Liberal MP Arnold Chan, 50, dies of cancer
OTTAWA Liberal backbencher Arnold Chan, whose eloquent, emotional tribute to democracy earlier this summer moved many in the House of Commons to tears, was remembered Thursday as a good friend, a wonderful husband and a dedicated public servant.
The 50-year-old Chan died of cancer three years after he was first diagnosed with the disease.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called him “a thoughtful, kind and, above all, tireless advocate for Canadians.”
“He believed deeply in our democracy and became one of its most faithful and eloquent guardians,” Trudeau said in a statement, noting that most of Chan’s brief time as an MP was shadowed by his illness.
“Even at his sickest, he found the strength to stand up in the House of Commons and represent his constituents, who he cared about so deeply.”
Chan learned he had nasopharyngeal carcinoma not long after he won the Torontoarea seat of ScarboroughAgincourt in a 2014 byelection. He embarked on a difficult treatment regime of radiation and chemotherapy, which seemed to have won him a reprieve.
He was re-elected in 2015, but revealed in March 2016 that the cancer had returned.
“It sucks the energy out of you,” he said at the time about the difficulties of chemotherapy. “It literally sucks the energy out of you and sometimes it hits you at times you had no idea it is coming.”
Chan was the father of three sons, Nathaniel, Ethan and Theodore. His wife, Jean Yip, expressed her sadness in a statement released on Twitter.
“He was a loving father, wonderful husband and dedicated public servant,” she said, adding that while he “courageously fought” cancer, he “always continued to work hard for his constituents.”