Maceachen ‘lived and breathed politics’
Cape Breton’s Allan J. Maceachen, a driving force behind social policy changes under two prime ministers, has died at the age of the 96 after a lifetime saturated with politics and parliamentary manoeuvres.
Maceachen was one of Canada’s most powerful cabinet ministers of the postwar era and held a variety of posts, including a term as minister of national health and welfare from 1965-1968 during the creation of medicare.
As labour minister, Maceachen was also instrumental in reforming the labour code and establishing a new standard for the minimum wage.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose father, Pierre, relied heavily on Maceachen when he was prime minister, said Wednesday his cabinet had a moment of silence for “one of the very finest ministers ever to serve this country.”
In his memoirs, Pierre Trudeau recalled the Cape Bretoner as a intensely private person who had a finely tuned sense of political strategy. “He lived and breathed politics,” wrote the former Liberal leader.