltd., a liquor importer, and was named president of the Montreal Board of Trade in 1985.
Though he briefly dabbled in provincial politics, running unsuccessfully for a seat with the Union Nationale party in 1968, it was in federal politics where Lynch-Staunton rose to prominence.
The grandson of senator George Lynch-Staunton, he was named to the Senate by former prime minister Brian Mulroney in 1990, and became Leader of the Opposition in the Senate in December 1993, a role he kept until 2004.
“He was a remarkable man who contributed a great deal to the Senate,” said fellow senator Jean-Claude Rivest. “But he was also a great Montrealer. We used to say he was extending his municipal career in federal politics. As soon as we mentioned Montreal he would light up. He was very dedicated to the economic development and progress of Montreal, and he was someone who believed in consensus-building between the francophone and anglophone populations.”
On December 8, 2003, with the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, Lynch-Staunton served as interim leader of the new Conservative Party of Canada until the election of Stephen Harper in March 2004. At the time, and unlike many Progressive Conservatives who quit the new Conservative Party, Lynch-Staunton told The Gazette he believed in the merger and felt the new party was off to a promising start.
“Our platform, I imagine, will be centrist, a bit on the right and a bit on the left,” said Lynch-Staunton. “We are the Progressive Conservatives, after all. We’re progressive in social policy and conservative in economic policy…
“I think in time it will become a very credible alternative,” he said. “Yes, it’ll take time, but they’re working hard on it.”
Lynch-Staunton retired from the Senate in 2005 when he reached the mandatory age of retirement at 75, and lived the rest of his life in Georgeville in the Eastern Townships.
A long-time friend of his in Georgeville, John Scott, described him as “a very witty man, and a man of great generosity of spirit.”
“He was always interested in everything going on in life, books, theatre, the arts as well as politics,” Scott said.
“He must have been fun for colleagues in the senate to work with, of whatever political persuasion – he was a lively, bright, intelligent, funny man.”
Lynch-Staunton was at a family reunion in Alberta when he appears to have suffered a heart attack Friday night. He was the father five children and had eight grandchildren.
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Former Conservative Senator John Lynch-Staunton dead at 82
A former Conservative member of the Senate has died at the age of 82.
The Prime Minister’s Office has confirmed John Lynch-Staunton died yesterday in Pincher Creek, Alta.
The veteran Montreal municipal politician was appointed to the Senate in 1990 by then prime minister Brian Mulroney.
He became leader of the Opposition in the Senate after the Liberals toppled the Conservatives from power in 1993.
He also briefly served as interim leader of the current Conservative Party.

L’ex-sénateur conservateur John Lynch-Staunton s’éteint
(La Presse) L’ancien sénateur conservateur John Lynch-Staunton est décédé vendredi à l’âge de 82 ans.
Le bureau du premier ministre Stephen Harper a confirmé samedi que M. Lynch-Staunton s’était éteint la veille à Pincher Creek, en Alberta.
Ex-conseiller municipal de Montréal, il avait été nommé au Sénat en 1990 par Brian Mulroney.
Il était devenu le leader de l’opposition dans la Chambre haute après que les libéraux eurent défait les conservateurs en 1993.

(Wikipedia) Lynch-Staunton was appointed to the Senate on the recommendation of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney on September 23, 1990. The following year, he was appointed Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, and became Leader of the Opposition in the Senate in December 1993 following the Liberal victory in that year’s general election. On December 8, 2003, with the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada ratified by both parties, he served as interim leader of the new Conservative Party of Canada until the election of Stephen Harper in March 2004. He remained Leader of the Opposition in the Senate until September 30, 2004, and retired from parliament when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 on June 19, 2005.
Lynch-Staunton ran and won a seat on Council in the County of Stanstead in the November 1, 2009 Quebec municipal elections.

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