Statement by the Prime Minister on the passing of the Honourable John Godfrey

John Ferguson Godfrey

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, on Wednesday issued the following statement on the passing of the Honourable John Godfrey:

“I was sad to learn of the passing of the Honourable John Godfrey, an educator, journalist, and former Member of Parliament.

“Born in Toronto, Ontario, Mr. Godfrey studied at the University of Toronto and Oxford University before starting a career in education. He taught for many years at Dalhousie University, and later became President of the University of King’s College, in Halifax, where he founded the respected School of Journalism. While at King’s, he helped advance important causes, including addressing the food crisis in Ethiopia ‒ one of the worst humanitarian events of the 20th century.

“The son of a senator, Mr. Godfrey understood the importance of public service and spent much of his life advocating for members of his community and for all Canadians. After working as editor of the Financial Post and then Vice-President of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, he entered politics and was elected as the Member of Parliament for the Ontario riding of Don Valley West, which he represented for many years. During his time in Parliament, he served twice as a Parliamentary Secretary and later as Minister of State for Infrastructure and Communities. In this role, he strengthened relationships with municipalities and his leadership helped spur infrastructure investments from coast to coast to coast. This included the signing of gas tax agreements across the country as a key element of the New Deal for Cities and Communities. Mr. Godfrey believed in building better communities and providing newcomers to Canada with full opportunities, and he was committed to our collective responsibility to protect the environment and address climate change.

“After retiring from politics, Mr. Godfrey returned to the field of education, serving for six years as the headmaster of the Toronto French School.

“In recognition of his meaningful and lasting contributions to public life, including his support to cultural and social justice organizations, Mr. Godfrey was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2018.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I offer my deepest condolences to Mr. Godfrey’s family and friends. His dedication to serving Canadians will continue to be an inspiration to me and many others.”


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