Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has issued a statement after the death of longtime, well known Sault political figure Ron Irwin.
Irwin died Saturday at the age of 84.
“It was with sadness that I learned of the passing of former Sault Ste. Marie Mayor, Member of Parliament, Minister, lawyer, and diplomat Ronald A. Irwin,” Trudeau stated.
“He loved his city and served it with incredible leadership…He will be remembered as a visionary leader.”
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, Sophie and I offer our condolences to his wife Marg, family, friends, former colleagues, and the people of Sault Ste. Marie,” Trudeau wrote.
“We are saddened with the passing of our dear friend,” Sault MP Terry Sheehan stated.
“Ron served not only our community but our nation with such strong convictions and persevering efforts. He was a lifelong champion for all Canadians and respected at every level he served for his entire life.”
“On behalf of all constituents, Lisa and I offer our condolences to his family and friends. May he rest eternally in peace,” Sheehan wrote.
Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Irwin’s life and career was marked by community involvement and public service. At the local level, he served as a school trustee, city councillor, Chamber of Commerce director, and as mayor.
In 1980, he was first elected as Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and served as Parliamentary Secretary to the then Justice Minister Jean Chrétien. He was elected MP for a second term in 1993 and served as Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
Irwin was also visible on the international stage, serving as Canada’s Ambassador to Ireland, then as Consul General of Canada in Boston.
Irwin was invested into the Order of Canada, a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and received Sault Ste. Marie’s Medal of Merit for his exceptional public service career spanning over 35 years.