File-This May 2, 2006, file photo shows then Finance Minister Jim Flaherty shaking hands with Prime Minister Stephen Harper as he tables the Budget in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Flaherty, the former finance minister who took the country from surplus to huge, recession-spawned deficits and back to within an eyelash of a surplus, died suddenly Thursday April 10, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Wattie, File)
TORONTO (AP) — Former Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty, a fixture on the world financial stage who stepped down just three weeks ago, has died. He was 64.
Flaherty’s family released a statement that said he died Thursday in Ottawa. Mike Harris, Ontario’s former premier and a friend, said he suffered a massive heart attack.
Flaherty, who had the job since 2006, was the longest-serving finance minister among the Group of Seven leading industrial economies until he announced he was stepping down March 18 to return to the private sector. He battled a rare skin disease over the last year, but had said his decision to leave politics was not related.
Flaherty was Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s only finance minister since Harper took power eight years ago. He is credited with helping get Canada back on track to a balanced budget after pumping stimulus money into the economy following the 2008 financial crisis.
The House of Commons in Ottawa abruptly suspended business as word of his death circulated and the finance ministers of the Login to read more