Maceachen ‘lived and breathed pol­i­tics’

Metro Canada (Halifax) - - NEWS / HALIFAX -

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.

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