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Senator Hugh Segal 1950-2023 R.I.P.
October 13, 1950 – August 9, 2023
Montreal-born Senator Hugh Segal passes away
Former Conservative Senator Hugh Segal, originally from Montreal, passed away Wednesday at the age of 72.
(The Suburban) The news came on Twitter (now X) Wednesday [August 9] night from Graham Fox of communications company Navigator, who posted, “Canadian politics has lost its happiest warrior tonight. Hugh Segal’s lifelong call for decency in our politics is at once a look back at what was, and a hope for what can be.”
Other notables reacted as well.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted, “Hugh Segal cared deeply about our country. He dedicated his life to public service. And he brought people together. Canada is a better place because of him. I’m sending my deepest condolences to his loved ones, and everyone who is mourning this loss.”
Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper posted, “Hugh Segal was a great Canadian. During my government, he served honourably in the Senate and stood up forcefully for Canadian values as my Commonwealth emissary. Laureen and I send our deepest condolences to Donna and their family.”
Current Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre posted, “Hugh Segal was a great Canadian. Thoughtful, wise and ever cheerful, he will always be remembered as the happy warrior who dedicated his life to serving Canada. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and all who will miss him.”
Former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole wrote, “I first met Hugh Segal as a cadet at the Royal Military College of Canada and was struck by his intellect and deep affection for Canada and its institutions, especially the military. It is why I supported him when he ran. A true Happy Warrior of Canadian politics who will be missed.”
Former Quebec Premier and former federal Conservative leader Jean Charest wrote, “Hugh Segal is one of the greatest Canadians of his generation. He was a thoughtful visionary with a deep love for Canada. I am truly grateful for his advice and friendship. Michèle and I offer our deepest condolences to Donna and the Segal family.”
Harper’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird posted, “Hugh Segal was a remarkable Canadian. I was so privileged to work with him on Commonwealth renewal. He was a fighter and his voice will be missed in our country. So honoured to have counted him as a friend. May his memory be a blessing.”
Senator Leo Housakos posted, “Hugh Segal was a dedicated public servant and a great Canadian. The expressions of condolences from all corners of this country are a testament to that. But our loss is nothing compared to that being felt by his family and friends. Sincerest condolences.”
Segal was chief of staff to former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, a Senator from 2005 to 2014 and Master of Massey College from 2014 to 2019. He was also a political strategist, author and media commentator.
Segal wrote that he was inspired regarding politics after a visit by then-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to United Talmud Torah in Montreal in 1962. Later, after graduating from the University of Ottawa, he was an aide to then-Progressive Conservative leader Robert Stanfield, while still in university, during the Trudeau era. After two unsuccessful federal election tries in the Ottawa Centre riding in 1972 and 1974, he became a senior aide to Ontario Progressive Conservative Premier Bill Davis, becoming a Deputy Minister for that provincial government at the age of 29.
Segal ran in 1998 for the leadership of the federal PCs and came second to Joe Clark, who he supported. He was appointed a Senator by Prime Minister Paul Martin and retired to join Massey College, where he was Master until 2019.
Hugh SEGAL Obituary
Hugh was a great Canadian. Since his passing in the early evening of August 9, 2023, Canada’s political and public policy community has paid tribute to an extraordinary life spent in the service of his fellow citizens. Prime Ministers past and present have spoken of Hugh’s singular contribution to his country.
Steve Paikin: Remembering Hugh Segal
He tried and failed to get elected on several occasions. But that didn’t stop him from making a singular contribution to Ontario and Canada
(TVO) There’s a term that people in politics use to describe someone who’s a tough partisan and burns to win, but, more than anything, just loves the competition of ideas and strategies. They’re called “happy warriors.”
The term was tailor-made for Hugh Segal.
Hugh Segal, former Conservative senator and longtime politico, dead at 72
Brian Mulroney: ‘Hugh was a loyal, delightful, warm, affectionate, reasonable guy, who brought a great deal to the decision-making process of my government’
(National Post) Pamela Wallin: “This is a man of principle in the truest sense.
“He is the most human and humane and the most generous person I’ve ever met, really and truly,” she added.
“Generous of spirit, of time, of heart, of caring. You want to be Hugh’s friend because when you need a friend there just is no one better.”
Brian Mulroney reflects on the life and legacy of his former aide, Hugh Segal
CBC As It Happens After spending decades in Canadian politics, Hugh Segal has died at the age of 72. He’s remembered as a bipartisan champion who called for decency in politics throughout his career. Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney reflected on the life and work of his former chief of staff with As it Happens guest host Peter Armstrong.
Politics Briefing: Former Prime Ministers Mulroney, Martin reflect on the life of Hugh Segal
“As an example of Mr. Segal’s ability to work with politicians across the political aisle, he was appointed to the Senate in 2005 by Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin, even though Mr. Segal sat as a Conservative. “I wanted a committed Canadian, someone with a sharp wit and a keen mind, a qualified parliamentarian and an ardent partisan,” Mr. Martin told The Globe and Mail. As well, “I don’t know anyone who didn’t like Hugh Segal. I wouldn’t want to know anyone who didn’t like Hugh Segal.”
Former Conservative senator, longtime politico Hugh Segal dead at 72
(Globe & Mail) Former prime minister Brian Mulroney says in an interview that Segal was an eternally optimistic person who worked hard as his chief of staff.
After serving in the Senate from 2005 until 2014, Segal was principal of Massey College and a prolific columnist and author.
Segal was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2003 and later promoted to an officer, with Rideau Hall noting his “insightful advice and informative commentary on public affairs.”